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A suite of C++ libraries for radio astronomy data processing.


Debian / Ubuntu

Casacore is now part of Debian and Ubuntu, use apt to search for the package you need:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get search casacore


Use Homebrew with the ska-sa tap to install casacore:

$ brew tap ska-sa/tap
$ brew install casacore


We now also publish docker images for each github branch on

$ docker pull

Building from source

Getting the source code

The casacore source code is maintained on github.

You can obtain it using:

$ git clone


To compile casacore you need to meet the following requirements:

  • cmake
  • gfortran
  • g++
  • flex
  • bison
  • blas
  • lapack
  • cfitsio (3.181 or later)
  • wcslib (4.20 or later)
  • sofa (optional, only for testing casacore measures)
  • fftw3
  • hdf5 (optional)
  • numpy (optional)
  • boost-python (optional)
  • ncurses (optional)

On Debian / Ubuntu you can install these with:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake gfortran g++ libncurses5-dev \
   libreadline-dev flex bison libblas-dev liblapacke-dev libcfitsio-dev \
   wcslib-dev libfftw3-dev

and the optional libraries:

$ sudo apt-get install libhdf5-serial-dev python-numpy \
    libboost-python-dev libpython3.4-dev libpython2.7-dev

On CentOS7 you can install these with:

$ sudo yum install cmake cmake-gui gcc-gfortran gcc-c++ flex bison \
       blas blas-devel  lapack lapack-devel cfitsio cfitsio-devel \
       wcslib wcslib-devel ncurses ncurses-devel readline readline-devel\
       python-devel boost boost-devel fftw fftw-devel hdf5 hdf5-devel\
       numpy boost-python 

Obtaining measures data

Various parts of casacore require measures data, which requires regular updating. You can obtain the WSRT measures archive from the ASTRON FTP server:

Extract this somewhere on a permanent location on your filesystem.


In the casacore source folder run:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make install

there are various flags available to cmake to enable and disable options:

$ cmake -DDATA_DIR=/usr/share/casacore/data -DUSE_OPENMP=ON \

The DATA_DIR should point to the location where you extracted the measures data. Special variables %CASAROOT% and %CASAHOME% can be used here, which can be set at run time through the .casarc file.

You can build python3 support using -DBUILD_PYTHON3=ON. Note that CMake may have problems detecting the correct python3 libraries and headers, so probably you need to set them manually. For example:


To configure Python2 specific settings use:


To configure Python3 specific settings use:


If you run into problems with boost libraries, try setting -DBoost_NO_BOOST_CMAKE=True. This will be necessary if you have the libraries from NRAO casa in your PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH.


Problems & bugs

If you have any issues compiling or using casacore, please open an issue on the issue tracker on github.

If you have patches please open a pull request. Your contributions are more than welcome! But to maintain a high code quality we have written a contribution manual, please read that first.