cfitsio  4.0.0
About: CFITSIO is a library of C and Fortran subroutines for reading and writing data files in the FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data format.
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cfitsio Documentation

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                   CFITSIO Interface Library

CFITSIO is a library of ANSI C routines for reading and writing FITS
format data files.  A set of Fortran-callable wrapper routines are also
included for the convenience of Fortran programmers.  This README file
gives a brief summary of how to build and test CFITSIO, but the CFITSIO
User's Guide, found in the files cfitsio.doc (plain text), cfitsio.tex
(LaTeX source file),, or cfitsio.pdf should be
referenced for the latest and most complete information.


The CFITSIO code is contained in about 40 *.c source files and several *.h
header files.  CFITSIO should compile and run on most Unix platforms without
modification, except that Cray supercomputers computers are currently not
supported.  The CFITSIO library is built on Unix systems by typing:

 >  ./configure [--prefix=/target/installation/path]
 >  make          (or  'make shared')
 >  make install  (this step is optional)

at the operating system prompt.  The configure command customizes the
Makefile for the particular system, then the `make' command compiles the
source files and builds the library.  Type `./configure' and not simply
`configure' to ensure that the configure script in the current directory
is run and not some other system-wide configure script.  The optional
'prefix' argument to configure gives the path to the directory where
the CFITSIO library and include files should be installed via the later
'make install' command. For example,

   > ./configure --prefix=/usr1/local

will cause the 'make install' command to copy the CFITSIO libcfitsio file 
to /usr1/local/lib and the necessary include files to /usr1/local/include
(assuming of course that the  process has permission to write to these 

All the available configure options can be seen by entering the command

   > ./configure --help

On VAX/VMS and ALPHA/VMS systems the command file may be used
to build the cfitsio.olb object library using the default G-floating
point option for double variables.  The make\ and make\
files may be used instead to build the library with the other floating
point options.

A precompiled DLL version of CFITSIO is available for IBM-PC users of
the Borland or Microsoft Visual C++ compilers in the files and, where 'xxxx'
represents the current release number.  These zip archives also
contains other files and instructions on how to use the CFITSIO DLL
library. The CFITSIO library may also be built from the source code
using the makefile.bc or makefile.vcc  files.  Finally, the makepc.bat
file gives an example of  building CFITSIO with the Borland C++ v4.5
compiler using simpler DOS commands.

Instructions for building CFITSIO on Mac OS can be found in
the README.MacOS file.


The CFITSIO library should be tested by building and running
the testprog.c program that is included with the release. 
On Unix systems, type:
    % make testprog
    % testprog > testprog.lis
    % diff testprog.lis testprog.out
    % cmp testprog.std
 On VMS systems,
(assuming cc is the name of the C compiler command), type:
    $ cc testprog.c
    $ link testprog, cfitsio/lib
    $ run testprog
The testprog program should produce a FITS file called `'
that is identical to the testprog.std FITS file included in this
release.  The diagnostic messages (which were piped to the file
testprog.lis in the Unix example) should be identical to the listing
contained in the file testprog.out.  The 'diff' and 'cmp' commands
shown above should not report any differences in the files.


The CFITSIO User's Guide, contained in the files cfitsio.doc (plain
text file) and (postscript file), provides detailed
documentation about how to build and use the CFITSIO library.
It contains a description of every user-callable routine in the
CFITSIO interface.

The cookbook.c file provides some sample routines for performing common
operations on various types of FITS files.  Programmers are urged to
examine these routines for recommended programming practices when using
CFITSIO.  Users are free to copy or modify these routines for their own

Any problem reports or suggestions for
improvements are welcome and should be sent to the HEASARC
help desk.

William D. Pence