Installing Developer CASA

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User install

Installing CASA from a users point of view is trivial. Install the correct binary tar ball, add the correct bin/ directory to your $PATH, and type casapy. At UMD we use astromake, so a command like astroload casa will probably do the job. However, the current user release does not (currently) enable you to develop applications. For this a developer release must be installed, from source. This remains a challenging operation.

Developer install

As of this writing (Feb 2009) the original CASA is being split into casacore and the non-code (code) trees, and I will only describe that new setup.

There are a number of packages that casacore (and in particular casa) needs in order to compile. Since some of them collide or are not recent enough with what you have on your linux distro, it is best to install them in a separate /opt/casa/{bin,lib,include} type of tree. Most open source packages will then be installed as follows:

  ./configure --prefix=/opt/casa
  make install

or for python plugins (using casa's version of python) the typical command will be

  python install

some Java based tools (e.g. ccmtools) are a little different.

Here are some links to help on installing casa/casacore

Some packages you will have to get via the CASA repository. Here are some examples:


This is a bit of a can of worms for me still. Either you set aside a /opt/casa type tree.... or yum your system. More to come.


The code is under SVN control. There are two versions, and two ways to install. First pick the code, depending if you want the stable version:

 svn co 

or the active version:

 svn co

Method-1 uses a GNUMakefile approach, recently developed by Darrell.

  • edit GNUmakefile and set DESTDIR to the place you want the libraries & includes to end up (defaults to ./build/). The only oddity to make sure is if -I/usr/include/cfitsio is a correct directory for the CFITSIO package.
  • run gmake setup
  • run gmake

this last process will take a while. Took 45 mins. on my 2GB 2GHz Core2Duo laptop. Important note: if you update your code tree (typically: svn update) you'll need to go through these 3 steps again.

Method-2 uses a python based tool called scons. This is the original version, developed by Malte/Ger.

Typical dependencies:

  • lapack
  • blas
  • cfitsio

casa (non-core or code)

Same deal, SVN, and two versions to download. Pick the stable version:

 svn co

or active version:

 svn co

Then follow the usual instructions:

 cd code

where you have to answer some questions and edit some files (aipsrc and makedefs) to tailor for your system.

You can do some tests to see if this was properly set up. Some examples on the CASAInstallFromSource wiki page are still referring to the old pre-casacore times and are thus not working.

Eventually the big install is as follows:

 gmake allsys
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