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Need help to start with Healpix on IDL and Windows 7

  1. Jul 14, 2013 #1
    Hello,
    i'm an astrophysics student, and i need to create a CMB map using Planck data. I have to use Healpix on IDL.
    I'm new in IDL, but i'm learning the basics, and i haven't particular problems.
    My problem is with Healpix: i can't understand what is the right procedure of installation (on Windows 7). I followed the guide but i can't complete it, because is mainly focused on Linux systems. I don't know what to do after installing cgwin and all the requested packages. The guide is here: http://healpix.jpl.nasa.gov/html/install.htm#SECTION00071000000000000000
    Is there someone who has already installed it on Windows?

    Thanks for your attention.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2013 #2

    Chalnoth

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    Honestly, your best bet is to just install Linux. It's pretty easy these days to set up a system for dual-boot Windows/Linux. Yes, it can be a bit of a hassle to install Linux, but so much AP work is done in Linux that it's probably a good idea, even if it takes longer this time around than getting Healpix to work.

    That said, if you really want to use IDL in Windows, I can see two ways of doing it:
    1. Use a Windows install of IDL, and manually point that install to your Healpix installation under cygwin. This will be a little bit hairy, but not too horrible.
    2. Use a Linux install of IDL which is placed within cygwin, and install Healpix as you would under Linux. The problem with this is, I have no idea whatsoever if IDL will work under cygwin.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2013 #3

    Chalnoth

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    By the way, you'd get Healpix to work under Windows by adjusting the Healpix startup file and pointing IDL to it:
    http://www.idlcoyote.com/misc_tips/idl_startupfile.php

    The main issue here is that you'd have to make sure the file paths point to their Windows file paths, not the cygwin virtual file paths.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2013 #4
    Thank you Chalnoth!
    I think the easiest way is to install Linux in dual boot configuration. Tomorrow i'll install Linux, and then i'll try again (i'd like to try with GDL, is that a good idea?).
     
  6. Jul 15, 2013 #5

    Chalnoth

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    I'd suggest Ubuntu, Mint, or OpenSuse, personally. Ubuntu and Mint are perhaps the most popular Linux distributions (not including Chrome OS and Android...), and so are likely to have the fewest issues and headaches. OpenSuse I have a soft spot for because of its graphical administration tools (most other distributions rely more heavily on config file changes and the like for low-level configuration).

    I don't know much of anything about GDL, but I will say that gaming on Linux is always a spotty proposition, but all of the above distributions will work well regardless.
     
  7. Jul 27, 2013 #6

    Chalnoth

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    I got an e-mail notification that you'd sent a reply, but it seems to have disappeared. Did you figure it out? In Linux, you type "hidl" to execute IDL with the Healpix environment variables enabled.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2013 #7
    Hi Chalnoth,
    yes i sent a reply but i made some mistakes so i deleted it, sorry.
    I've installed Ubuntu and GDL and i'm learning to use it. I also downloaded the Healpix folder and i'm trying to install it (i'm following the official guide). I unpacked the folder, its path is: diamanti@diamanti-desktop:~/Healpix_3.11
    Then i run the "./configure" command and i selected the IDL option and i chose the programs for visualization etc.
    After that the program reported the following lines:



    Generating /home/diamanti/Healpix_3.11/src/idl/visu/idl_default_previewer.pro

    Generating /home/diamanti/.healpix/3_11_Linux/idl.sh
    containing:
    # IDL configuration for HEALPix sab 27 lug 2013, 14.44.47, CEST
    # make sure IDL related variables are global
    export IDL_PATH IDL_STARTUP
    # back up original IDL config, or give default value
    OIDL_PATH="${IDL_PATH-}"
    OIDL_STARTUP="${IDL_STARTUP}"
    # create Healpix IDL config, and return to original config after running Healpix- enhanced IDL
    HIDL_PATH="+${HEALPIX}/src/idl:${OIDL_PATH}"
    HIDL_STARTUP="${HEALPIX}/src/idl/HEALPix_startup"
    alias hidl="IDL_PATH=\"${HIDL_PATH}\" ; IDL_STARTUP=${HIDL_STARTUP} ; idl ; IDL_PATH=\"${OIDL_PATH}\" ; IDL_STARTUP=${OIDL_STARTUP} "
    alias hidlde="IDL_PATH=\"${HIDL_PATH}\" ; IDL_STARTUP=${HIDL_STARTUP} ; idlde ; IDL_PATH=\"${OIDL_PATH}\" ; IDL_STARTUP=${OIDL_STARTUP} "

    Then i tried to test it, but the problem is that the "hidl" command doesn't work:

    GDL> hidl
    % Procedure not found: HIDL
    % Execution halted at: $MAIN$

    The guide says that this problem can be solved, but i can't understand how. See here: http://healpix.jpl.nasa.gov/html/install.htm#SECTION00076000000000000000

    In my opinion, the problem is in the different paths of GDL and Healpix, ,maybe i have to change them?
    What does "Healpix environment variables enabled" means?

    I'm sorry, i'm trying to learn, but everytime i solve a problem, i find other problems :S
     
  9. Jul 27, 2013 #8

    Chalnoth

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    Okay, this is a bit of a problem. I've always had an IDL license through the university I worked with. GDL is a bit dicier. Read up on it here:
    http://healpix.jpl.nasa.gov/html/install.htm#SECTION00078000000000000000
     
  10. Jul 27, 2013 #9
    Yes, i read the whole guide, and there is only that section about GDL. I decided to use GDL because i don't have IDL for Linux, but only for Windows. Well, i'll try to find another solution!
     
  11. Jul 29, 2013 #10

    Chalnoth

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    You can't get IDL for Linux through your school?

    I've never tried to get it to work with GDL myself, personally, as I've always had access to an IDL license through the school when I've needed one.
     
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