Using Iraf at CAMK


On workstations

1. In the directory you want to start work with IRAF type:

> mkiraf

to create uparm directory with parameter files and "" with default session configuration.

2. Edit file to check "set home" & "set imdir" are valid. Check "set stdimage" for image size and "set imtype" (e.g. imt2048) for a file-type you want to work with (e.g. fits, imh).

3. Start-up IRAF with command:

> cl

4. Type "help" for short information about available tasks. Type "help taksname" for information about task. E.g. "help help" to get information how 'help' task works.

If you have some problems with IRAF start-up contact Technician responsible for IRAF installation is Beata Mazur (room 133).

Consult you problems about specific IRAF tasks with NCAC's astronomers who used them or ask at forum.


On the cluster

For use of IRAF commands at chuck (based on

First you must know in which executable the task resides, core IRAF system tasks (e.g. things in the PLOT and IMAGES packages) have their executables in the main '/Vol/share/iraf-2.14/irafbin/bin.redhat/' directory, NOAO package tasks have the executables in the '/Vol/share/iraf-2.14/irafbin/noao.bin.redhat' directory. There is usually a separate executable for each package and you can probably figure out which one goes for each package otherwise just look at the package cl file to find out, for example the PLOT package defines the task in the '/Vol/share/iraf-2.14/iraf/pkg/' file, if you look in their you'll see that is defines the tasks as (part of the file reads)

task contour,



velvect = "plot$x_ncar.e"


which means that the CONTOUR, SURFACE, etc tasks are in the "x_ncar.e" executable.

You need to create a file with the task parameters: usually it's easiest to set the parameters and then dump the parameter file with 'dpar', e.g.


cl> dpar listpix > listpix.par


(can do it using workstation with IRAF installed)


Then to run the task you would do something like:


> /Vol/share/iraf-2.14/irafbin/bin.redhat/x_images.e listpix @listpix.par

Be aware that in 'tcsh' and 'bash' scripts you have to use:

limit stacksize unlimited # for tcsh users
ulimit -s unlimited # for bash users

at the beggining of the script. Go to if you want know why is it so.