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Linux for Astronomy V7,8,9

The current release of "Linux for Astronomy" is a 3 volume cd set. All the packages can be installed using the included GUI. The GUI may automatically start when you mount an LfA cdrom. If you system is not configured to use autorun scripts, then it will be necessary to open an xterm and then type the following commands
	cd /mnt/cdrom
where /mnt/cdrom is the LfA cdrom mount point.

You must perform the installation with superuser priviledges, i.e. as "root".

The LfA title window will appear briefly, followed by either the main GUI window, or a filesystem selection window (only appears the first time you install from LfA V7,8,9 cdroms). The filesystem selection window looks like this

Click to select the filesystem where you wish to install LfA packages. All the LfA packages install under /opt/lfa. The installer will create this directory or a link to it from your selected filesystem. Installing all LfA packages would require about 4Gb of disk space

Recommended installation

The package "lfabase" contains many useful libraries , as well as the LfA package startup scripts. It is recommended that the "lfabase" package is always installed, and that it is the first package installed.

Another recommended package is the "lfadoc" package. This contains the browsable online documentation for all the LfA packages. Install this package next and then use your web browser to investigate the capabilities of the rest of the LfA software.

The installation GUI

The main installation window looks like this

Packages are selected by clicking on their names in the right-hand panel. Once a package is selected a brief description appears in the left-hand panel. At this point a number of package related actions are available


Each package installation/removal is accompanied by small window showing the progress of the action.

In addition a set of options are available at the bottom of the right-hand panel. These provide the capability to install/remove multiple packages with a single action. Simply select a set of packages, then click either "Install selected" or "Remove selected". Additional options make it easy to instantly select or de-select all packages.

Once all the required packages have been installed , click the "Exit the installer" button to exit the GUI.

Using the packages

Most packages are accompanied by substantial amounts of on-line documentation. This can be located in the /opt/lfa/html directory tree (web browser formats), and in the /opt/lfa/doc directory tree (printable ps and pdf formats).

The LfA installation guide also includes a section describing each package and its usage. Many packages can be started using the scripts in /opt/lfa/bin. These scripts are named according to the package they control, i.e. /opt/lfa/bin/startmidas will start the MIDAS package.

In addition many packages can be started from the KDE/Gnome desktop menu system. All the LfA package entries will appear in the "Astronomy" submenu.

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