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Gemini IRAF Data Reduction Software

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The Gemini IRAF package is a data reduction software package for processing observational data obtained with the Gemini telescopes. The released version of the Gemini IRAF package is an external package layered upon IRAF and is available to users and other interested parties.

The Gemini IRAF package currently supports data from the following instruments: FLAMINGOS-2, GMOS-N, GMOS-S, GNIRS, GSAOI, Michelle *, NIFS, NIRI, TReCS *, OSCIR *, Hokupa'a+QUIRC * and Flamingos-1 *. Support for other Gemini facility instruments will be added as these instruments become available.

The Gemini IRAF package is organized into a number of sub-packages. It contains a generic tools package, "gemtools", along with instrument-specific packages. The raw data from the Gemini facility instruments are stored as Multi-Extension FITS (MEF) files. Therefore, all the tasks in the Gemini IRAF package, intended for processing data from the Gemini facility instruments, are capable of handling MEF files. Gemini provides only limited data reduction software for visitor instruments.

 * Retired instruments. 

  • Stable Version: v1.15
  • Revision note: gemini_v115_rev.txt
  • Version 1.15 includes new support for Flamingos 2 MOS data.
  • IMPORTANT for Flamingos 2 users still using Gemini v1.14. [No MOS support.]  
    • If you are reducing recent (2022A and beyond) Flamingos 2 data, please also install this small patch to Gemini IRAF v1.14 that comes with the conda installation.

System Requirements

  • Python 3.7 
  • 32-bit compatibility libraries
  • Linux, equilvalent to CentOS 7 and above
  • Or Mac OS X 10.13 to 10.14.0


The special instructions for installing DRAGONS and Gemini IRAF while was down in mid-late 2023 are no longer needed; please follow the normal instructions below instead.

Anaconda is required for Gemini IRAF.  If you do not already have anaconda installed, see the Anaconda installation instructions and be sure to add the following channels once the installation is complete:

    $ conda config --add channels conda-forge
    $ conda config --add channels

Installing Gemini IRAF

Important: If you are working on Mac OS, you will need to use a virtual machine (VM) for your Gemini IRAF work.  See for instructions and installation help.

The next step is to create a virtual environment and install the full data reduction suite: DRAGONS and Gemini IRAF.  Conda will take care of installing the dependencies.  The name of the environment can be anything you like. Here we use “geminiconda” as the name.  DRAGONS v3.0 requires Python 3.7.

    $ conda create -n geminiconda python=3.7 dragons gemini iraf-all pyraf-all ds9

To use this environment, activate it:

    $ conda activate geminiconda

You will need to activate the environment whenever you start a new shell. If you are planning to use it all the time, you might want to add the command to your .bash_profile, after the “conda init” block.

IMPORTANT for Flamingos 2 users still using v1.14.   If you are reducing recent (2022A and beyond) Flamingos 2 data, please also install this small patch to Gemini IRAF v1.14 that you have just installed with conda.  If you can, it is recommended that you update to Gemini IRAF v1.15 instead of installing the patch.

Updating Gemini IRAF

If you already have Gemini IRAF installed and wish to update the package to version 1.15, run the following commands:

    $ conda activate geminiconda
    $ conda install iraf.gemini=1.15 --no-update-deps

Configuration and Testing

Configuring IRAF

If you have installed IRAF and PyRAF and need to use Gemini IRAF, make sure that there is a configured iraf directory in your home directory. If you have used IRAF before it might already be there, it might still be wise to re-run the mkiraf step. To set up a new IRAF directory:

    $ cd ~
    $ mkdir iraf
    $ cd iraf
    $ mkiraf

At the mkiraf step, choose xterm or xgterm for the terminal, and re-initialize the uparm when/if asked.

Your computer might require 32-bit compatibility libraries. See this (still applicable in 2023) Astroconda FAQ for details and how to install those libraries on Linux:

Testing the installation

Test Gemini IRAF
        $ conda activate geminiconda
        $ pyraf
        --> gemini

You should be seeing the Gemini IRAF packages for each instrument.


For help running IRAF on Gemini instruments, see Getting Started with Gemini IRAF.