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If you want to install Miriad on your computer, this is what we will likely support:

  • Linux/Intel (centos, fedora, ubuntu, scientific linux) on IA32 and IA64
  • MacOSX/Intel - 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7. See also our Miriad on Mac page for a summary of the requirements

Although we don't support Miriad on Windows, there are ways to run it on windows. We don't recommend it, and we don't support it.

You will need to have the following pre-installed:

  • the csh (or tcsh) shell. Surprisingly perhaps, many systems don't come standard with this. We have shell scripts that need this shell. However, your login shell does not have to be tcsh, you can use bash!
  • a C and Fortran compiler (gcc, gfortran or g77). Dit somebody say fortran?
  • X11 and X11SDK (or the relevant -devel packages in linux, on Mac they're installed via Xcode). For the Mac these are of order 1GB download images, so be sure to have this done before you install Miriad, and somewhere with a fast internet link. Most notably the assembler (as) might be missing. You need it if you want to compile new miriad programs. On a Mac you might need to check your version of /Developer/Applications/Xcode (via Finder) or the file /Developer/Applications/
  • the flex (or lex) unix tool, for the new wcs library (as of version 4.2.x). For developers only.
  • optionally some development tools, like cvs, and the autotools (automake, libtool)
  • optionally tools like ds9, xpa tools (needed for ds9) and/or karma, for visualization. In the binary release, we'll include them.
  • optionally python, as we have some example scripts and tools written in python.

You can use a test package called ca_install to test if your computer has the basics.

Please send Peter the output of the following commands if you have any trouble: (see also $MIR/install/dump_specs)

 which csh
 csh --version
 which gcc
 gcc -v
 which gfortran           (and/or g77, or g95, or f77, or ifort, at least one should exist)
 gfortran -v
 gfortran -dumpmachine
 which flex               (only important for developers)
 flex --version           (needs 2.5.9 or higher)
 which as
 as -v               (might have to hit ^C to get out again)
 uname -a
 cat /etc/issue           (does not seem to exist on Mac)
 ls /usr/include/X11      (basically, there should be lots of files in that directory)
 which cvs                (very useful for easy updates)
 which make               (part of unix tools, and on Mac it comes with command line tools in Xcode)
 automake --version       (only important for developers)
 libtool --version        (only important for developers)
 java -version            (only important for carma/rtd)
 xterm -version
 python --version
 ipython -V

Although g77 is the preferred fortran compiler (pgplot ideally needs some VAX dialects), more recent versions of gfortran (e.g. 4.2.2) can also handle these. For the Mac there is a project Xcode/gfortran plugin that might be interesting, but has not been fully tested.

Make sure your compilers come from the same "vendor". On Mac you can easily wind up with /usr/bin/gcc and /usr/local/bin/gfortran, and that probably is a bad idea. Check if your $PATH has perhaps /usr/local/bin not ahead of the /usr/bin, if so , edit your .bashrc or .cshrc shell startup file to make sure both gcc and gfortran come from the same directory.


The above items are the most common ones that a Unix machine may miss for development. If you use a Linux based machine, you will need a number of development tools and libraries. Obivously the compiler, tools like gmake, the header files for libraries like X11, and relatively recent autoconf tools, as well as flex.

For some of the linux distributions you can find the specific names of the packages you most likely will need on the page that describes common installation problems.

things to bring to the CARMA summerschool

Since OVRO is on a pretty slow internet link, bring ANYTHING you can in terms of potentially finishing the installation of your laptop for CARMA data reduction. This includes old data from the Illinois data archive (if you need it), as well as linux install CDs, or Mac install DVDs (Xcode is key here!) etc. A list of things we've encountered as people could forget are:

  • Mac users should bring their install DVDs (Xcode is normally on the 2nd DVD), unless you have working version of miriad
  • Linux users should bring their install DVD(s), unless you have a working version of miriad
  • we prepackage binaries for compilers where needed (e.g. HPC stuff for Mac users), binary releases for Miriad and the optional tools (ds9, karma, xplore) that we might want to use.
  • Mac users should have the fortran (and C) compiler. I've had good luck with the HPC project compilers for Fortran. Be sure to mate g77 with gcc3 and gfortran with gcc4. Another method can be to install your own g77 compiler, see [[1]]. There is a new project Xcode/gFortran Plugin which I have not tried out. You might also find some gfortran binaries at the GCC wiki.
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