Georg Zotti edited this page Oct 11, 2018 · 19 revisions
Note: this FAQ is a short list of answers to common problems. It is not supposed to be a substitute for the user's guide that provides much more detailed information about using Stellarium, landscapes, customization, astronomy, etc. This page will only list the bare minimum to get you up and running. If you have any other questions about Stellarium, you can:
  • look at the list of frequently asked questions in Stellarium's support system;
  • ask a question in Stellarium's support system (requires registration in Launchpad);
  • ask a question in Stellarium's Feedback forum (existing registrations from other sites, including Google and Yahoo, can be used).

Table of Contents

General questions

What is Stellarium?

Stellarium is an open source desktop planetarium for Linux/Unix, Windows and MacOSX. It renders the skies in realtime using OpenGL, which means the skies will look exactly like what you see with your eyes, binoculars, or a small telescope. Stellarium is very simple to use, which is one of its biggest advantages: it can easily be used by beginners. The Stellarium project was started by Fabien Chéreau during the summer of 2001 and uses Sourceforge intensively. Access the Sourceforge project page here.

Is Stellarium free?

Yes! Stellarium is open source software. Anyone has the right to download and use the software for free, to distribute it without modifying to other people, or modify the source code, all of this under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Where can I download Stellarium?

Via the top icons on the homepage or here on the releases page. Stellarium is now hosted on Github servers. Do not download from freeloader sites who may add "safe downloader" apps with adware. And do not fall into the trap of some dealers on ebay who sell rebranded software. Such individuals betray developers and deceive their customers.

Where can I provide feedback?

Your ideas and comments are invaluable to Stellarium. Have a look at the homepage to see where you can get personal support, ask for new features, report bugs and even submit your own patches.

Reporting a crash

Every few days we have a question along the lines of saying "I tried to install on my computer, and it does not work."

What does such a message say to us?

"I have some kind of computer, bought likely 1995-2017, consisting of some box with keyboard and screen, and some operating system that allows me to go online and download software. Some version of Stellarium does not work here."

What do you think we can do with such a report? Yes, NOTHING! We have to ask for more information. This takes lots of our (spare) time and energy we could otherwise use for improving the software.

Before reporting a crash, please read and understand FAQ "Common Problems with Version 0.13", and update your graphics card drivers. If problems persist, continue.

When reporting a crash, please list:

  • Platform and operating system: Windows (XP? Vista? 7? 8? 8.1? 10? 32bit? 64bit?), MacOSX (which?), Linux (which?)
  • What kind of graphics card do you have? Driver version?
  • Which version of Stellarium causes problems: NAME OF THE DOWNLOADED FILE or "built from sources at revision <9645> with Qt <version></version>(5.3.2, 5.4, 5.5?), <tools></tools> (specify which: MinGW, MSVC2010/2012?), CLang, cmake/gcc/...? ANGLE or OpenGL?)"
  • The LOGFILE. From your program menu, there should be a link to "Last Run Log". Copy&Paste its contents. If logfile is empty (i.e., crash is really immediately, very early at start), please say so.
  • If crash was not immediately at startup, actions that lead to it. (Keypress sequence, some scenario to reliably recreate the crash.)
Please don't expect further help if sending very incomplete reports. Thanks for your understanding.

Logfile has no details

Some Linux systems have a system-wide Qt configuration which inhibits most of our logfile debug messages. If you want to report an error and the logfile does not contain a box with the sentence "This is Stellarium <version number>", please do the following:

Add a file ~/.config/QtProject/qtlogging.ini with the contents:


With these settings, the logfile will have the required details to identify many problems.

Installing Stellarium

What are Stellarium's system requirements?

A graphics card capable of rendering OpenGL 3.1. Stellarium is also fairly processor intensive, so you will get higher framerates with faster processors. Any reasonably recent computer should be able to run Stellarium. Furthermore your computer should be running a Linux, Windows or MacOSX operating system.

System requirements for version 0.13.3:


  • Linux/Unix; Windows 7 and above (still on XP? Try the "classic" version!); OS X 10.7.4 and above
  • 3D graphics card which supports OpenGL 3.1
  • 512 MiB RAM
  • 250 MiB on disk
  • Linux/Unix; Windows 7 and above; OS X 10.8.5 and above
  • 3D graphics card which supports OpenGL 3.3 and above
  • 1 GiB RAM or more
  • 1.5 GiB on disk

How do I install Stellarium?

For Windows users, run the downloaded file "stellarium-0.18.0-win64.exe" (or similar) and follow the instructions. For Linux users, the easiest is to find a pre-compiled package for your distribution. But it is also possible to compile the program yourself: detailed compilation instructions for Linux, Posix, Cygwin and MacOSX are available in the "INSTALL" file. Mac OSX users should download the dmg file, double click on it to open, the application is contained inside, drag the application to your Applications folder.

How do I uninstall Stellarium?

  • For Windows users, uninstall Stellarium using the "Add or Remove Programs" applet in the Windows control panel.
  • For Linux users, use your package manager if you installed a pre-compiled version.
  • If you compiled yourself you can uninstall by typing make uninstall in the compilation directory.
  • If you compiled yourself, ran make install as root afterwards, and removed the compilation directory
    • First redownload (if necessary) and extract the source of the version that is installed
    • To see what version you've installed run: stellarium --version
    • Then run: mkdir build; cd build; cmake ..; sudo make uninstall

Using Stellarium

How do I start using Stellarium?

  • Set your location first! The default location is Paris, France, but on startup an IP-based lookup tries to guess your approximate location. You can click on your location on the map in the location window, or enter coordinates manually. Don't forget to save the changes. Do that by clicking "set as default", and switch off the automatic lookup. From now on, the sky will look exactly as it looks where you live when you run Stellarium. If you take Stellarium along on a trip with a laptop, you will need to adjust your location of course (or activate the IP-based lookup).
  • Use the mouse or arrow keys to look around.
  • Use the page up and page down keys to zoom in and out.
  • Use the left mouse button to select an object, the right button to deselect the object and middle mouse button or spacebar to center on the selected object.
  • Zooming on nebulas or planets is very interesting...
  • J slows down or reverses speed, L increases time speed, and K makes time return to normal speed.
  • Press the F1 key for help.

How do I change the default window size?

There is no GUI option specifying your default window size in the menu, in case you don't run fullscreen mode. Resize the window by dragging a lower corner (you must grab accurately!) and press "Save Settings" in the configuration window. Alternatively, you can open the config.ini file with a text editor, and find the screen_w and screen_h values. Set the numbers to the desired dimensions, save the file and restart Stellarium: enjoy the view!

Is there a User's Guide to Stellarium?

Yes. Find out everything you want to know about Stellarium, and the astronomic principles you see demonstrated in the program. Essential reading. It comes packed with the Windows installation file or as separate download from

On Windows, you can access it from your Start Menu, program group Stellarium.

I don't read documentation. Where is that config.ini file you are always pointing to?

The Guide, chapter 5, tells you.

BTW, you should read the documentation.


How do I use other constellation art in Stellarium?

Want to use other drawings than the ones included in Stellarium, like your own drawings, or antique drawings from the Uranographia?

You will need to change the constellation textures, and possibly adjust their coordinates in the constellationsart.fab file. If they're not burdened by restrictive copyrights, you can share the set you made with the rest of the community. See the User Guide for details.

Is it possible to show more stars?

Stellarium uses the Hipparcos catalog, which contains over 120000 stars. It is currently not possible to use other star catalogs. Additional stars allowed in Stellarium may be found at the sourceforge download site:

Is Stellarium available in my language?

Starting from version 0.8.0, Stellarium can be tailored to show your language. Settings are in the preferences window, or in the config.ini file. It is possible that the translation isn't complete yet, so we would be grateful if the talented translators among the Stellarium users would contribute to the translations. Info about the process is on the translation page.

Adding a comet to Stellarium with the Solar System Editor plug-in

An explanation about how to enable the Solar System Editor plug-in in Stellarium 0.11 and later and add a comet, for example C/2010 X1 (Elenin):

1. Enable the Solar System editor plug-in if it hasn't been enabled:

1.1. Open the "Configuration window" and go to "Plugins";

1.2. Select "Solar System Editor" in the left column (the plug-in's description should appear);

1.3. If the "load at startup" box is not checked, check it and restart Stellarium.

2. Go to the same plug-in screen, select the same plug-in and click on the "configure" button.

3. In the window that opens, go to the "Solar System" tab, then click on the "Import elements in MPC format window".

4. In the window that opens, select "Comets", then "Download a list of objects from the internet".

4.1. If you are using 0.10.6, copy this URL to the "URL" box:

4.2. If you are using 0.11.0, just select "MPC's list of observable comets" from the bookmarks list.

5. Click the "Get orbital elements" button and wait for the file to be downloaded.

6. After it has finished downloading, it should display a list of comets. Find the comet(s) you want to add in the list, check the checkbox in front of it and click the "Add objects" button. (In this case, look for C/2010 X1 (Elenin). In future versions, you will be able to search/filter the list.)

After the comet has been added, you can find it in the "Search" window: start typing the name of the comet for it to appear in the list of suggestions. The name should be written in the same way as it was displayed in the list, for example C/2010 X1.

Adding Satellite Elements from a Local File

This may be a way to share Satellite Elements among various users on various systems with less use of the sometimes scarce bandwidth of Elements servers, or of supplying elements not available from some servers.

Format your file in TLE format, similar to (A detailed description is in:

Use a browser to navigate to this file with a URL with the scheme "file:///...". Copy that URL and paste it into the Configuration dialog at "Configuration->Plugins->Satellites->Configure->Sources". Click on "Settings->Update now". "Save settings as default".

Common problems

Unsigned installer: Dangerous to Download? Malware?

Some operating systems, web browsers or malware protection systems claim that downloading or installing Stellarium may be dangerous because the publisher is unknown, or the installer has not been signed with some security certificate.

Apart from addictively stealing your time observing Stellarium's sky rendition, Stellarium is not dangerous and should not harm anything or anybody (but please read the GPL disclaimer about no guarantee or non-fitness for particular purpose etc.). The browser or install warning panel should offer some way to accept this warning and continue the download or installation if you are comfortable.

However, make sure to download Stellarium from,, or, and not some repackaged installation from freeware sites which may pack extra software or adware into their own installers or wrap our ready-made package into "safe downloader apps" (which usually add adware) or may change browser settings (change default browser, modify default search engine, ...) or other things you don't want and we cannot control.

OpenSSL problems in the Logfile, missing HiPS Surveys (Windows)

0.18: If you want to configure HiPS surveys and the solar system objects list is empty, the logfile may show errors around QSslSocket: cannot resolve TLSv1_1_client_method QSslSocket: cannot resolve TLSv1_2_client_method QSslSocket: cannot resolve TLSv1_1_server_method QSslSocket: cannot resolve TLSv1_2_server_method QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_CTX_new QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_CTX_free QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_CTX_set_ssl_ctx QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_CTX_set_flags QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_CTX_finish QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CONF_cmd QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_select_next_proto QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CTX_set_next_proto_select_cb QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_get0_next_proto_negotiated QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_set_alpn_protos QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_CTX_set_alpn_select_cb QSslSocket: cannot resolve SSL_get0_alpn_selected

You need to install OpenSSL libraries e.g. from or elsewhere. (This site is not related to Stellarium.) Install at least the 32bit Lite package.

Stellarium running very slowly

On Windows this indicates your system may be running in "Mesa Mode". This may happen when hardware rendering is disabled because of missing drivers, or if you don't have compatible hardware-accelerated graphics at all. Your PC may be too old (from 2008 or older, or some netbook with Atom CPU from 2010?) If you have a 3D video card or at least a modern processor (CPU) with built-in GPU capabilities, make sure that your OpenGL drivers are installed and up to date.

You can download up-to-date drivers for:

Mouse cursor invisible

This is a known long-time defect for the default OpenGL mode on Windows when you have Mouse Trails enabled or another reason to use a "software cursor", like f.lux screen color temperature modifier.

Workaround (1) Use ANGLE mode when you need mouse trails or f.lux.

Workaround (2) Make sure to switch off mouse trails to avoid this problem.

Menu invisible (Windows)

Update OpenGL drivers or run ANGLE mode with DirectX v9. To run Stellarium in ANGLE mode, press START, go into the Stellarium program folder, and start "Stellarium (ANGLE mode)"

My local language isn't complete, or some terms are incorrect

Translations in Stellarium are a community effort, so it is possible that a local translator started the project, but never finished it, or didn't find help with some specific words. You can help us here: Translation tips are on this page: Translation using gettext

High DPI screens

If you are lucky enough to have a High DPI screen (4k or similar), you may find the GUI fonts are too small. We received an anonymous hint with a solution (untested by us) that may work at least on Windows:

 >here is the solution to the problem....
 >I tried this on my Hi DPI machine and it works great with Stellarium 14!

Netbook with only 1024x600 screen

You can reduce text label size requirements a bit by reducing [gui]/base_font_size in config.ini. But a 600 pixel screen is really very narrow, we need some space for the many options. More people complained about the tiny GUI on their 4k screens...

Some other software titles reject to start with less than 768 lines of screen space. There may be a screen driver setting that allows setting 768 lines which are then squeezed back to the 600 physical display lines. This enables you to use those programs, but of course this distorts the view vertically. To compensate the distortion in Stellarium, you can use a startup.ssc script in your scripts folder:

 // Startup.ssc for netbook screen setup.
 // Author: Georg Zotti
 // This is usable on a netbook with physical 1024x600 screen with a display driver set to
 // 1024x768 resolution. GUI panels may be better accessible with such setting.
 // The distortion caused by this setting will be compensated by this script.

Note that this only (un-)distorts the projected sky, not any GUI panels. These will still require their pixel sizes, which is often a bit more than 600 lines, but the program thinks it is running in 768 lines and the panels should now fit. Legibility of some labels may suffer a bit, though.

Some system dialogs (Colors, Screenshot Dir) hidden

On Windows and with some older models of NVidia GeForce (reported for 580M, 770), the color settings dialog in the gridline panel and ArchaeoLines plugin, and the file dialog for changing screenshot directory may hide behind the full-screen window when Stellarium is running in Fullscreen and OpenGL mode. The color dialog works in ANGLE mode. On a GeForce GTX 960M we see no problem.

A similar issue has been reported for an Intel HD4600 system with driver Build On another Intel HD4600 system with driver Build, we cannot reproduce this issue.

We interpret this as NVidia (or Intel, resp.) driver issue. If you are affected, run Stellarium in ANGLE mode or leave fullscreen mode before changing colors or directory. Pressing ESC should close the hidden system dialog, or press Alt-Tab to switch windows.

Common problems with version 0.16/0.17/0.18

General graphics issues

Hardware requirements have not changed since V0.13 (see Common problems with 0.13). Stellarium should work on most computers from 2010 and later, and on older computers equipped with dedicated graphics cards from around 2008 or later, when drivers are up-to-date.

For old computers, we keep a branch of the last series based on Qt4 still alive. Please use version 0.12.9. It included a few backports for important new features, but please note that this old version does not receive much focus.

If you are new to Stellarium and are in doubt that something may not work as expected, please see Common problems with 0.13) and Common problems with 0.14/0.15).

Mac OS X problems

We received reports about slowdown of Mac systems compared to 0.15.0. We do however not have enough qualified reports to identify the problem or identify a group of affected systems (e.g. GPU hardware families).

One more detailed report has indicated that only trackpad interaction is slow while mouse works as fast as it has worked previously. This helped to narrow the problem. It seems the problem has been largely improved in version 0.18.0.

Common problems with version 0.14/0.15

"Get location from Network" fails

Since spring of 2018 the location service has changed in a way that unfortunately leads to a crash in the 0.15 series. Later versions are at least robust enough to record the problem in the logfile. Update to version 0.18 or later, or remember not to use this function.

General graphics issues

Hardware requirements have not changed since V0.13 (see Common problems with 0.13).

Particular note for Windows 10 upgraders: If you upgrade some older computer, you may have to also upgrade graphics drivers manually. Not all graphics card manufacturers provide drivers for Win10 explicitly for their old hardware, but some drivers for Win7/Win8 may work. If Stellarium V0.11 worked for you some years ago, it should work also here. If the hardware allows it, V0.14 will also work. Don't expect latest programs to run on outdated hardware without latest drivers though.

Instead of special packages for older hardware, thanks to developments in Qt5.5 the Windows version now comes with links to force ANGLE (OpenGL to DirectX translation) or MESA (software rendering) modes. Modern hardware should be able to run the untagged "Stellarium" link, and you can happily delete the ANGLE and MESA startup links. Older hardware may require the special links and maybe even special handling which we learned ourselves from

ANGLE mode

We have first reports about missing menu buttons which seem to be related to errors in the ANGLE driver in Direct3D11 mode. If the logfile indicates something about GL renderer is "ANGLE (XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Direct3D11 vs_x_0 ps_y_0)" , you may be lucky if you set an environment variable QT_ANGLE_PLATFORM=d3d9 or even QT_ANGLE_PLATFORM=warp. Of course, the requirements vs_2_0/ps_3_0 or better remain the same for hardware acceleration.

MESA mode

It appears that on some hardware even the MESA version which should emulate a proper GPU fails. It is very unclear at the moment what we could do here. Software rendering is also available via ANGLE, so maybe try the ANGLE version with environment variable QT_ANGLE_PLATFORM=warp and please report with your logfile if this helps. Alternatively, please copy the file opengl32.dll from an earlier version into the Stellarium 0.14 program folder and rename it to opengl32sw.dll. This worked in one case, but not in another.


We have reports that upgrading to El Capitan solved graphic issues.

Common problems with version 0.13

OpenGL issues

V0.13 is the first release based on Qt5, which brought several technical changes. The most critical is that rendering graphics with Qt5 requires at least OpenGL2.1 support. This normally utilizes a dedicated piece of hardware, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Any recent (say, post-2011) hardware should provide sufficient functionality, but you may need to update the driver not just with the built-in Update driver search of your operating system, but with drivers downloadable from the graphic card manufacturer's website. (Sometime drivers for notebooks can only be found at the respective notebook manufacturer's support websites, and using the reference drivers from GPU manufacturers may not be completely compatible.)

In fact, the shader programs (which drive the computation on the GPU) used by Stellarium V0.13 and later require even GLSL1.30, which came only with OpenGL3.0, although some OpenGL2.1 cards also support it.

This requirement is valid for all platforms (Win/Mac/Linux, in any flavor). As always, update drivers if you see graphic problems (missing characters, flickering, ...) where there should not be any. Read the log file for warnings hinting at graphics problems. (You find the log file either in the application's help menu, or via start menu->Stellarium->Last run log.)

Graphics cards which are no longer supported by Stellarium 0.13 and later include early ATI/AMD Radeon cards up to and including the Xxxx series (built 2004/05), NVidia up to GeForce FXxxx (2003/04), and Intel GMA before X3000, unfortunately also including the popular Atom-based netbooks of 2010. For such systems, you need the MESA software rendering (circumventing the outdated graphics card on Windows, at cost of very slow performance), or you may use an older version of Stellarium. MESA is also used in many Linux installations, but allows hardware acceleration.

The following is particularly directed towards Windows users.

In doubt, you can verify your GPU's capabilities with tools like "GPU Caps Viewer" (free download). If this shows support for OpenGL 1.4, 1.5 or 2.0 only, and your PC is otherwise still OK, you may consider upgrading your PC at least with a dedicated entry-level graphics card. If this is not possible, read below for MESA support.

We are providing two flavours of Windows versions. One uses OpenGL drivers directly. This should work with graphics cards from AMD/ATI series Radeon HD-2xxx and later, NVidia 8xxx and later, or Intel HD Graphics (built into Core-i processors of the "Sandy Bridge" generation) and later. Make sure you use the latest drivers from your graphics card manufacturer.

The other uses ANGLE, which translates OpenGL to DirectX on Windows 7 and later. Also here we need hardware providing DirectX VertexShader 2_0 and PixelShader 3.0 (vs_2_0 ps_3_0), i.e. DirectX10. This should include even earlier graphics cards: ATI/AMD X1xxx, NVidia 6xxx, Intel GMA X3000. Again, keep your drivers updated! Current trial versions seem to run even on WinXP, but are not 100% stable. ANGLE is officially only supported on Win7 and later, we cannot therefore do anything if it does not work on your particular XP PC.

For systems without hardware capable of supporting OpenGL2.1 with GLSL1.30 or DirectX/ps_3_0, we provide a Windows 32 build that includes the MESA software OpenGL library (providing the required minimum of OpenGL2.1 and GLSL1.30) as optional item to be selected during installation. MESA totally circumvents the GPU, all graphics is rendered with the CPU (Central Processing Unit; this is the device referred to as "Pentium", "Celeron", "Athlon", "Xeon", "Core i5", "Atom", etc.) only. Of course, this lack of dedicated hardware means a severe slowdown, but a slow system with good graphics may still be preferrable to a dysfunctional one. MESA can make use of multicore CPUs, so if you have e.g. an older multicore CPU system with only Intel GMA graphics, performance may still be OK.

So, if the OpenGL version shows problems (message about "Insufficient OpenGL support" at startup, crash just seconds after launch, or graphical errors like broken screen fonts, planets not rendered, ...) please install the OpenGL version with MESA addon. You may check for graphic-related problems in the logfile (linked from the start menu).

Problems with comets (v0.13.0 only)

Version 0.13.0 was the first to display comet tails. When you add comets with the solar system editor plugin, you may be tempted to include all observable comets from the MPC database. Please don't do that in version 0.13.0! Stellarium gets very slow, because computation and rendering of hundreds of tails takes lots of computation. You should select the < 50 comets you really want to observe and only add or update elements for those. The situation has been corrected in V0.13.1.

Too many deep-sky objects (v0.13.3 only)

Version 0.13.3 brought some more nebulae catalogs. Unfortunately visibility function was not well-balanced however, and some users are unhappy about too many (!) objects. You can simply replace the respective files in the program directory (win64: C:\Program Files\Stellarium\nebulae\default) by empty files. V0.14 will provide better visibility balance and catalog selection options.

Common problems with version 0.12

To remove 90% of the common problems like strange graphics effects after an update to 0.12, or stars rendered as triangles, upside-down sky, strange text characters, off-center or distorted appearance of the sky sphere and other effects:

  1. Make sure you have the LATEST DRIVERS for your graphics card installed.
  2. Delete config.ini. Some LEFT-OVER ENTRIES may interfere with recent changes.
  3. Esp. on OLDER HARDWARE: Try "No OpenGL2 mode" (may also be called "fallback mode"). --- if this helps, please file a bug report and ATTACH THE LOG FILE log.txt to let us improve startup diagnostics to immediately launch without attempting OpenGL2 mode which later caused problems. Really ancient systems (built around 2002) may have to use older versions (0.12.0 or 0.11.*) of Stellarium.
  4. MISSING MOUSE? There are recent reports about missing mouse cursor on Windows 8. Switching off mouse trails may help!
  5. In any case, when all this does not work and you still need to report a problem, PLEASE ATTACH THE LOG FILE log.txt TO YOUR BUG REPORT!

Old Problems (0.11 and earlier)

These questions were moved from the older wiki, and many are kept here for historical reasons only. Most issues should be superseded.

I can't install Stellarium.

Read the installation instructions contained in the "INSTALL" file, which comes with Stellarium.

Stellarium installs, but does not run.

0.9.0 / OSX

If you have upgraded from an older version of Stellarium, and your old config.ini file was set so that Stellarium started in full screen mode, 0.9.0 will fail to start. Just edit your config.ini file and edit the line with the fullscreen setting so the value is false.

For other problems, we can offer some accounts of what people experienced in the past. Maybe a file necessary for Stellarium was corrupted or badly formatted in some way. Try reinstalling, don't forget to backup any Stellarium files you might have customized.

Stellarium reports basic actions on standard output and standard error. This output can be read in the cmd window on Windows, or can be seen by starting Stellarium from a terminal in Linux and OS X. Have a read of this output and see if there is any helpful information. If you can't fix your problem, post a support request, and include this output.

Stellarium does not start on Mac OS X 10.4

Mac OS X 10.4 is no longer supported.

The Stellarium 0.10.6 package available from the website is built for Mac OS X 10.5 and later. The last official Stellarium version that has a package for OS X 10.4 is Stellarium 0.10.5.

You can compile Stellarium for Mac OS X 10.4.x from source code yourself. Instructions are available in the Stellarium Wiki

Message on console, "locale::facet::_S_create_c_locale name not valid"

If stellarium does not start, and you see this message on the console:

 terminate called after throwing an instance of 'std::runtime_error'
   what():  locale::facet::_S_create_c_locale name not valid
 Abort trap

Try setting the LC_ALL environment variable to "C" and re-run.

Stellarium crashes after it has been running for a while.

Stellarium is pretty processor intensive. This means things can get quite warm inside your computer. If you experience freezes or computer crashes, you might have a heat problem. If this is the case, other processor intensive tasks such as mp3 encoding should lead to the same problem. In the newest versions, a frame rate limiter is present. That should solve your problem.

Some moons are in another position than they should be.

Currently we have no accurate ephemeris for Charon and no ephemeris for Neptunian satellites at all. The other satellite ephemeris should be correct. When you compare with what you see in your telescope you should enable light travel time compensation in config.ini.

The non-Latin font for my language doesn't show up

Chances are your language is included, but the program doesn't include a font for your language, as we're concerned about download size. Find a font for your language, and tell the program which font to use in the config.ini file. See Display complex characters in Stellarium for more details.

I'm having display problems (e.g. fonts render as dots)

Problems range from missing parts in the Stellarium interface, text display problems (on S3 and ATI Rage graphics cards), to missing stars. They mostly occur on older hardware, or on specific on-board graphics chips (an onboard Geforce 4MX user solved the problem by reverting to the older driver for his model). We advise experimenting with the graphics driver (updating, changing settings, reverting to older versions) if you're comfortable doing this. For users experiencing problems with S3 graphics controllers, update the driver to the S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR driver for Windows XP.

Many GUI enhancement, theme engine and skinning programs for Windows can cause problems with OpenGL applications including Stellarium. Please try disabling these if you have them running: WindowBlinds, WindowFX, ObjectDock, IconPackager and Entbloess (and similar programs).

I can't record scripts (on Windows)

Note: Since version 0.10.1, Stellarium has a new scripting engine. The text below applies to versions prior to that.
Stellarium attempts to save a Stellarium script file (.sts) in your user directory. On international versions of Windows, this doesn't work perfectly yet, as the program is looking for the English "Documents and Settings" folder. Workaround: open the stderr.txt file in the Stellarium directory to see where Stellarium is trying to write, create that folder, and you should be able to record scripts now.

When in full screen mode, I still see some of my desktop (on Windows)

If you run WindowBlinds or another skinning/theme program, try de-activating it, or adding Stellarium to the list of applications which should be excluded.

I can't save screenshots (on Windows Vista)

Vista doesn't allow most user programs to write to the Desktop directory. You can choose another directory to save screenshots to by editing the shortcut in the start menu which is used to start Stellarium, like this:

 stellarium.exe --screenshot-dir "C:\Path\To\Dir"

In version 0.10.1, the screenshot save directory can be set via the GUI, in the Tools tab of the Configuration window.

Object information in the upper left corner is unreadable

In Stellarium 0.10-0.12, and still in rare occasions later, on some systems the information field that appears in the upper left corner when an object is selected is unreadable - the characters are garbled or missing.

On Windows: Try starting Stellarium from the "Stellarium (no OpenGL2)" shortcut in Stellarium's Start menu folder. If it works, you can copy it to the desktop and replace the original shortcut.

On Linux: Try starting Stellarium from a console with one of the following commands:

  stellarium --safe-mode
  stellarium --fix-text        (V0.15 and later only)

On Mac OS X: Try the same solution as with Linux, though it may turn out to be necessary to specify the full path to Stellarium's executable file (the application bundle, "").

Other platforms

Stellarium for Blackberry Playbook

Stellarium developers are not affiliated with Stellarium (Astronomy StarMap) for Blackberry Playbook OS. Please ask your question for developers from Ontario Inc. -


Can I use Stellarium screenshots in my book/website/calendar etc?


If you want to use screenshots for publications, videos, presentations etc., this is fine in principle for non-profit productions if credit is given. However, some of the images and textures used by Stellarium are copyright by others, and may require separate attribution or copyright/use clarification with the original authors. There was a lengthy discussion.

The README file in the program folder contains all known credits, references and special licenses for images and data.

"There is no year 0", or "BC dates are a year out"

Stellarium 0.9.1 and later uses astronomical year numbering.

The conventional BC/AD (or BCE/CE) scheme has no year 0 because at the time of its creation, historians and chronologists were widely ignorant of the concept of the number zero, thus the year before 1 AD is 1 BC. This makes arithmetic awkward, and for this reason astronomers often use a different scheme, referring to AD dates as a positive integer, and re-designating 1 BC/BCE as the year 0. Thus:

Julian Common Era Astronomical
2 AD 2 CE 2
1 AD 1 CE 1
1 BC 1 BCE 0
2 BC 2 BCE -1
3 BC 3 BCE -2
See also this brief explanation on the NASA website.

USA Eclipse 2017

In case you want to use Stellarium to create contact time or visibility predictions for your observation location for the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, please note:

Stellarium was never planned to be a highly accurate eclipse predictor. Over the last few years Stellarium has become more accurate, but is still not perfect. Two slight inaccuracies in computation in versions prior to 0.16 quite strongly affected eclipse accuracy, in the order of 1 minute. In 0.16.0, we hope to have solved these two, and a few tests have shown only a few seconds of contact time difference between Stellarium and predictions found on websites dedicated to the eclipse of 2017.

For all you die-hard XP users: this version (only the "classic" flavour) still even works on XP. Make sure to update graphics drivers though. A Geforce 9600 crashed with 335 drivers, but works with 340 drivers.

Therefore we think Stellarium is now a pretty good tool also for illustrating TSE2017-08-21, but if you need utmost accuracy for contact times or durations, e.g. to pre-program camera timers, please get predictions from such dedicated websites as

In any case, take care and protect your eyes from direct sunlight, and else, "Clear Skies" for your observations!

Why don't you implement...

We have recently received a surge of requests mostly by anonymous people expressing what they would like to have or like to see in Stellarium. Usually along the lines of "Program X has this feature, why not Stellarium?" or "It cannot be so difficult to have that feature" (giving very vague hints of things totally untrivial to solve properly).

Some wishes cleary reflect the wish of a single (usually anonymous) user for one particular research question or application. Others may be nice extensions geared towards more users. Others contradict Stellarium's prime use as pretty simulation of the real terrestrial night sky.

Apparently some of you misunderstand the way this free and open-source software is being developed. This is no company, and the few volunteer developers do not receive money for their work on Stellarium. (Donations go into supporting infrastructure, web hosting etc.) Therefore we have no fear of "losing customers" or "losing market share" when some feature is not being included the way you would like to have it. If you prefer Program X, please use it. If program Y is better suited for some job than Stellarium currently is, it is only sane to use Program Y instead of waiting for Stellarium to add all features of Program Y. The fastest way to get some feature into Stellarium, especially particular hardware support for expensive telescopes, is to implement it yourself.

Understand the license:

  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
  without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY
  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

We welcome contributions in code and (reasonable) ideas, but lack the human resources to implement every idea ourselves. YOU can help with reasonable suggestions. WE will decide what WE are going to develop. If YOU urgently need something not within OUR interest, YOU can do it, and WE can decide whether we like it enough to include it, or not. WE can not implement everything that has been vaguely suggested. And yes, we even have ideas and see room for improvements not listed in the issues here. Some of these improvements will make Stellarium more stable, others more accurate, others bring more objects. Along the road new problems may occur. All require development time.

Everybody can suggest a "wishlist issue". The more detailed it is described, the clearer somebody else can understand and could take up the challenge of implementing it when the author of the issue is not able to develop this himself. Such issues may wait for 2 weeks or 10 years (or more) before implementation. Given that the very few (2-3 can be said to be active at the moment) developers of this project are not paid for the time they invest in development, we have no obligation whatever to develop anything, but may or may not be inspired and excited enough about also implementing your idea. Mostly we develop stuff which we need ourselves in research, lectures, or under the night sky, and have tons of ideas for more, but simply no time for them.


How can I find out which graphics card I have in my PC?


The easiest way to find your graphics card is to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool:

  1. Click Start.
  2. On the Start menu, click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type "dxdiag" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  4. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool opens. Click the Display tab.
  5. On the Display tab, information about your graphics card is shown in the Device section. You can see the name of your card, as well as how much video memory it has.


The easiest way to find your graphics card is to run lspci tool in terminal:

 lspci | grep VGA

How to create a environmental variable


  1. Open the Start menu and right click on Computer. Select Properties.
  2. Select Advanced system settings.
  3. In the Advanced tab, select Environment Variables.
  4. Select New.
  5. You will now be able to enter the environmental variable. Most environmental variables are given to you in the form Variable_name=Variable_value. So if you were given the environmental variable QT_ANGLE_PLATFORM=d3d9, you would enter QT_ANGLE_PLATFORM in the Variable name field and d3d9 in the Variable value field.
  6. Select OK. You should now see the new Environmental Variable that you created.
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