Read Me for SciKarl - I MEAN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karl Glazebrook, Baltimore, Aug 23rd 2006. v0.20

This is very much a test version for comments and feedback! Not for the faint-hearted.

Note now using g77 for Intel Macs!

IMPORTANT: For the Intel Version you MUST also install g77 for this to work. Use the binary from the HPC Mac OSX Web Page.

This is the README file for SciKarl whose primary purpose is to install PDL ("The Perl Data Language") and miscellaneous support libraries. No C or Fortran compiler is required for this binary install, the only prerequisite is X11. Once you install the software type:

perldl                   (make sure to add  /usr/local/bin/ to your PATH)

demo pgplot 

to test ... and stuff should happen.

Note the following components are installed:

PDL, perl-PGPLOT, pgplot, ExtUtils::F77, Inline, Parse::RecDescent, Term::ReadLine::Gnu

The installs go in to the Mac OS X system standard places /usr/local/... and /Libary/Perl... for locally installed software and modules.

So far this has been tested on several PPC and Intel machine running Mac OS X 10.4.6 including one virgin straight out of the box. I have no idea how earlier versions will fair, 10.4.x ought to be fine. 10.3.x seems not to work.

Note there are SEPARATE packages for PPC and Intel versions which may change if I learn about Universal binaries (or may not). Get them from here:

Overall Notes and Philosophy

This is intended to be a pre-compiled binary installation which installs just about everything needed to get a typical astronomer user of PDL (i.e. me) off and running. The principle components are PDL and PGPLOT (a graphics library for scientific 2D plots). 

You can learn about PDL at the web site  PDL - The Perl Data Language -

Everything is as "statically linked" as possible in order to minimise dependencies and collisions. For example although parts of this are compiled using Fortran you don't need a compiler installed. Not even a C compiler for that matter.

The only prerequisite is to have X11 installed which comes on the OS X install disk with your computer.

Everything is installed into the Mac OS X system standard places /usr/local/... and /Libary/Perl... for locally installed software and modules. Note this is a very different philosophy than for systems like Fink which use non-standard locations and hence require a special incantation before working. Note a clean OS X installation leaves these locations empty so it is fair to assume everything here is safe from OS X upgrades.


The C compiler is gcc and the Fortran compiler is g77 on both PPC and Intel Macs.

Notes on individual packages follow.  I intend to add more as I see fit.

PDL v2.4.3  

"The Perl Data Language". - This is the latest release at the time of writing. 

This version is built with PGPLOT, FFTW, GSL support.

Currently does not have Karma, PLPLOT support. Nor bad value support. (Sorry Doug!). Bug me and I will try to add the more requested options. TriD is not enabled either.

Type perldl to launch the interactive shell or use PDL  in a perl script.

perl-PGPLOT v2.20     

Perl module which links perl with pgplot.  This version is an unreleased testbed I have with experimental gfortran support.

pgplot  v5.3.1     

These are the C and Fortran libraries for the scientific graphics library. This is installed in /usr/local/pgplot with links in /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/lib

I compiled it with the X11, Postscript, and PNG drivers.

ExtUtils::F77 v1.16     

This is required for compiling perl modules which call Fortran and is included for completeness. This is an experimental unreleased new version with gfortran support.

Term::ReadLine::Gnu v1.16     

This Perl module is installed to provide command line editing in the  perldl shell. It is linked statically with the Gnu Readlines library in a special way. The latter is NOT installed as their is a system libreadlines which is older and I didn't want any possibility of conflict. It works fine in it's own space (i.e. just within the perldl shell). 

Miscellaneous Perl Modules

Inline v0.44  

Parse::RecDescent v1.94  

These are required to build PDL and are included for completeness.

Extra Perl modules


Astro::FITS::Header            v3.0

Astro::FITS::CFITSIO          v1.05

These are convenient to have

Non-Perl Stuff

CFITSIO             v3.030  library and include files