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Install with and eups distrib

This page guides you through installing the LSST Science Pipelines software. This installation method is recommended for anyone who uses or develops the Pipelines software.

If you have issues with the installation, here are two ways to get help:

1. Prerequisites

The LSST Science Pipelines can be compiled and run on CentOS, Debian, and macOS. See :ref:`prereq-platforms` for information about LSST's official reference platform and build reports with other platforms.

Before you begin, install prerequisite software for your platform:

2. Make an installation directory

Create a directory where you want to install the LSST Science Pipelines into. For example:

mkdir -p lsst_stack
cd lsst_stack

If you are installing the software for multiple users (a shared stack), see :ref:`newinstall-shared-permissions`.

3. Run

Open a new shell session for the installation (or ensure you haven't used LSST software in that shell before). If you need to reuse a shell, see :ref:`newinstall-unset-variables`.

Next, run :command:`` to set up the environment you'll install the LSST Science Pipelines into. For most use cases we recommend downloading and running :command:`` like this:

curl -OL
bash -ct

Always execute :command:`` with :command:`bash`, as shown, regardless of what shell you're in.

We recommend that you opt into the provided Miniconda Python environment (see the links below for more information).

Then load the LSST software environment into your shell:

source loadLSST.bash # for bash
source loadLSST.csh  # for csh
source loadLSST.ksh  # for ksh
source loadLSST.zsh  # for zsh


Here are ways to customize the :command:`` installation for specific needs:

For background information about :command:``, see:

4. Install Science Pipelines packages

Install the LSST Science Pipelines packages by running :command:`eups distrib install` for a :doc:`top-level package <top-level-packages>` and a tagged version.

This example installs the v16_0 tagged version (current release) of the lsst_distrib :doc:`top-level package <top-level-packages>`:

eups distrib install -t v16_0 lsst_distrib
curl -sSL | python
setup lsst_distrib

If prebuilt binaries are available for your platform (and you ran :command:`` with the :option:`-t < -t>` argument) the installation should take roughly 10 minutes. Otherwise, the installation falls back to a source build that can take two hours, depending on the top-level package and your machine's performance. See :ref:`newinstall-find-binaries`.

The last command, :command:`setup`, activates the installed packages in your shell environment. You'll need to run :command:`setup` in each shell session you'll use the LSST Science Pipelines in. See :doc:`setup` for more information.


  • lsst_distrib is a top-level package that provides most LSST Data Management pipelines software, but other top-level packages may be more applicable for your work, such as lsst_apps or lsst_sims. See :doc:`top-level-packages` for more information.
  • v16_0 is the current release. You can install other tagged versions of the LSST Science Pipelines, though. See :ref:`newinstall-other-tags`.
  • If you're curious about the shebangtron, see its repository at

5. Test your installation (optional)

Once the LSST Science Pipelines are installed, you can verify that it works by :doc:`running a demo pipeline <demo>`. This demo processes a small amount of SDSS data and verifies that measurements match expected values.

See :doc:`demo` for instructions.

Next steps

Now that you have a working LSST Science Pipelines installation, these topics will help you learn and do more:

Advanced installation topics

The above steps guided you through LSST's recommended installation. These topics provide additional information about the installation and ways to customize it:

Setting unix permissions for shared installations

You can make a single LSST Science Pipelines installation accessible to multiple users on the same machine.

First, create a separate unix group (called lsst, for example) with a umask of 002 (all access permissions for the group and allow other users to read/execute).

Then set the ownership of the installation directory to the lsst group, have the SGID (2000) bit set, and allow group read/write/execute (mode 2775).

Running in an already set-up shell

If you've run the LSST Science Pipelines previously, you may have conflicting environment variables in your shell. To be safe, run:


Then return to the instructions step :ref:`newinstall-run`.

What does

:command:`` creates a self-contained environment on your machine where you can install, run, and develop the LSST Science Pipelines. You activate this environment in a shell by sourcing the :command:`loadLSST` script in the installation directory (see :ref:`setup-howto`).

Here is how :command:`` prepares the environment:

  • Identifies your operating system and compilers to determine what EUPS binary packages should be installed (the EUPS package root, see :ref:`newinstall-binary-packages`).
  • Installs a specific version of Python, through Miniconda, that is compatible with EUPS binary packages (see :ref:`newinstall-miniconda`).
  • Installs Conda packages that the LSST Science Pipelines depends on (see :ref:`python-deps`).
  • Checks for :command:`git` on your systems and offers to install it if necessary.
  • Installs EUPS, the package manager used by the LSST software stack.

For information about :command:``’s arguments, see :ref:`newinstall-reference`.

About the Miniconda Python installed by

:command:`` can install a dedicated Python environment for your LSST Science Pipelines installation. This Python installation isn't required, but we recommend it. See :ref:`newinstall-user-python` if required.

The Python environment installed by :command:`` is Miniconda, a minimal version of Anaconda. By default, :command:`` installs Python 3.6.

In this Miniconda environment, :command:`` installs the Science Pipeline's Python prerequisites. See :ref:`python-deps` for more information.

This Miniconda installation won't affect your other Python installations (like the system's Python, your own Anaconda or Miniconda, or virtual environments). The LSST Miniconda environment is only active when you source the loadLSST script installed by :command:`` (see :doc:`setup`).

If you install other Python packages in a shell where the LSST Miniconda is activated (with :command:`pip install` or :command:`conda install`) those packages are installed into the LSST Miniconda's :file:`site-packages`, not your system's. The Python installed by :command:`` works like an isolated Python environment dedicated to LSST Science Pipelines code and your own related modules---effectively like a Conda environment or Python venv. This pattern is useful because it reduces the risk of having Python package version incompatibilities.

How to use your own Python with

:command:`` creates a new Python environment by default (pre-configured with Python dependencies). If necessary, you can use your own pre-existing Python environment.

To do so, run :command:`` (see :ref:`newinstall-run` for details and command arguments). When :command:`` prompts you to install Miniconda, type no.

Be aware of these caveats when using your own Python installation:

About EUPS tarball packages

EUPS distrib binary (tarball) packages significantly speed up your installation. Rather than compiling the LSST Science Pipelines from source, EUPS tarballs are prebuilt packages made specifically for supported platforms.

Platforms are defined by four factors:

  1. Operating system.
  2. Compiler.
  3. Miniconda (Python) version.
  4. lsstsw version (Git ref).

EUPS distrib binary packages are currently being built for these platform combinations:

EUPS distrib binary flavors
OS Compiler Python
macOS osx/10.9 clang-800.0.42.1 miniconda3-4.2.12 (Python 3)
macOS osx/10.9 clang-800.0.42.1 miniconda3-4.2.21 (Python 3)
Redhat redhat/el7 devtoolset-6 miniconda3-4.2.21 (Python 3)
Redhat redhat/el7 gcc-system miniconda3-4.2.12 (Python 3)
Redhat redhat/el7 gcc-system miniconda3-4.2.21 (Python 3)
Redhat redhat/el6 devtoolset-6 miniconda3-4.2.21 (Python 3)

When you run :command:``, it looks at your system to identify your operating system and compiler. The version of :command:`` you run also determines the Miniconda version and the lsstsw build system versions.

Together, these four factors define the URL prefix (called an EUPS package root) that :command:`eups distrib install` looks for binary packages from. If binary tarballs are unavailable for that EUPS package root, :command:`eups distrib install` automatically falls back to compiling LSST Science Pipelines packages from source.

You can see the active EUPS package roots on your system by running:

eups distrib path

Here is an example of the output:

Based on this example, :command:`eups distrib install` will preferentially install EUPS distrib binary packages for the macOS 10.9 system, clang-800.0.42.1 compiler, and miniconda3-4.2.12-7c8e67 Python and lsstsw combination. If :command:`eups distrib install` cannot find packages at that EUPS package root it will look in the second EUPS package root (, which provides source packages.

See also:

How to determine if tarball packages are available for your platform

When you run :ref:`eups distrib install <newinstall-install>`, it will attempt to install prebuilt binary packages first and fall back to compiling the Science Pipelines if binary packages aren't available for your platform (by default). This fallback is automatic. You'll know packages are being compiled from source if you see compiler processes (like :command:`gcc` or :command:`clang`) load your machine.

The instructions in this section will help you diagnose why :command:`eups distrib install` is falling back to a source installation.

First, get your EUPS package root URLs:

eups distrib path

If the only URL listed is, it means that :command:`` configured your environment to not use binary packages. Try re-running :command:`` (see :ref:`newinstall-run`) with the :option:`-t < -t>` argument. Also, ensure that you accept the default Miniconda Python environment.

If :command:`eups distrib path` includes an additional URL that doesn't end with /src (for example,, it means :command:`` has configured a binary package root. The construction of the binary package root URL is based on your OS, compilers, and Python environment (see :ref:`newinstall-binary-packages`).

:command:`eups distrib install` will only install binary packages if they exist on the binary package root. To check this, open the binary package root URL in a web browser. If the binary package root URL does not load in a browser it means LSST does not publish prebuilt binaries for your platform. Either continue the installation from source or consider using the :doc:`LSST Docker images <docker>`.

If the URL does open, though, search for files with a .list extension. A .list file is created for each release that has binary packages. The name of the .list file matches the release tag (for example, w_2017_33.list). See :ref:`newinstall-other-tags` for more information about tags.

For example, if the binary package root is and you wish to install the w_2017_33 tag, the file must exist for a binary installation.

If the .list file does not exist for the tag you want to install, but does exist for other tags in that EUPS package root, it may be due to an issue with the LSST binary package publishing system. You can either continue with an installation from source, consider switching to a tag that is known to have binary packages, or consider using :ref:`LSST's Docker images <docker>`.

EUPS tarball packages and compiler compatibility

EUPS binary tarball packages are prebuilt on LSST's continuous integration servers for a specific combination of operating system, compilers, Python, and Python dependencies. If you are developing packages alongside this installation, you might encounter application binary interface (ABI) incompatibilities if are using a different compiler version or a different Python environment.

In this case, the more reliable solution is to revert to a source installation. To do this, repeat the installation but run :command:`` without the :option:`-t < -t>` argument:

bash -c

Without the :option:`-t < -t>` argument to :command:``, :command:`eups distrib install` will always build and install packages from source, ensuring ABI compatibility.

Installing other releases (including daily and weekly tags)

The instructions on this page guide you through installing the current release of the LSST Science Pipelines corresponding to this documentation. You can, however, install other releases by running :command:`eups distrib install` with a different tag.

The common types of tags are:

  • Major releases, tagged as v<MAJOR>_<MINOR> (for example, v14_0).
  • Weekly builds, tagged as w_<YEAR>_<N> (for example, w_2017_33 is the 33rd weekly build in 2017).
  • Daily builds, tagged as d_<YEAR>_<MONTH>_<DAY> (for example, d_2017_09_01 is the daily build for September 1, 2017).

There are also tags pointing to the most recent releases:

  • Current major release, tagged as current.
  • Current weekly build, tagged as w_latest.
  • Current daily build, tagged as d_latest.

You can see all available tags at (each tag has a .list file).


Binary installations may not be available for all tags. From, browse subdirectories corresponding to your platform and look for .list files of available tags. :command:`eups distrib install` automatically falls back to a source build if binaries are not available.


You need to ensure that the Python environment created by :command:`` (see step :ref:`newinstall-run`) is compatible with the tagged software.

For example, if you are installing a recent weekly you may need to download and run :command:`` from master:

curl -OL
bash -ct

See for available tagged versions of :command:``. argument reference

.. program::

usage: [-b] [-f] [-h] [-n] [-3|-2] [-t|-T] [-s|-S] [-P <path-to-python>]
.. option:: -b

   Run in batch mode. Don't ask any questions and install all extra packages.

.. option:: -c

   Attempt to continue a previously failed install.

.. option:: -n

   No-op. Go through the motions but echo commands instead of running them.

.. option:: -P <PATH_TO_PYTHON>

   Use a specific python interpreter for EUPS.

.. option:: -2

   Use Python 2 if the script is installing its own Python (unsupported by the LSST Science Pipelines ``v16_0`` and newer).

.. option:: -3

   Use Python 3 if the script is installing its own Python. (**default**)

.. option:: -t

   Allows :command:`eups distrib install` to install prebuilt binary (tarball) packages, where available

.. option:: -T

   Prevents :command:`eups distrib install` from installing prebuilt binary (tarball) packages. (**default**)

.. option:: -s

   Allows :command:`eups distrib install` to compile and install packages from source (eupspkg). (**default**)

.. option:: -S

   **Do not** use EUPS source "eupspkg" packages (do not compile from source).
   Prevents :command:`eups distrib install` from compiling and installing packages from source (eupspkg).

.. option:: -h

   Display a help message.