Packages installable using package management

General graphics applications


The Gimp is a graphics application, pretty much a standard and either featuring as part of most distributions, or downloadable as a package within the repositories. It is part of Gnome desktop, and is to Linux what Adobe Photoshop Elements is to Windows. Its functionality can be extended with plug-ins in a similar way to Adobe Photoshop, but does not feature a comprehensive suite for astronomical image processing like Noel Carboni's Actions.


Gimp Astronomy Plugins

There are several available from different sources. All are limited because of Gimp's 8-bit colour depth restriction.


This contains six plugins for deep space image processing.

Align layers
Merge layers
Create a background gradient (artificial flat field)
Star rounding
Create an artificial galaxy
Create artificial stars

The package is downloadable from the author's website:

The package has to be built, and comes with full installation instructions outlining what needs to be installed in order to this.

Purple Fringe Fix

Fixes Purple fringes on images due to lens distortion. Installation instructions and details on author's webiste:

Download here:

General instructions about running scripts for loading Gimp plug-ins here:


A php program for fixing chromatic abberation:

Contrast Blending

For exposure blending; image data from multiple exposures are combined to recover shadows and highlights.


gmic_gimp is a set of Gimp filters that include some that may be useful in processing astronomy images.

It is included in distributions of Gimp in Ubuntu, but the most up-to-date version of the plug-in is available for installation by dropping the binary into the plugin directory in linux.

Astronomy applications available in repos


An open-source planetarium application, that runs in linux as well as windows and mac OSX. There are downloadable plug-ins available to extend functionality (such as telescope mount control) and extra star catalogues.


Stellarium is available within the repository of distributions like Ubuntu, and the most recent version of source for linux is available for download as well, should it be required for building on the PC:

I highly reccomend this software.


This is a KDE application, features in the repository of Kbuntu but will run under Gnome as well:


The package can also be installed and built:


Virtual tour of the solar system and beyond


OpenUniverse Space Simulator

Guided tour of solar system and beyond as if on a spaceship.


Gnome Predict

Amateur satellite tracking software.


Applications that can be added to repos

Skychart (Cartes du Ciel)


This is available as 32 and 64-bit .deb and .rpm packages, as well as tar.gz and, source code and Mac OSX.

Add-ons are available in the above formats also:

Star calatogs
UCAC3 catalog
DSO catalogs

Comprenhesive documentation is available, which includes installation and reference.

Downloadable installables


This software is used to capture asronomy images &/or video from a CCD/CMOS imaging device. It is available as .deb and .rpm packages, as well as tar.gz, from Carsten Arnholm's site (the author).

There is a support group available for users of wxAstro: