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Pythonic interface to IRAF that can be used in place of the existing IRAF CL

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Pyraf release Pyraf CI Status PyRAF Coverage Status Documentation Status

PyRAF is a command language for running IRAF tasks in a Python like environment. It works very similar to IRAF, but has been updated to allow such things as importing Python modules, starting in any directory, GUI parameter editing and help. Most importantly, it can be imported into Python allowing you to run IRAF commands from within a larger script.


To install PyRAF, it is required to have both IRAF and Python already installed. For the IRAF installation, both a self-compiled and a binary IRAF package (f.e. in Ubuntu) will work.

The IRAF installation should have a properly configured environment, especially the iraf environment variable must be set to point to the IRAF installation directory (i.e. to /usr/lib/iraf/ on Ubuntu or Debian systems). On multi-arch IRAF installations, the IRAFARCH environment variable should specify the architecture to use. This is usually already set during the IRAF installation procedure.

The minimal Python required for PyRAF is 3.6, but it is recommended to use the latest available version. An installation in an virtual environment like venv or conda is possible.

The package can be installed from PyPI with the command pip3 install pyraf. Note that if no binary installation is available on PyPI, the package requires a compilation, so aside from pip3, the C compiler and development libraries (on Linux libx11-dev) should be installed.

Contributing Code, Documentation, or Feedback

IRAF and PyRAF can only survive by the contribution of its users, so we welcome and encourage your contributions. The preferred way to report a bug is to create a new issue on the PyRAF GitHub issue page. To contribute patches, we suggest to create a pull request on GitHub.


PyRAF is licensed under a 3-clause BSD style license - see the LICENSE.txt file.


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