Installation and Site Management

This section describes both problems that system administrators might have installing IRAF and STSDAS as well as those problems that a user might discover that point to an installation problem.

A comprehensive discussion of the installation process is provided in the STSDAS Site Manager's Installation Guide and Reference.

Local IRAF system administrators should have:

If you don't have these documents,
request them by sending e-mail to

Installation problems should be reported to the STSDAS administrator via e-mail to:

Types of Problems for Site Managers

In this section, we will describe:

Installation Problems

System administrators will occasionally run into compiler errors or error messages
produced by mkpkg.

    Warning: mkpkg line 23: 
    dependency file `<tbset.h>' not found
    ld: -llibraryname: No such file or directory
    mkpkg -p stsdas update
   ld -lF77: No such file or directory

External Packages

Sites can install IRAF packages that are user-defined or that are obtained from other sites outside the normal IRAF distribution. Doing this often requires setting up definitions or file attributes, such as setting file ownership to iraf--this needs to be done by the IRAF administrator. If you need help doing this, contact the STSDAS administrator by sending e-mail to:

If you try installing a package with the wrong file attributes, you may get strange error messages, such as:

PANIC in path/file memory has been corrupted 
PANIC in path/file Salloc 

System Problems

Some errors can have multiple causes. Users will occasionally run into a message such as:

ERROR: Cannot open connected subprocess(pkg$x_pkg.e)
This message indicates one of five errors:

   mkpkg -p stsdas install
  % rm bin
  % ln -s bin.sparc bin

The Help Data Base

Occasionally, it may be necessary to rebuild the help data base, for example when new help documentation is added to the system. You will need to do this if you see an error message like the following:

Error: Help can't find stsdas or pipeline tasks 
Cannot open help database file stsdas$hlib/helpdb.mip 
This does not always mean you need rebuild the help data base. Often you simply need to type unlearn help. This is the case if the message above appears in conjunction with:

ERROR: parameter `curpack' not found 
If you do need to rebuild the help data base, you can do so as shown below:

cl> softools 
so> mkhelpdb helpdir=stsdas$lib/root.hd \ 
>>>  helpdb=stsdas$hlib/helpdb.mip 
so> mkhelpdb helpdir=pipeline$lib/root.hd \ 
>>>  helpdb=pipeline$lib/helpdb.mip 

File Attributes

System administrators need to make sure that file protections are set correctly on all files used by IRAF and STSDAS. For example, if users do not have execute permission for the task executables, they will see a message like:

ERROR: Cannot open connected subprocess 
System managers also have to make sure that read-write-execute permissions are set correctly on disks and directories used by IRAF. For example, some tasks write temporary files to the disk and directory pointed to by the tmp$ variable. If that disk or directory has its permissions set wrong, you might see an error message like the following:

ERROR on line 51: cannot open `tmp$' for writing 
celco () 
celco () 
ERROR (741, "Cannot open file (tempdisk:[iraftmp]sgk9554a") 
Permission problems can sometimes manifest themselves in strange ways, for example, IRAF
networking can fail when system-wide default login files have incorrect permissions. Users who encounter problems with incorrect permissions on temporary or scratch disks can work around the problem by setting up a temp subdirectory in their own home directory and redefining their environment variables, for example: reset tmp=home$temp/

If your tasks cannot open files, it is also possible that the files have been inadvertently moved or deleted. Try moving to the directory and listing the files to see if they really exist. If you find that you're getting par files left in strange directories where you didn't expect them to be, then you're probably not starting IRAF from the correct directory. Always start the CL from within your IRAF home directory. (Some of the extraneous files you might get will be things like uparmimsimhism.par or perhaps uparmsymlprint.par).


VMS users can sometimes use up their subprocess or page file quotas. If this happens, you will see an error message like:

Subprocess died: %SYSTEM-F-EXQUOTA, exceeded quota 
Warning: User area too small 58 card images discarded 
If this happens, you need to see your system manager and get your quotas increased. VMS IRAF users should have quotas of at least user class 3.

If your user area is too small, and your quotas are correct (or if you're running under Unix, not VMS) then you may just need to reset the size of your user area. The default users are is 20,000 bytes and each FITS header record is 160 bytes. You can reset the user area size with the following command (which will allow room for 375 records):

fi> reset min_lenuserarea=60000 
System administrators installing STSDAS may have problems if their /tmp disk is too small. You can change the location of the default temporary directory by editing the file hlib$ to add compiler and linker flags, or you can create a soft link to a directory with more space.

Installation Problems
External Packages
System Problems
The Help Data Base
File Attributes

Generated with WebMaker