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How to install CASA in Ubuntu

CASA, the Common Astronomy Software Applications package, is a data processing software for radio Astronomy. Although in the CASA release page it is said to be available for Linux Red Hat 7, Red Hat 8, and Mac OS, it can also work in Ubuntu. I found that the simplest way to install it is to install the binary distribution.

On Ubuntu 20.04, the easiest way is to install KERN, which contains many astronomy softwares as listed in https://kernsuite.info/packages/. After putting kernsuite in your repository, then the rest is just the usual sudo apt install <name_of_software>, where <name_of_software> is the ones listed in https://kernsuite.info/packages/. To put KERN in your repository, copy paste the following lines into your terminal:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository -s ppa:kernsuite/kern-7
sudo apt-add-repository multiverse
sudo apt-add-repository restricted
sudo apt-get update

Here is another way of installing casa. I share here the procedure I followed to install CASA on Ubuntu 16.04.6 but it should also work on a later version of Ubuntu.    

  • Download CASA at https://casa.nrao.edu/casa_obtaining.shtml, for me I picked the Red Hat 7 version 5.6.0, you could try the Red Hat 8 version and see if it works.
  • Untar the file, e.g.,
    • tar -xvf casa-release-5.6.0-60.el7.tar.gz
  • Put an alias in your ~/.bashrc file e.g., for me I put CASA in my $HOME/Downloads so my ~/.bashrc looks like:
    • alias casa="/home/ianja/Downloads/casa-release-5.6.0-60.el7/bin/./casa"

To start casa, simply type casa in the terminal. That will take you to the CASA console:

$ casa

=========================================
The start-up time of CASA may vary
depending on whether the shared libraries
are cached or not.
=========================================

IPython 5.1.0 -- An enhanced Interactive Python.

CASA 5.6.0-60   -- Common Astronomy Software Applications

Found an existing telemetry logfile: /home/ianja/.casa/casastats-560-60-9cb6d0e8997d-20200310-075958.log
Telemetry initialized. Telemetry will send anonymized usage statistics to NRAO.
You can disable telemetry by adding the following line to your ~/.casarc file:
EnableTelemetry: False
--> CrashReporter initialized.
Enter doc('start') for help getting started with CASA...
Using matplotlib backend: TkAgg
CASA <1>: