idlutils is a collection of IDL utilities useful for astronomical applications, developed by an assortment of folks over the years. Various pipelines for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and other projects rely on tools from this product.
Also included within idlutils is a version of the Goddard utilities maintained by Wayne Landsman, copied here for convenience but also to establish versioning. Many thanks to the intrepid authors of those utilities!
If you want to read the documentation for individual routines, please follow the instructions for building the documentation below.
To download the latest tagged version of idlutils, use svn ('subversion'). On most Unix machines you should be able to execute:
svn export https://svn.sdss.org/public/repo/sdss/idlutils/tags/v5_5_36 idlutils
v5_5_36 is recommended for use with DR17 data, has the most up-to-date Goddard utilities and supports Mac OS ≥ 10.7 (Lion). To list other available tags, use the command:
svn ls https://svn.sdss.org/public/repo/sdss/idlutils/tags
If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest, evolving version (the 'trunk' in SVN parlance), then execute:
svn co https://svn.sdss.org/public/repo/sdss/idlutils/trunk idlutils
Afterward, an 'svn up' in the idlutils directory will update your working copy.
These access points are read-only! If you want to develop or add to the idlutils software you must be an SDSS collaborator.
- You do not need to install IDL, buy a license, etc. to install idlutils. However, you do need a copy of IDL's
export.hfile. If you already have IDL installed, set the environment variable
IDL_DIRto the directory containing the
externaldirectory should contain the
export.hfile. If you do not have IDL installed, but do have an
export.hfile, then you can place that file in a directory called
externalthen place that directory in any directory you want and set
IDL_DIRto the directory containing
- You need both a C compiler and a Fortran compiler.
- If you want to build the documentation, you must have IDL installed, and the executable
idlmust live somewhere in your
PATH. Note that some IDL installations define the executable
idlas a shell alias, and thus it will not be in your
After exporting or checking out the code, set the environmental variable
IDLUTILS_DIR to the location of your idlutils directory. Then set the variables:
export PATH=$IDLUTILS_DIR/bin:$PATH export IDL_PATH=+$IDLUTILS_DIR/goddard/pro:+$IDLUTILS_DIR/pro:$IDL_PATH
Of course, you should put those commands into your
.bash_profile or (suitably modified) into your
.tcshrc file where appropriate.
To build the code, execute:
cd $IDLUTILS_DIR; evilmake all
This will build all of the C libraries.
To build the documentation (see the Prerequisites above), execute:
cd $IDLUTILS_DIR; make doc
idlutils is also compatible with
sdss4install, which is mostly used internally by the SDSS collaboration.
You may have noticed that the SDSS organisation in GitHub contains a repository for idlutils. That repository is primarily intended for SDSS-V development and the code contains breaking changes; for example, the Goddard utilities are not included with idlutils anymore, and we use semantic versioning. Additional breaking changes are expected in the near future.
At this point we do not recommend using the GitHub repository for working with SDSS-IV data.
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No warranty is expressed or implied or anything regarding this software.