VLT Instrument Pipelines

Latest News:

April 29, 2019: KMOS Pipeline 2.6.0 released!

The new IDP standard extracted spectra are produced by the standard star recipe and the extraction utility. A new level correction (INTRA SLICES) method is available in the kmos_dark, kmos_reconstruct, kmos_sci_red and kmos_level_correct recipes. The Reflex workflow has been significantly improved with many new interactive actors for controlling the MOLECFIT results along the data flow.

March 25, 2019: ESPRESSO Pipeline 1.2.2 and Data Analysis Software 1.0.2 released!

ESPRESSO 1.2.2 is a release update which corrects an issue on relex based RV computation, provides several ways to speed-up reduction, improves reflex interactive workflows and the documentation. Read more... ESPRESSO Data Analysis Software release 1.0.2 is the first public release of a software that allows to perform scientific analysis of the data reduced by the pipeline. It provides functionality to analyse QSO and stellar spectra. More information is provided in the associated documentation. Read more...

December 21, 2018: MUSE Pipeline 2.6 released!

MUSE 2.6 is a maintenance release which corrects an issue where wiggles are visible in high signal-to-noise data of AO assisted observations. It also provides initial support for narrow field mode observations. Read more...

December 10, 2018: ESPRESSO Pipeline 1.1.0 released!

This is the first release of the pipeline.

To get announcements of new pipeline releases, send an email to eso-pipelines-announce-join@eso.org.

Getting Started

  1. Install the pipeline(s) using RPM packages, MacPorts packages or Source Kits.
  2. Detailed usage information can be found in the individual user manuals and tutorials available here

Three Ways to Run a Pipeline

  1. EsoReflex is the recommended environment to reduce ESO data. It automatically organizes input files according to their category and runs the entire reduction chain at the push of a button. It supports break points in the reduction sequence in order to inspect and interact with intermediate and final products and rerun the corresponding step if necessary.
  2. Gasgano is a Java-based data file organizer developed and maintained by ESO. It can be used to manage and organize in a systematic way the astronomical data observed and produced by all VLT compliant telescopes. Gasgano is a graphics-based software tool for organising and viewing data files produced by the VLT Control System. Gasgano offers functionalities for data viewing, grouping, sorting, classification, searching, and filtering of data. And, of course, Gasgano will run any requested CPL recipe on the selected data.
  3. EsoRex, a command-line utility for running pipeline recipes is also available. It may be embedded by users at their home institute into data reduction scripts for the automation of processing tasks.
The underlying algorithms and recipes are the same for a given instrument pipeline, irrespective if EsoReflex, Gasgano or Esorex is used.

Installation Instructions

Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux and macOS

Currently ESO provides binary packages for:

  • Fedora (24 to 27)
  • CentOS 7
  • Scientific Linux 7
  • macOS (10.10 to 10.13)
Users of those systems are encouraged to install the Instrument Pipeline packages using the RPM packages or the MacPorts packages respectively.
Please follow the installation instructions for RPM packages or MacPorts packages.

Source Kit package installation

Users of operating systems for which no RPM or MacPorts packages are currently available should follow the instructions in this section.

Software pre-requisites

Please consult the Software Prerequisites page before installing the pipelines or EsoReflex from source.

EsoReflex based Pipeline Installations

For an installation of pipeline packages with EsoReflex support please follow the instructions in this section.

  • Download the install_esoreflex script.

    Important: As of April 2018 there is a new version of the script. Please make sure you use that one.

  • If necessary, make it executable: chmod u+x install_esoreflex
  • Execute the command and follow the instructions: ./install_esoreflex
  • If you make use of any of these workflows in a scientific publication, please consider citing EsoReflex. You may reference the following paper: Automated Data Reduction Workflows for Astronomy: The ESO Reflex Environment, 2013, Freudling, W., et al., Astron.Astrophys., 559, A96 (Bibtex entry)

Installations without EsoReflex

If you want to install pipeline packages without EsoReflex support please follow the instruction in this section. It applies to all pipeline packages.

  • Download the desired pipeline kit(s) from the Source Kit column in the table below into an empty, temporary directory.
  • Download the Source Kit installer into the same directory.
  • If necessary, make it executable: chmod u+x install_pipelinekit
  • Execute the command: ./install_pipelinekit *-kit-*.*
  • After the installation the temporary directory with its contents can be deleted.

Instrument Pipeline Packages

Table rows marked with a blue background indicate EsoReflex workflow availability.
Instrument Release Notes Source Kit User Manual Cookbook Additional Documents Additional Datasets EsoReflex Tutorials Status
AMBER 2018-04-01 4.3.8 4.3.4
Operational on hold
CRIRES 2018-07-13 2.3.8 1.13
Operational on hold
DETMON 2018-04-19 1.3.4 1.3.4
Operational on hold
EFOSC 2018-03-21 2.3.1 1.1
Demo Data
Tutorial: 1.0 (EFOSC-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.0 (EFOSC-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.1
End of maintenance
ESPRESSO-DAS 2019-03-25 1.0.2 1.0.2
Tutorial: 1.0.2
Demo Data: 0.9.1
ESPRESSO 2019-03-25 1.2.2 1.2.2
Tutorial: 1.2.2
Demo Data: 0.1.9
FORS 2018-01-31 5.3.32 5.7
Demo Data (29 MB)
Tutorial: 1.2 (FORS-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.2 (FORS-PMOS)
Tutorial: 1.20 (FORS-SPEC)
Demo Data: 0.8
Operational on hold
GIRAFFE 2018-03-15 2.16.3 2.16.3
Standard Calibration Files page
Tutorial: 1.2
Demo Data: 0.3
Operational on hold
GRAVITY 2018-04-16 1.1.2 0.7
Tutorial: 1.0.11
Demo Data: 0.7
HAWKI 2018-08-10 2.4.3 2.4.3
Tutorial: 2.4.3
Demo Data: 0.5
Operational on hold
ISAAC 2018-02-20 6.1.7 1.4
Static Calibration Files (50 MB)
End of maintenance
KMOS 2019-04-26 2.6.0 3.5
Tutorial: 5.0
Demo Data: 2.2.0
MIDI 2018-04-01 2.9.0 2.8.5
End of maintenance
MUSE 2018-12-20 2.6 2.6
MUSE IFU 6 trace tables
Leagacy MUSE static calibrations
Tutorial: 12.0 (muse)
Tutorial: 3.0 (muse-zap)
Demo Data: 1.5
NACO 2018-04-20 4.4.6 1.1
Operational on hold
SINFONI 2018-05-08 3.1.1 19.10
ADA IV 2006 paper
Calibration Database Example (255 MB)
Demonstration Package (1.2 GB)
Tutorial: 1.10
Demo Data: 0.2
Operational on hold
SOFI 2018-01-12 1.5.10 1.2
End of maintenance
SPHERE 2018-04-23 0.36.0 1.36
Tutorial: 1.0 (ifs)
Tutorial: 1.0 (ird-img)
Tutorial: 1.0 (ird-lss)
Tutorial: 1.0 (zpl-img)
Tutorial: 1.0 (zpl-pol)
Demo Data: 1.3
UVES 2019-01-14 5.9.1 22.17 (UVES)
18.11 (UVES-FIBRE)
Demonstration Package (2.0 GB)
Tutorial: 6.12 (UVES)
Tutorial: 1.11 (UVES-FIBRE)
Demo Data: 4.4
Operational on hold
VCAM 2018-04-01 2.3.2 2.3.2
Tutorial: 2.3.2
Demo Data: 0.1
Operational on hold
VIMOS 2018-04-16 3.2.3 7.2
Demonstration Package (1.7 GB)
Tutorial: 2.4 (VIMOS-IFU)
Tutorial: 2.1 (VIMOS-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.4
Operational on hold
VISIR 2018-03-14 4.3.7 1.7
Tutorial: 1.1
Demo Data: 0.3
Operational on hold
XSHOOTER 2018-08-06 3.2.0 12.19.1
Additional NIR telluric model calatog (190 MB)
Tutorial: 2.18.1
Demo Data: 1.2
Operational on hold

Pipelines Status

The pipeline status determines the level of ESO support in fixing the software. For any help with installation and usage of a pipeline, please contact the helpdesk ticketing system (e-mail to usd-help@eso.org or "Ask for help" link in he User Portal homepage). ESO internal (operations) users should request support from the pipeline developers team using JIRA. Here are the possible entries:
  • Active: Pipelines that are affected by a data product upgrade are considered active in the sense that a project team is actively working on them. These pipelines are fully supported and have the highest priority for support. The support consists in prompt evaluation of all requests.
  • Operational on hold: Pipelines that are on hold are not under active development and are of lower priority for support. Pipelines are put into this status when they are considered to be essentially completed, i.e. no enhancements or upgrades are currently under way. The software support consists in porting these pipelines to new CPL versions, carrying out emergency repairs and fixing trivial problems. The User Support Department will evaluate and answer if possible the requests for help received via helpdesk (usd-help@eso.org), but by default there will be no available support from pipeline developers.
  • End of maintenance: Pipelines in this status are the lowest priority for support. The only work performed on these pipelines is to make sure they can still run in the current ESO environment. The User Support Department evaluates and answers if possible the requests for help received via helpdesk (usd-help@eso.org). Tickets reporting problems on the pipeline will not receive any software support.


Additional tools for data visualisation and analysis.
Release Information Release File
Includes CPL,Gasgano,EsoRex,
and static calibration data
Users Manual and Documentation Data Sets
CASA 3D Viewer Current CASA Release Current CASA Release 3D Visualisation Tool Manual
3D Visualisation Tool Cookbook
Visualisation Tool Data Format Specifications
Cookbook Demo Data
Sky Correction and Modeling Tools Molecfit
The skytools webpages provide access to the most recent information and software packages.


Publications, Reference Documents, and Links

A list of Data Reduction Frequently Asked Questions is available.

The ESO Quality Control Group processes VLT data and monitors the instrument and data quality. They provide an overview of data and data processing on their web pages.

If you make use of EsoReflex workflows in a scientific publication, please consider citing EsoReflex. You may reference the following paper: Automated Data Reduction Workflows for Astronomy: The ESO Reflex Environment, 2013, Freudling, W., et al., Astron.Astrophys., 559, A96 (Bibtex entry)

The latest applicable version of the Data Flow for VLT/VLTI Instruments Deliverable Specifications (VLT-SPE-ESO-19000-1618) is version 3.