View Full Version : How to compile the XEphem astronomy program
June 11th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I've put together a short HowTo for anyone interested in compiling and running the XEphem astronomy software on Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06. It's an excellent astronomy program and the sourcecode is available for personal/educational use (check the site http://www.clearskyinstitute.com/xephem/ for precise terms).
This HowTo doc should be written clearly enough for a non-techie to get the program up and running. Steps are included to compile on Hoary Hedgehog 5.04 also (Breezy Badger should be similar to one or the other, depending on where it puts the location of the motif libraries): http://www.tc.umn.edu/~brams006/xephem_ubuntu.html
September 10th, 2006, 09:57 PM
Your how-to was very easy to follow for this first-time compiler, but something went wrong for me. After running the make command, no executable "xephem" file was produced. I'm using Dapper Drake. Any clues what might have happened? Here's the output from the make command:
jnetter@jnetter-laptop:~/xephem-3.7.1/libz$ make MOTIF=/usr/lib/
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o adler32.o adler32.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o compress.o compress.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o crc32.o crc32.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o uncompr.o uncompr.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o deflate.o deflate.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o trees.o trees.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o zutil.o zutil.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o inflate.o inflate.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o inftrees.o inftrees.c
gcc -g -Wall -O2 -c -o inffast.o inffast.c
ar rc libz.a adler32.o compress.o crc32.o uncompr.o deflate.o trees.o zutil.o inflate.o inftrees.o inffast.o
October 4th, 2006, 10:31 PM
I have had the same problem, did you manage to find a solution?
September 30th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Paul Bramscher's howto was useful while I was making a .deb package of xephem. The list of commands to build the package are at:
I'm running Ubuntu 7.10 amd64, but I also have built the package in a virtual machine with Ubuntu 6.06 i386.
October 1st, 2007, 03:17 AM
I got an error with your dsc file as it wanted a different sized file with a different md5sum Perhaps the tar.gz file you download from clearsky has changed since you packaged xephem? I got mine to compile by figuring the above two parameters out myself and changing the dsc file.
Thanks for the packaging....
October 1st, 2007, 02:52 PM
Thanks for reporting the bug! It was caused by a difference in the compression level between the original tarball and the one generated by dpkg:
$ file xephem_3.7.2.orig.tar.gz xephem-3.7.2.tar.gz
xephem_3.7.2.orig.tar.gz: gzip compressed data, from Unix, last modified: Sat Sep 29 23:15:35 2007, max compression
xephem-3.7.2.tar.gz: gzip compressed data, from Unix, last modified: Sun Nov 19 23:34:43 2006
I renamed xephem-3.7.2.tar.gz to xephem_3.7.2.orig.tar.gz, rebuilt the package, and uploaded the new .dsc and .diff files. I think everything is OK now.
February 13th, 2010, 05:06 AM
thanks to jalvesaq; based on details provided here
I installed again xephem on my second laptop and using it. I had to copy paste the commands in console as mentioned in the web page.
April 7th, 2010, 02:44 PM
I tried to download xepehm (yesterday) by copying and pasting the command from the http://jalvesaq.googlepages.com/xephem.html, but now browser (both under linux and windows) doesnot open page, rather pops a frame to save a copy temporarily. While copying command from this file or keying the command from keyboard, download as per commnad starts, but at the end of command a failure message comes that file name is too large to write.
I suppose googlepages site is adding some content.
Help is needed. Earlier on two occasions everything was fine. I use xephem extensively for ISS sighing and other observation. Help is needed.
April 7th, 2010, 04:39 PM
I suppose googlepages site is adding some content.
Google forced the migration from googlepages to google sites. The new system does not accept the upload of html pages and the old html pages are now offered as something to download.
Please, try this and let me know if it works:
April 8th, 2010, 04:19 PM
Thanks. I did work. This time I had skipped the first two sudo commands (of Sr No 3) as these were successful in previous attempt of day before yesterday. Rest all I followed exactly, and it's working, when commnad xephem was given at prompt. But .... Doesnot appear in Menu -> Application -> Education. I should be able to handle it menu editor. Many Thanks.
April 8th, 2010, 06:12 PM
Thanks. I did work. This time I had skipped the first two sudo commands (of Sr No 3) as these were successful in previous attempt of day before yesterday. Rest all I followed exactly, and it's working, when commnad xephem was given at prompt. But .... Does not appear in Menu -> Application -> Education, RATHER IT APPEARED IN APPLICATION -> SCIENCE, along with Kstars & Kalzium. Many Thanks...-
April 8th, 2010, 10:28 PM
Thanks for reporting the problem. The file /usr/share/applications/xephem.desktop has the following line:
The menu entry was being put in the first valid category (Education); now it's being put in the last one (Science). I fixed the information in the webpage.
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