VLT Instrument Pipelines

Latest News:

Jan 12, 2018: EFOSC pipeline version 2.3.0 released!

The EFSOC 2.3.0 release includes basic support for Reflex workflows.

Dec 22, 2017: SPHERE pipeline version 0.31.0 released!

The SPHERE 0.31.0 release fixes issues with the IFS wavelength calibration, the IRDIS and ZIMPOL zero-points and the ZIMPOL Strehl ratio along with a number of technical issues with the pipeline.

Nov 16, 2017: GRAVITY pipeline version 1.0.11 released!

The GRAVITY 1.0.11 release supports the new DPR keywords of the GRAVITY raw data and a number of other improvements and fixes.

Oct 19, 2017: UVES, UVES-FIBRE, X-shooter pipelines documentation updated!

Updated pipeline and reflex user manuals of UVES, UVES_FIBRE and X-shooter pipelines to clarify some sections and fix some typos.

Oct 4, 2017: MUSE pipeline version 2.2 released!

The MUSE 2.2 release provides initial support for WFM-AO observations, and a number of other improvements and fixes.

Jul 14, 2017: MUSE pipeline version 2.0.3 released!

The MUSE 2.0.3 release is a maintenance release which fixes a backwards compatibility issue when using an old-style standard response as input for muse_create_sky.

Jul 3, 2017: X-shooter pipeline version 2.9.3 released!

The X-shooter 2.9.3 release fixes portability problems to Mac OS.

Jun 2, 2017: X-shooter pipeline version 2.9.1 released!

The X-shooter 2.9.1 release fixes a bug in the reflex oca rules that was preventing reduction of X-shooter offset NIR data.

May 15, 2017: SOFI pipeline version 1.5.8 released!

The SOFI 1.5.8 release offers improvements in supported platforms and fixes an issue that prevents product creation for some of its recipes.

April 28, 2017: P-99 Instrument Pipeline Packages released!

For the start of period 99 updated versions of all Instrument Pipeline Packages are now available.

  • For the installation of RPM packages (Fedora 20 to 25, Scientific Linux 7) continue here
  • For the installation of MacPorts packages (OS X 10.9 to 10.12) continue here
  • For the source kit installation go here

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. Reflex 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 Reflex, Gasgano or Esorex is used.

Installation Instructions

Fedora Linux, Scientific Linux and macOS

Currently ESO provides binary packages for:

  • Fedora Linux (20 to 25)
  • Scientific Linux 7
  • macOS (10.9 to 10.12)
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 Reflex from source.

Installations without Reflex

If you want to install pipeline packages without Reflex 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.

Reflex based Pipeline Installations

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

  • Download the install_esoreflex script.

    Important: As of June 2017 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 Reflex. 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)

Instrument Pipeline Packages

Table rows marked with a blue background indicate Reflex workflow availability.
Instrument Release Notes Source Kit User Manual Cookbook Additional Documents Additional Datasets Reflex Tutorials Status
AMBER 2017-04-01 4.3.7 4.3.4
Operational on hold
CRIRES 2016-10-12 2.3.4 1.13
Operational on hold
DETMON 2016-02-15 1.3.0 1.3.0
Operational on hold
EFOSC 2018-01-12 2.3.0 1.1
Demo Data
Tutorial: 1.0 (EFOSC-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.0 (EFOSC-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.1
End of maintenance
FORS 2017-02-24 5.3.23 5.5.1
Demo Data (29 MB)
Tutorial: 1.1 (FORS-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.1 (FORS-PMOS)
Tutorial: 1.10 (FORS-SPEC)
Demo Data: 0.8
Operational on hold
GIRAFFE 2017-04-26 2.16.2 2.16
Standard Calibration Files page
Tutorial: 1.2
Demo Data: 0.3
Operational on hold
GRAVITY 2017-11-14 1.0.11 0.5
Tutorial: 1.0.11
Demo Data: 0.6
HAWKI 2017-04-01 2.2.0 2.2.0
Demonstration Package (2,5 GB)
Tutorial: 2.2.0
Demo Data: 0.5
Operational on hold
ISAAC 2016-02-15 6.1.5 1.4
Static Calibration Files (50 MB)
End of maintenance
KMOS 2017-02-24 1.4.3 3.1
Tutorial: 3.0
Demo Data: 1.2
MIDI 2017-04-01 2.8.9 2.8.5
End of maintenance
MUSE 2017-10-01 2.2 2.2
MUSE IFU 6 trace tables
Leagacy MUSE static calibrations
Tutorial: 10.0 (muse)
Tutorial: 2.0 (muse-zap)
Demo Data: 1.5
NACO 2017-02-24 4.4.3 1.1
Operational on hold
SINFONI 2017-04-19 3.0.0 19.8.1
ADA IV 2006 paper
Calibration Database Example (255 MB)
Demonstration Package (1.2 GB)
Tutorial: 1.8
Demo Data: 0.2
Operational on hold
SOFI 2017-05-15 1.5.8 1.2
End of maintenance
SPHERE 2017-12-22 0.31.0 1.31
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: 1.1
UVES 2017-10-19 5.8.2 22.15 (UVES)
Demonstration Package (2.0 GB)
Tutorial: 6.10 (UVES)
Tutorial: 1.9 (UVES-FIBRE)
Demo Data: 4.4
Operational on hold
VCAM 2017-04-01 2.3.1 2.3.1
Tutorial: 2.3.1
Demo Data: 0.1
Operational on hold
VIMOS 2017-04-24 3.1.9 7.0
Demonstration Package (1.7 GB)
Tutorial: 2.3 (VIMOS-IFU)
Tutorial: 2.0 (VIMOS-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.4
Operational on hold
VISIR 2017-02-24 4.3.3 1.7
Tutorial: 1.1
Demo Data: 0.3
Operational on hold
XSHOOTER 2017-10-19 2.9.3 12.17
Additional NIR telluric model calatog (190 MB)
Tutorial: 2.16
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.


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 and also provides a summary of current pipeline status.

If you make use of Reflex workflows in a scientific publication, please consider citing Reflex. 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.