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IDL on Physics linux systems

IDL is supported on the linux cluster primarily for specific research groups in Astronomy and Cosmology. A few licenses are also provided by Physics and Astronomy for general use.

To use IDL, you first need to load the software module:

module load idl

After that, for a command line interface, type


or for IDL's development environment, type


For interactive help, type


The IDL Astronomy User's Library

<note>possibly outdated info?</note>

The IDL Astronomy Users Library is a central repository for low-level astronomy software written in the commercial language IDL. More info at http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

In order to use the network copy of this software, you must modify the IDL_PATH environment path.

For csh:

setenv IDL_PATH "<IDL_DEFAULT>:/local/astro/idl_astro/pro"

for bash:

export IDL_PATH="<IDL_DEFAULT>:/local/astro/idl_astro/pro"

Running multiple copies of IDL on the same machine

This hint was taken from Princeton Astronomy department: IDL hands out licenses based on hostname+username+display. If all three of those are equal, you can start as many sessions as you want and only consume one license. The modern habit of letting ssh create X tunnels causes the display name to be different for each ssh connection, even if several connections come from a single host. There are several ways of making your DISPLAY name the same for all such connections. The simplest is to note which your first one is (echo $DISPLAY), and set DISPLAY on other connections to that. Or for a console-only IDL session, simply unset DISPLAY completely.

Running IDL jobs without license restrictions

The IDL Virtual Machine which lets you run an IDL “executable” file without the need for licenses. Here's some more information about this feature from NYU Physics: http://www.physics.nyu.edu/grierlab/idl_html_help/distributing6.html

This can also help you run multiple IDL jobs in parallel through condor without being encumbered by available licenses. See http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/siepedia/pmwiki.php?n=HOWTOs.CondorAndIDLVirtualMachine for some pointers.

Problems and workarounds

none at present

computing/department/unix/software/idl.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/25 10:50 by allan