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OpenSkyImager is a capture program written for Astronomy camera operation.

Some of the code has been borrowed and/or adapted from other GPL/LGPL or other "free software" licensed projects.

Credits to individual authors or organizations can be found in source files where most appropriate.

Therefore, this program is licensed under GNU GPL 3.0.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

Supported camera list

As of version 0.9.4 several QHY camera are actively developed against: QHY2 (old color model),5,5II series,6 (both firmware),7,8(Old),8L,9,10,11,12, IC8300, QHY90A (experimental), minicam5S / minicam5F (experimental).

Models that have been 100% tested are: QHY2(old color model), QHY5, 5II series, 6 (both firmware),7, 8(Old), 8L, 9, 11, 12, IC8300.

For QHY90A, minicam5S, minicam5F the basic develop from Anat Ruangrassamee have been fully tested. However my integration into main project has not. That's why I prefer to have it marked as experimental.

Please note that through the iAstroHub package: OpenSkyImager can also be run on the IC8300 internal ARM system thus creating a pc free astronomy setup.

An optional support for SBIG camera (usb/ethernet) has been add. This is through sbigunidrv lib (Ver. 4.75). So ideally all models should be supported, while ST10, ST2k, ST-i have been used for real. Other models have been tested on the SBIG "camera simulator". All CFW models that are supported by unidrv should do, while CFW10 has been used for real. Other models have been tested on the SBIG "camera simulator". Library from latest devTookit has been provided to ease install process.

An optional support for SBIG parport camera has been add. Since unidrv dropped parport support, this is through a custom version URVC driver ( Ideally ST237/4/5C/6/7/8/9/10/1001 should do, ST8 had been used for real. No CFW is supported to date.

If your camera make/model does not appear in the list you can try contact us and see if it can be add in a near future. If your camera is in the list, but not 100% tested, please leat us know your user experience. You're also most welcome to volunteer for helping bebug.

For different camera make a freely available official technical documentation must be available and legally available firmware (if applicable) are needed. A GPL licensed linux SDK would sure speed up things a great deal.

For other QHY models we suggest to give a look at the official SDK release:

If firmware for your camera appears there, we may already be able to proceed, but your assistence will be needed for testing.

If not a request can be submitted on the QHY forum

Color filter wheel support

As of version 0.9.4 both QHY 5 positions 2" and the new QHYCFW2 series are supported. Both with serial and through camera connection. Models that are known to support cfw-through connection are QHY7/9/11/21/22/23. Also embedded CFW of minicam5F and QHY90A are supported.

Remote control

Starting from version 0.8.0 OpenSkyImager offers a remote control feature. For further details please see:


As of version 0.6.0 only embedded Us English, Italian, French and Chinese are available. Please feel free to volunteer for additional languages.

The program does conform to "gettext", the de facto standard as far as linux internationalization is concerned.

More in-deep instructions and hints may be found in the "files/po" folder.

Compiling and installing

As of version 0.9.0 the build mechanism has moved to CMake (many thanks to Marco Gulino for his invaluable help in the process).

Usual CMake/Make commands can of course be used, but a couple of install scripts have been provided, reworking those originally developed by Clive Rogers:

  • install_OSI.bash will install all that is needed to use QHY camera series
  • install_OSI_full.bash will add SBIG (unidrv) support and ATIK (libatikccd)

install_OSI_full will add unidrv latest driver if missing, while you'll need to download ATIK library from ( As of version 0.9.4 version 1.1 or 1.4 of the library is needed. Version 1.4 implements the "Preview mode" aka download speed selection. Version 1.1 will use "slow" download speed no matter the program setting.

(Notice: to install with URVC (aka SBIG parport) please see manual)

Both scripts will check for dependencies, (prompt for install if needed), CMake / Make and install the program in a suitable folder (sudo will be needed in order for the install process to be successful).

However should anyone prefer to do all by hands here's what's needed and how to:

Compiling your binary

The program was written to compile with both GTK2 and GTK3 toolkit. Unless CMake is forced to, GTK3 will have precedence over GTK2, when both are available on the system.

You will need these libraries, both binaries and dev. Please get them from your repo: GTK2 >= 2.20 / GTK3 >= 3.20 GLIB >= 2.24 CFITSIO LIBUDEV FXLOAD CMAKE

So far several combinations have been tested:

  • GTK2

    • Ubuntu 14.04 - unity (GTK2 2.24, Glib 2.40)
    • Mint13 (GTK2 2.24, Glib 2.32),
    • Ubuntu 11.10 (GTK2 2.24 GLib 2.30)
    • Mint 9 (GTK2 2.20 GLib 2.24)
  • GTK3

    • Ubuntu 14.04 - unity (GTK3 3.10, Glib 2.40)
    • Mint LMDE amd64 (GTK3 3.82, Glib 2.36)
    • Mint13 (GTK3 3.42, Glib 2.32)
    • Ubuntu 11.10 (GTK3 3.2 GLib 2.30)
    • Arm device (ASUS transformer TF101) using debian kit over android 4.1.x, running a deb wheezy, xrdp to display the X session

Please note that OpenSkyImager is now a part of iAstroHub automated astro imaging system (, this means that all ARM devices there listed are also supported and tested for real.

To compile your binary, once you got suitable libs as listed above, create a "build" folder inside the OpenSkyImager tree. Change to that folder and issue:

  • cmake .. (cmake -D FORCE_QHY_ONLY=off .. in order to add SBIG unidrv support)
  • make
  • sudo make install

Install will alse create a desktop file to have the program show in the system menu.

You can also use make clean to force a full recompile, make uninstall is also available to cleanup installed files.

You're not expected to see error messages or warnings while compiling. If so, let us know. Submit details for your hardware / software configuration so that we'll be able to track down any issue effectively.

User manual

As of version 0.8.8 the first release of a user manual has been created, thanks to the kind work of Mr. Clive Rogers.

Versions list

Please see:

Sincerely The OpenSkyProject team


OpenSkyImager is a capture program written for Astronomy camera operation







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