A release of the FORS pipeline recipes is now available !

A release of the FORS pipeline recipes is now available.

Together with the data processing modules, we also provide standalone applications for running them:

  • EsoReflex, a GUI which provides an easy and flexible way of runing pipeline execution workflows.
  • Gasgano, a GUI for data browsing and organisation, providing an intuitive and comprehensive interface to pipeline recipes that are based on the ESO Common Pipeline Library (CPL).
  • EsoRex, a command-line driven utility to launch pipeline recipes, which can be used either as an interactive tool, or can be embedded into scripts for automating some of the data reduction tasks.


Version 5.6.5 Public Release (May 2023 and 2024)

  • Default value for wreject is now 1.0
  • Removed cosmics parameter from fors_pmos_science
  • Minor fixes to reflex workflows
  • Updated some static calibrations
  • Added barycentric correction to science recipes
  • Renamed MJD-NIGHT to MJD_NIGHT in fors_photometry product
  • Added many new QC parameters
  • Updates to headers of Phase 3 products
  • Updates to manuals and Reflex tutorials

Version 5.6.2 Public Release (19 May 2022)

  • Differences in binning and gain are now properly handled in flux calibration
  • PMOS Reflex workflow now includes interactive steps
  • Updated grism tables
  • Minor correction to calculated RA and Dec of extracted spectra
  • Updates to demo data
  • Updates to manuals and Reflex tutorials

Version 5.5.7 Public Release (1 June 2021)

  • Added the ability to use MASTER_SPECPHOT tables
  • Added ability to perform flat field normalisation using an averaging filter
  • Updated grism tables
  • Added extra master distortion tables
  • Additional data products (previously only produced as IDPs) are now produced by default
  • Flux calibrated spectra are now correctly trimmed to the appropriate wavelength range
  • Updates to manuals and Reflex tutorials

Version 5.5.6 Public Release (14 October 2020)

  • FORS pipeline can now be built with gcc 10
  • Updates to manuals and Reflex tutorials

Version 5.5.3 Public Release (2 June 2020)

  • Updates to manuals and Reflex tutorials
  • Updated line catalogues
  • fors_img_science now trims off the non-illuminated region of the detector
  • Improved computation of ABMAGLIM in fors_img_science

Version 5.4.3 Public Release (22 May 2019)

  • Improved robustness of response computation in the blue for grism 1200B.
  • Improved robustness of wavelength calibration for grism 150I.
  • Fixed failure of the pipeline when slit_ident=true.
  • Fixed failure of the pipeline when no masking for the response is defined.

Known Issues

  • Versions of the FORS pipeline prior to 5.5.6 cannot be built with gcc 10, which is the default compiler on Fedora 32.

FORS pipeline recipes public version:

The public version of the FORS pipeline recipes is 5.6.5, and it is included in the pipeline distribution kit fors-kit-5.6.5-7.tar.gz together with the following packages:

  • the CFITSIO library, version 4.2.0
  • the Common Pipeline Library (CPL), version 7.3.2
  • Gasgano version 2.4.8
  • EsoRex, version 3.13.8
  • Third-party libraries used by CPL (wcslib, fftw)
  • Third-party libraries required by the FORS pipeline

FORS pipeline documentation

User Manual: 5.17
EsoReflex Tutorial: 1.6 (FORS-IMG)
EsoReflex Tutorial: 1.9 (FORS-PMOS)
EsoReflex Tutorial: 1.27 (FORS-SPEC)

FORS pipeline recipes System Requirements

The FORS pipeline kit version 5.6.5 is verified and supported on the VLT target platform:
  • CentOS 7 (x86_64), using gcc v4.8.5.
It is also verified that the pipeline kit can be built on the following platforms (x86_64, unless specified otherwise):
  • CentOS 7
  • Rocky Linux 8
  • Alma Linux 9
  • Fedora 31
  • Fedora 34
  • Fedora 36
  • Fedora 37
  • Fedora 38
  • Fedora 39
  • Ubuntu 20.04
  • Ubuntu 22.04
  • Ubuntu 23.04
  • Ubuntu 23.10
  • Debian 11
  • Debian 12
  • macOS 12 (Intel & Apple Silicon)
  • macOS 13 (Intel & Apple Silicon)
  • macOS 14 (Intel & Apple Silicon)

Installing and running the FORS pipeline recipes 5.6.5

There are several ways to install the pipeline on your machine. The recommended installation procedure depends on whether you are working on a Mac OSX or on Linux.

Installation using RPM repositories

For Fedora 38/39, CentOS 7 and Scientific Linux 7, it is recommended to install the pipeline from our RPM repository. The RPM repositories include not only the pipeline recipes but also the library dependencies (CPL, etc..), the EsoReflex workflow, demo data and the EsoReflex tool itself.

Please refer to the instructions provided here.

Installation using MacPorts repositories

For Apple macOS 12/13/14, it is recommended to install the pipeline with MacPorts. The MacPorts repositories include not only the pipeline recipes but also the library dependencies (CPL, etc..), the EsoReflex workflow, demo data and the EsoReflex tool itself.

Please refer to the instructions provided here.

Installation using the EsoReflex installation procedure

Please refer to EsoReflex Software Prerequisites and Installation Instructions for detailed instructions

Installation using the public pipeline kit

To install the FORS pipeline recipes 5.6.5 you will need to retrieve the pipeline distribution kit, unpack and install it.

  • Please check the software prerequisites here.

Installation procedure:

  1. Change directory to where you want to retrieve the FORS pipeline recipes 5.6.5 package. It can be any directory of your choice but not:
    • $HOME/gasgano
    • $HOME/.esorex
  2. Download the software and the static calibration data (line catalogs etc.) necessary for running the pipeline recipes:
  3. Unpack using for example the following command:     tar xzf fors-kit-5.6.5-7.tar.gz
  4. Install: after moving into the installation directory,     cd fors-kit-5.6.5-7 it is recommended to perform the installation using the supplied installer script:     ./install_pipeline (BEWARE: The installation may take several minutes). By default the script will install the FORS recipes, Gasgano, EsoRex, all the necessary libraries, and the static calibration tables, into a directory tree rooted at $HOME. A different path may be specified as soon as the script is run. For instance (user input is boldfaced):
    $ ./install_pipeline
    I am about to install the following software packages:
    • cfitsio4.2.0.tar.gz
    • cpl-7.3.2.tar.gz
    • esorex-3.13.8.tar.gz
    • gasgano-2.4.8.tar.gz
    • fors-kit-5.6.5-7.tar.gz
    with the following pipeline calibration file(s):
    • fors-calib-5.6.5.tar.gz
    The software installation will be organised in bin/, lib/ and include/ directories, while the calibration files will be installed in a calib/ directory. Where should I install the software packages ? [/home/userid] /home/dummy/pipelines
    Where should I install the pipeline calibration files ? [/home/dummy/pipelines] /home/dummy/calibrations
    In this case the software is installed under the directory /home/dummy/pipelines and the static calibration tables under /home/dummy/calibrations/fors The only exception to all this is the Gasgano tool, that will always be installed under the directory $HOME/gasgano Note that the installer will move an existing $HOME/gasgano directory to $HOME/gasgano.old before the new Gasgano version is installed.
    Important: the installation script would ensure that any existing Gasgano and EsoRex setup would be inherited into the newly installed configuration files (avoiding in this way any conflict with other installed instrument pipelines).
    Please follow the instructions shown at the end of a successful installation script: they will indicate how to set your PATH and CPLDIR variables in your machine in order to run the pipeline.
    Alternatively, it is possible to perform a manual installation (experienced users only): the README file located in the top installation directory contains more detailed information about a step-by-step installation.

Executing the pipeline 5.6.5

Using EsoReflex

  • To run the EsoReflex workflow, please refer to the FORS workflow tutorial available in this table under column Documentation.

Using Gasgano

  1. To run the Gasgano GUI, just add $HOME/gasgano/bin to your PATH environment variable:     export PATH="$HOME/gasgano/bin:"$PATH You should also define an environment variable CPLDIR to point to the same path specified for the installation. Possible files to update are:     $HOME/.bashrc     $HOME/.profile Finally, enter the command     gasgano
  2. If the Gasgano main panel appears, then you have successfully installed Gasgano. Make sure, however, that the expected Gasgano 2.4.8 release is running: the version number is listed at the top of the main Gasgano panel.
  3. Refer to the Gasgano User's Manual to learn how to browse data and run pipeline recipes. Refer to the Pipeline User Manual(s) for detailed information about the recipes usage.

Using EsoRex

  1. The EsoRex executable should be available in the bin directory under your installation path (see above). The PATH environment variable should be upgraded accordingly (similarly as done for Gasgano).
  2. Refer to the EsoRex web page for details about the related features and options.


The EsoReflex Users' Manual is availale for download

The GASGANO Users' Manual (~1.2 Mb, 66 pages) is available for download in the Gasgano web page.

On the EsoRex web page some online documentation about EsoRex can be found.

The CPL manuals are available on the CPL web pages.

In case of problems when opening the documents directly from your web browser, the files may be first saved on disk, and then opened with Acrobat Reader.

Bug Reports

If you experience an unexpected behavior of any component of the FORS pipeline recipes package, please, first verify that you are using one of the above mentioned supported platforms and refer to the list of known problems and limitations in the pipeline manual of the current FORS pipeline release.

For any other issues or requests, please, send a report to the ESO User Support Department mentioning FORS pipeline in the subject, describing:        

  • the FORS pipeline version (currently 5.6.5), and the version of other components (e.g., Gasgano, EsoRex, ...) you are using
  • the version of your OS and C compiler.
  • the exact sequence of actions that were performed before the problem occurred
  • what were precisely the symptoms and the possible error message(s)
  • whether the problem is repeatable