VLT Instrument Pipelines

Latest News:

January 22, 2023: New GRAVITY Pipeline released!

Updated GRAVITY pipeline release to support the Gravity wide mode. More information is provided here

August 31, 2022: New MATISSE Pipeline released!

Updated MATISSE pipeline release to support the Beam Commuting Device (BCD) calibration. More information is provided here

July 11, 2022: New ESPRESSO Pipeline released!

Updated ESPRESSO pipeline release to support reduction of ESPRESSO data after instrument upgrade. More information is provided here

May 20, 2022: P-109 Instrument Pipeline Packages released!

For period 109 updated versions of all Instrument Pipeline Packages are now available.

  • For the installation of RPM packages (Fedora 33 to 35, CentOS 7 and Scientific Linux 7) continue here
  • For the installation of MacPorts packages continue here
  • For the source kit installation go here

Known Issues:

  • Please note that Apple Silicon (M1) based Mac hardware is supported through Macports source installations,
    but at this point binary packages cannot be provided. Except for a small time overhead during the installation,
    this should have no impact on the user experience.
  • The workflow of GIRAFFE 2.6.10 has a wrong entry for CALIB_DATA_DIR. Users should correct the version part
    of the value of the CALIB_DATA_DIR parameter in the workflow GUI. Please replace giraf-2.16.9a by
    giraf-2.16.10 at the end of the parameter value.
  • The workflow of SINFONI 3.3.3 has a wrong entry for CALIB_DATA_DIR. Users should correct the version part
    of the value of the CALIB_DATA_DIR parameter in the workflow GUI. Please replace sinfo-3.3.2 by
    sinfo-3.3.3 at the end of the parameter value.
  • In the VIMOS MOS workflow the parameter skylocal of the vmmosscience recipe in the ResponseCurve actor
    cannot be changed via the interactive window. To fix that the user should access the recipe parameters in the
    RecipeExecuter actor inside ResponseCurve actor as described for the MasterBias actor in Figs. 5.1 and 5.2
    of the VIMOS MOS reflex tutorial found in the download table below. Then change the entry for recipe_param5
    from skylocal=true to skylocal=PORT.

To get announcements of new pipeline releases, send an email to eso-pipelines-announce-join@eso.org.

To receive the ESO Science Newsletter subscribe here.

Getting Started

  1. Install the pipeline(s) using RPM packages, MacPorts packages or Source Kits.
  2. Detailed usage information can be found in the individual user manuals and tutorials available here

Three Ways to Run a Pipeline

  1. EsoReflex is the recommended environment to reduce ESO data. It automatically organizes input files according to their category and runs the entire reduction chain at the push of a button. It supports break points in the reduction sequence in order to inspect and interact with intermediate and final products and rerun the corresponding step if necessary.
  2. Gasgano is a Java-based data file organizer developed and maintained by ESO. It can be used to manage and organize in a systematic way the astronomical data observed and produced by all VLT compliant telescopes. Gasgano is a graphics-based software tool for organising and viewing data files produced by the VLT Control System. Gasgano offers functionalities for data viewing, grouping, sorting, classification, searching, and filtering of data. And, of course, Gasgano will run any requested CPL recipe on the selected data.
  3. EsoRex, a command-line utility for running pipeline recipes is also available. It may be embedded by users at their home institute into data reduction scripts for the automation of processing tasks.
The underlying algorithms and recipes are the same for a given instrument pipeline, irrespective if EsoReflex, Gasgano or Esorex is used.

Installation Instructions

Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux and macOS

Currently ESO provides binary packages for:

  • Fedora (33 to 35)
  • CentOS 7
  • Scientific Linux 7
  • macOS (10.15, 11, and 12; Intel hardware only)
Users of those systems are encouraged to install the Instrument Pipeline packages using the RPM packages or the MacPorts packages respectively.
Please follow the installation instructions for RPM packages or MacPorts packages.

Windows WSL

While an installation of ESO pipeline packages using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is not officially supported, it is possible to use it for running ESO pipelines also on Microsoft Windows systems. For details and best effort support go here.

Source Kit package installation

Users of operating systems for which no RPM or MacPorts packages are currently available should follow the instructions in this section.


Please consult the Software Prerequisites page before installing the pipelines or EsoReflex from source.

If you use conda environments it is strongly recommended that you disable any active conda environment prior to running any of the two installer scripts described in the following sections!

EsoReflex based Pipeline Installations

For an installation of pipeline packages with EsoReflex support please follow the instructions in this section.

  • Download the install_esoreflex script.

    Important: As of November 2021 there is a new version of the script. Please make sure you use that one.

  • If necessary, make it executable: chmod u+x install_esoreflex
  • Execute the command and follow the instructions: ./install_esoreflex
  • If you make use of any of these workflows in a scientific publication, please consider citing EsoReflex. You may reference the following paper: Automated Data Reduction Workflows for Astronomy: The ESO Reflex Environment, 2013, Freudling, W., et al., Astron.Astrophys., 559, A96 (Bibtex entry)

Installations without EsoReflex

If you want to install pipeline packages without EsoReflex support please follow the instruction in this section. It applies to all pipeline packages.

  • Download the desired pipeline kit(s) from the Source Kit column in the table below into an empty, temporary directory.
  • Download the Source Kit installer into the same directory.
  • If necessary, make it executable: chmod u+x install_pipelinekit
  • Execute the command: ./install_pipelinekit *-kit-*.*
  • After the installation the temporary directory with its contents can be deleted.

Instrument Pipeline Packages

Table rows marked with a blue background indicate EsoReflex workflow availability.
Instrument Release Notes Source Kit User Manual Cookbook Additional Documents Additional Datasets EsoReflex Tutorials/Cookbooks Status
AMBER 2022-05-19 4.4.3 4.4.0
End of maintenance
CR2RES 2022-11-25 1.2.3 1.2.3
Tutorial: 1.2.3
Demo Data: 1.2.0
CRIRES 2022-05-19 2.3.15 1.14
Operational on hold
DETMON 2022-05-19 1.3.10 1.3.5
Operational on hold
EFOSC 2022-04-04 2.3.8 1.1
Demo Data
Tutorial: 1.5 (EFOSC-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.5 (EFOSC-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.1
End of maintenance
ESOTK 2022-05-19 0.9.5 0.9.5
Tutorial: 0.9.5
Demo Data: 0.9
ESPRESSO-DAS 2022-05-19 1.3.6 1.3.6
Tutorial: 1.3.6
Demo Data: 0.9.5
ESPRESSO 2022-07-11 2.4.0 2.4.0
Static Calibration WAVE & DLL Matrixes (432 MB)
Tutorial: 2.4.0
Demo Data: 0.4.0
FORS 2022-04-12 5.6.2 5.14
Demo Data (29 MB)
Tutorial: 1.6 (FORS-IMG)
Tutorial: 1.7 (FORS-PMOS)
Tutorial: 1.25 (FORS-SPEC)
Demo Data: 0.9
Operational on hold
GIRAFFE 2022-03-15 2.16.10 2.16.8
Tutorial: 1.4
Demo Data: 0.3
Operational on hold
GRAVITY 2022-10-12 1.6.0 1.6.0
Tutorial: 1.6.0
Demo Data: 0.8
HAWKI 2022-05-03 2.4.11 2.4.11
Tutorial: 2.4.11
Demo Data: 0.5
Operational on hold
ISAAC 2022-05-19 6.2.2 1.5
Static Calibration Files (50 MB)
End of maintenance
KMOS 2022-05-16 4.0.4 3.6
Tutorial: 5.1
Demo Data: 2.2.0
MATISSE 2022-08-31 1.7.6 1.7.6
Tutorial: 1.7.6
Demo Data: 0.4
MIDI 2022-05-19 2.9.4 2.9.1
End of maintenance
MOLECFIT 2022-05-24 4.2.3 4.3
Tutorial: 4.3
Demo Data: 1.5
MUSE 2022-05-19 2.8.7 2.8.7
MUSE IFU 6 trace tables
Leagacy MUSE static calibrations
Tutorial: 17.0 (muse)
Tutorial: 5.0 (muse-zap)
Demo Data: 1.6
NACO 2022-05-18 4.4.11 1.1
Operational on hold
SINFONI 2022-05-18 3.3.3 3.3.2
ADA IV 2006 paper
Calibration Database Example (255 MB)
Demonstration Package (1.2 GB)
Tutorial: 3.3.2
Demo Data: 0.3
End of maintenance
SOFI 2022-01-28 1.5.14 1.2
End of maintenance
SPHERE 2022-05-10 0.45.1 1.45
Tutorial: 1.3 (ifs)
Tutorial: 1.2 (ird-img)
Tutorial: 1.2 (ird-lss)
Tutorial: 1.2 (zpl-img)
Tutorial: 1.3 (zpl-pol)
Demo Data: 1.5
UVES 2022-05-19 6.1.8 6.1.8 (UVES)
6.1.8 (UVES-FIBRE)
Demonstration Package (2.0 GB)
Old Standard Star Calibration Data
Tutorial: 6.1.8 (UVES)
Tutorial: 6.1.8 (UVES-FIBRE)
Demo Data: 4.5
Operational on hold
VIRCAM 2022-05-19 2.3.10 2.3.10
Tutorial: 2.3.10
Demo Data: 0.1
Operational on hold
VIMOS 2022-05-19 4.1.7 8.2
Tutorial: 2.8 (VIMOS-IFU)
Tutorial: 1.2 (VIMOS-IMA)
Tutorial: 2.5 (VIMOS-MOS)
Demo Data: 0.5
End of maintenance
VISIR 2022-05-30 4.4.2 1.10
Tutorial: 1.5
Demo Data: 0.4
Operational on hold
XSHOOTER 2022-05-03 3.6.1 3.6.1
Additional NIR telluric model calatog (190 MB)
Tutorial: 3.6.1
Demo Data: 1.3
Operational on hold

Pipelines Status

The pipeline status determines the level of ESO support in fixing the software. For any help with installation and usage of a pipeline, please contact the helpdesk ticketing system. ESO internal (operations) users should request support from the pipeline developers team using JIRA. Here are the possible entries:
  • Active: Pipelines that are affected by a data product upgrade are considered active in the sense that a project team is actively working on them. These pipelines are fully supported and have the highest priority for support. The support consists in prompt evaluation of all requests.
  • Operational on hold: Pipelines that are on hold are not under active development and are of lower priority for support. Pipelines are put into this status when they are considered to be essentially completed, i.e. no enhancements or upgrades are currently under way. The software support consists in porting these pipelines to new CPL versions, carrying out emergency repairs and fixing trivial problems. The User Support Department will evaluate and answer if possible the requests for help received via the helpdesk ticketing system, but by default there will be no support available from pipeline developers.
  • End of maintenance: Pipelines in this status are the lowest priority for support. The only work performed on these pipelines is to make sure they can still run in the current ESO environment. The User Support Department evaluates and answers if possible the requests for help received via the helpdesk ticketing system. Tickets reporting problems on the pipeline will not receive any software support.


Additional tools for data visualisation and analysis.
Release Information Release File
Includes CPL,Gasgano,EsoRex,
and static calibration data
Users Manual and Documentation Data Sets
Sky Correction and Modeling Tools Molecfit (legacy versions)

The skytools webpages provide access to the most recent information and software packages.

Please note that the Molecfit packages available on the skytools webpages are no longer supported!
Please use the new version available here instead.


Publications, Reference Documents, and Links

A list of Data Reduction Frequently Asked Questions is available.

The ESO Quality Control Group processes VLT data and monitors the instrument and data quality. They provide an overview of data and data processing on their web pages.

If you make use of EsoReflex workflows in a scientific publication, please consider citing EsoReflex. You may reference the following paper: Automated Data Reduction Workflows for Astronomy: The ESO Reflex Environment, 2013, Freudling, W., et al., Astron.Astrophys., 559, A96 (Bibtex entry)

A collection of Science Software related documentation (Development standards, deliverables specification, etc.) are available here