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Installing the Fermi Science Tools

The current software is version v11r5p3, released Feb 15, 2018. It replaces version v10r0p5, released June 24, 2015.

Please read the Release Notes and Known Bugs.


The FSSC has created a Docker container pre-loaded with many of the necessary tools required to do Fermi Analysis. It includes the Fermi Science Tools, the HEASARC FTOOLS, Python 2.7 and associated libraries along with a host of other programs. This container will run on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

You can find it (with instructions) on github or Docker Hub.

If you are not using Docker, follow the instructions below to install the Science Tools.


Determine the distribution to use

You can install the Fermi Science Tools using either a source distribution or using a precompiled binary. The preferred method is to use the binary distribution.

For Linux systems, you will need to determine your machine architecture and libc version.

  • You can find your machine architecture on the command line using uname -m which should return something like i686 or x86_64. The current release of the Fermi Science Tools only supports 64-bit systems (x86_64 architecture).
  • You can find your libc version with the command ls /lib/libc-* which should return something like /lib/libc-2.12.so where the 2.12 is the libc version.

For macOS systems, select "About this Mac" from the Apple Menu which should display something like "macOS Sierra" at the top of the Overview screen.

If you are unsure which distribution to select, contact your system administrator.

The Fermi Science Tools will not build on any Mac OS X or macOS distribution before El Capitan or any Microsoft Windows OS. If you use one of these, we suggest trying the Docker container described above.


Binary Distributions

We recommend downloading and installing the Fermi Science Tools from the binary tar files. The many minor variations in the various Unix systems makes building the tools from source challenging.

The table below lists the operating systems on which the Fermi Science Tools have been successfully built from source and tested. It also includes the kernel and compiler versions used to build the package. We recommend using one of the binary builds that most closely matches your system.

Release Architecture libc Version Kernel Version Compiler Version
Scientific Linux 6 x86_64 2.12 2.6.32 gcc 4.4.7
Scientific Linux 7 x86_64 2.17 3.10.0 gcc 4.8.5
Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS) x86_64 2.23 4.13.0 gcc 4.7.4
Ubuntu 17.10 x86_64 2.26 4.13.0 gcc 7.2.0
Mac OS X El Capitan x86_64 15.6.0 llvm 8.0.0
macOS Sierra x86_64 16.7.0 llvm 9.0.0
Several of the binaries in the table above have been tested and found to work on other operating systems. Below is a list of those systems linked to the binary used for testing.

If your system doesn't match one of the tested systems, we suggest using one of the binary builds that most closely matches your system. So, if you are running a 64-bit operating system with libc-2.17 (see above for determining this) we suggest that you try the Scientific Linux 7 64-bit libc 2.17 distribution.

Once you have downloaded the appropriate binary, follow the installation instructions (they are also included in the tar file).

We have removed the ROOT package from the Science Tools. Currently, this breaks some models used by the observation simulator. If you need to those models, we have created one Ubuntu 16.04 binary distribution that includes ROOT.


Source Distribution

We only recommend trying to install the Fermi Science Tools from the Source Distribution if the binary distribution has failed. Once you have downloaded the source package, follow the installation instructions (they are also included in the tar file).


Errors and Bug Reports

Before submitting any bug reports please read the Known Bugs report for a listing of bugs that have been reported and are being worked on. Also, you should check the FSSC Frequently Asked Questions page. Your question may already have been answered.

If your problem is not covered then please submit a bug report and include this information with your question:

  1. The version of the operating system you are using, e.g., Scientific Linux release 6.5 (Carbon), and the output of uname -a, e.g., Linux xxxxx 2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Tue Nov 11 14:19:04 CST 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
  2. The results of the env command, e.g., env > env.txt
  3. The name of the tar file you downloaded from the FSSC and used to install the Fermi Science Tools
  4. If you are building the tools from the source distribution please also include the version of the compiler (gcc --version), e.g., gcc (GCC) 4.8.5 20150623 (Red Hat 4.8.5-16)

You can send your query via the FSSC helpdesk.