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Description IDL is a software for data analysis, visualization and cross-platform application developments. It integrates a powerful, array-oriented language with numerous mathematical analysis and display technique, giving high flexibility.
Version installed Ubuntu 18.04: 8.8.2 (installed in April 2022).

Installed IDL Libraries:
Fanning Coyote library, updated in January 2018;
IDL astro lib, updated in July 2018;
Markwardt IDL Library, updated in September 2016;
Motley library, installed in Dec 2009.

Additional libraries (not installed by default) are available, for instance see the JHU/APL/S1R IDL Page.
Usage At the command prompt, type:
idl  to start idl in command line mode
idlde  to start the IDL development interface (recommended)
idlhelp  or idlman to start the GUI help window
By default, these commands launch IDL v8.8.2

If you have problems with colors and are working on a 24-bit display, read the page: IDL FAQs.
You can also create your own IDL startup file in order to execute IDL commands automatically every time you start IDL.
Upgrade Notes See the IDL 8.8.2 Release Notes for a list of new features and updates in IDL v8.8.2
Manuals and
Use the online help, or start idlhelp (which does not not pick up any licence). You also can type widget_olh within idl.
From time to time, the idlhelp command doesn't open any window (for reasons we fail to understand). If this happens to you, please start idlde and use the Help menu there.

Other sources of information are the Harris IDL website, the IDL User Forum, and the D. Fanning Consulting Page which contains many other interesting links. The Links to other Astronomy and IDL related sites and the IDL Programming Resources web pages too provide lists of IDL-related libraries and sites.

See also the course given by Alexandre Vazdekis, First Steps in IDL, or R. Kroll's course given quite a few years ago.
SIE contact Nicola Caon - - tel: 5383 - office: 1.124
Additional Info IDL borrow feature
You can borrow an IDL license for off-network use. If interested, do get in touch with us.

Floating Licenses:
At present, there are 73 floating license "tokens" available in the Unix network, including the CCA. Please do not use more licenses than necessary, at times of high demand (typically from 10am to 5pm on weekdays), and please exit IDL promptly when you are finished.

Wavelet Toolkit
Several licences for the Wavelet Toolkit are also available (since 16 March 2005).

Advanced Math and Stats Module
Since September 2009 two floating licenses for this module are available.

IDL hanging?
Some users have reported that IDL hangs sometimes when starting it from a remote machine, accessed through a ssh connection. The problem seems related to some sort of conflict with the graphics cards and driver in the local and remote machine. We applied a fix consisting in disabling the GL driver in a separate patched IDL installation, as this fix may have a negative impact on the speed or quality of other regular graphic routines (this workaround will cause IDL to use software based object graphics rendering rather than OpenGL hardware acceleration). To start the patched IDL version, type: idl87p