Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_globular_clusters_winners.thumb.jpg.13b743f39f721323cb5d76f07724c489.jpg

Vox45

Moving to Linux - What works and alternatives

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, GuLinux said:

I think actually what's a bit lacking in the linux world is a good postprocessing application, many on windows use Photoshop, and gimp is out of business because it's not handling properly 16bit images. I know there's a beta, but... it's still a beta, afterall, and apparently there are no imminent plans on releasing a stable version for that.

There is one that is on par with Photoshop.

Pixinsight runs on Linux natively

Edited by Vox45

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little update on the progress I made yesterday with the Linux/INDI combo.

I added a level of difficulty by using a Raspberry PI 3 at the mount acting as an INDI server and connecting on my laptop over WIFI using the INDI client (Ekos)

Steps to get there:

(1) I installed the latest Linux Mint (which use Ubuntu 16.04 as a base) on an old laptop. Slick interface, easy to install (next-next-next type) and I was up and running in no time

(2) I installed the Kstars part and INDI drivers with a couple of commands (see earlier post) ... easy peasy lemon squeezy

(3) I Installed raspbian on a RPi3 ... again, next-next-next... not much to do. Windows like installation

(4) configured the RPi to be a WIFI access point. It could have been so easy but I tripped over my own shoelaces... follow the instruction, don't overthink them.

I was then able to connect over WIFI to my mount using Ekos (control software) and Kstars (Carte Du Ciel equivalent) and slew to targets... joy !

Now comes the difficult part. Getting used to the terminology, menues and configuration. The interface is loaded with information, maybe too much. Making sens of it all can be quite a challenge but, as anything new (I remember the first time I looked at PHD) you get used to it and just ignore what you do not need to know.

I will have to play with it for a couple of hours and do some dry runs to get a better feel of it all. So far I can say that I had no stability issues and having everything (focus, EQMOD, camera control, DSLR, guiding, plate solving and much more) in the same interface with a consistent look and feel is quite nice.

Note: I will also test "Distro Astro" but only when the new version comes out (v4) has it is based on an old Ubuntu (14.04)

This distribution is very interesting as it has a lot of applications already installed and is build with astronomy in mind. But for now, I'll stick with Mint. Baby steps :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff :)  I'm planning on getting the trail version of PixInsight and seeing how I get on with it.  Must remember that this is bound to be a steep learning curve as it was with Photoshop so can't expect to get to grips with it straight away.  I also know that there are numerous tutorials and that should help :)

I also plan to get RPi 3 with WiFi maybe more than one as I have plans for two or more imaging systems running at the same time eventually.  In particular main imaging plus all sky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ordered a RPI 3 model B from Amazon UK - arriving tomorrow.  Checked prices from other suppliers but this was the cheapest including VAT and free delivery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you just getting a bare board, or case/PSU etc. as well?

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the bare board.  I can power it from an ATX PSU and 3D print a case or include it with other things in a case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Gina said:

Just the bare board.  I can power it from an ATX PSU and 3D print a case or include it with other things in a case.

Good stuff :)

I have to admit that once I got the RPi I realized the potential of it all ... so now I just ordered a relay board so I can switch on and off my DSLR/Mount/Focuser. My wife was quick to point out that the whole setup will be no more than 10fts away ;) but it is just too fun to be ignored, and it costs 8€ so ..

relayboard.JPG

https://www.amazon.com/JBtek-Channel-Module-Arduino-Raspberry/dp/B00KTEN3TM/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=48J2A8MRAYAQV3TM6VMT

Edited by Vox45
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/05/2016 at 12:39, Vox45 said:

Here is what I got so far:

Stellarium
Cartes du Ciel
Iris
PixInsight
Virtual Moon Atlas

 

Good the read that there is interest in Linux. I just release the first Linux version of the Hallo Northern sky planetarium program. See thread

Linux is also new for me. It is compiled for AMD64 and the executable in this latest version is called "hnsky". Just unzip the files somewhere at your home drive. In future, I will compile more versions then just AMD64. If your are in need for a 32 bit version, send me an email or respond to above thread and I will include it.

Any feedback is most welcome.

Han

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2016 at 21:33, Vox45 said:

Little update on the progress I made yesterday with the Linux/INDI combo.

I added a level of difficulty by using a Raspberry PI 3 at the mount acting as an INDI server and connecting on my laptop over WIFI using the INDI client (Ekos)

Steps to get there:

(1) I installed the latest Linux Mint (which use Ubuntu 16.04 as a base) on an old laptop. Slick interface, easy to install (next-next-next type) and I was up and running in no time

(2) I installed the Kstars part and INDI drivers with a couple of commands (see earlier post) ... easy peasy lemon squeezy

(3) I Installed raspbian on a RPi3 ... again, next-next-next... not much to do. Windows like installation

(4) configured the RPi to be a WIFI access point. It could have been so easy but I tripped over my own shoelaces... follow the instruction, don't overthink them.

I was then able to connect over WIFI to my mount using Ekos (control software) and Kstars (Carte Du Ciel equivalent) and slew to targets... joy !

Now comes the difficult part. Getting used to the terminology, menues and configuration. The interface is loaded with information, maybe too much. Making sens of it all can be quite a challenge but, as anything new (I remember the first time I looked at PHD) you get used to it and just ignore what you do not need to know.

I will have to play with it for a couple of hours and do some dry runs to get a better feel of it all. So far I can say that I had no stability issues and having everything (focus, EQMOD, camera control, DSLR, guiding, plate solving and much more) in the same interface with a consistent look and feel is quite nice.

Note: I will also test "Distro Astro" but only when the new version comes out (v4) has it is based on an old Ubuntu (14.04)

This distribution is very interesting as it has a lot of applications already installed and is build with astronomy in mind. But for now, I'll stick with Mint. Baby steps :)

Hi,

I'm new to Linux and the raspberry pi. I've got the p3, with Raspbian, with the goal of doing what you have done. However, unlike you, I'm not having much success. I've done exactly what you've done, followed the same procedures but making the pi an access point. Is that important? I haven't read anywhere that the pi needs to be an access point to connect to KStars on a laptop.

The QHY drivers do not work : not on the pi and not on the laptop (Ubuntu 16.04). The telescope, HEQ5 Pro, works only in PC direct mode, that means through the handbox with Kstars and Stellarium. Could you be so kind as to post a 1, 2, 3...etc list of the step you've taken to reach your goal? I would appreciate it very much.

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Astromaniac said:

Hi,

I'm new to Linux and the raspberry pi. I've got the p3, with Raspbian, with the goal of doing what you have done. However, unlike you, I'm not having much success. I've done exactly what you've done, followed the same procedures but making the pi an access point. Is that important? I haven't read anywhere that the pi needs to be an access point to connect to KStars on a laptop....

I suspect you only need to make the RPi an Access Point if you do not have an existing 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network.  I did not do this on mine, just used my existing Access Points (though I did have to switch one from 5GHz to 2.4GHz as the RPi is only 2.4).

The Indi web site has good installation step by step for the installation.

I have no idea about any QHY or HEQ issues but they do have a forum and when I had an issue they were very responsive to providing help.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Astromaniac said:

Hi,

I've done exactly what you've done, followed the same procedures but making the pi an access point. Is that important? I haven't read anywhere that the pi needs to be an access point to connect to KStars on a laptop.

Hello :)

No you do not have to make the Pi act as an access point, but as I will be using it in the field, there will be no WIFI network availlable, so making the Pi an access point solves this.

Regarding the issues you are having, you should start a thread here on SGL or on the INDI forum with more details on the problem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/06/2016 at 08:06, GuLinux said:

I think actually what's a bit lacking in the linux world is a good postprocessing application

Well, StarTools claims to work on Linux, though I've not tried it. Has anyone here?

"StarTools multi-platform processing engine and UI (User Interface) presently runs on Intel Windows 32-bit and 64-bit, Intel MacOSX 64-bit, Intel Linux 32-bit and 64-bit, and ARM Android 32-bit devices. "

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I installed Distro Astro and I have mixed feelings.

The look is a bit dated and it runs on an older version of Ubuntu 14.04. It also uses an old version of INDI (1.0) I will try to update the INDI version to 1.2.0 but there is this comment on the INDI site:

"INDI Library is available for Ubuntu 15.10 and higher" so not a lot of hope there.

On the other hand, it is nice to be able to download a single ISO and be up and running in no time with an extensive set of tools already installed.

Distro Astro 3.0.2 came out in may 2015 and I can see that there are talks about version 4 on their website. I can only be supportive of anyone investing time and energy in such a project, therefore I will reserve my judgement until this updated version comes out.

If you want to see for yourself what a Linux distro look and feel, you can download the ISO burn it to a DVD and boot on on it. Once you are done exploring, just remove the DVD and reboot your computer. Nothing is installed on your machine. You can also boot on the ISO in a virtual machine.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

interesting thread. I played around with INDI on a RPi and connecting to it from my laptop. While everything was fine control-wise, I had Issues displaying images, i.e. to judge focus, field or whatnot. The (raw-) images loaded very slowly which I found rather annoying. I read on the INID-Forums  [1] that a good alternative might be using USB/IP [2], but I did not come around to test it. How do you handle this with remote setups? Or isn't this an issue for you?

Sven

[1] http://www.indilib.org/forum/general/800-raspberry-image-download-duration.html

[2] http://usbip.sourceforge.net/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, freiform said:

Hi all,

interesting thread. I played around with INDI on a RPi and connecting to it from my laptop. While everything was fine control-wise, I had Issues displaying images, i.e. to judge focus, field or whatnot. The (raw-) images loaded very slowly which I found rather annoying. I read on the INID-Forums  [1] that a good alternative might be using USB/IP [2], but I did not come around to test it. How do you handle this with remote setups? Or isn't this an issue for you?

Sven

[1] http://www.indilib.org/forum/general/800-raspberry-image-download-duration.html

[2] http://usbip.sourceforge.net/

 

C2 with both Ekos and INDI on the same embedded board running bleeding edge.

INDI is the driver and control process, not the display/analysis/guiding of images.

Ekos does the capture and control, this seems fine - however likewise the FITS viewing is slow.

An example of file system slowness can be seen when using astrometry.net. With annotated images the process takes minutes, however without annotation and just the RA/DEC results etc the process takes 14s with the entire 32GB set of indices in use. Astrometry is a separate project to INDI and Ekos - so the only shared component open source libraries are cfitsio and a few others along with the operating system.

I have pointed out the efficiency aspect of INDI handling large images before (i.e. the architecture makes it inefficient) however this would point to the fact that it's more the FITS handling and the underlying OS filing system performance.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another piece of software I've started messing about with is GCX (it's in the Ubuntu repos and I'm sure Debian also). Manages (among other things), image processing, reduction and stacking, fitting field stars to catalogue files / WCS, aperture photometry, telescope control and camera control. Just started with it but seems very smooth and the documentation is excellent.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I decided to jump into linux for control and capture (I've been using it for years for servers and storage). I picked up a Google Pixel Chromebook and I've installed GalliumOS (based on Xubuntu with some optimizations build in for Chromebooks). The Pixel has quad core i7  with 16gb ram, a great display (2560x1700, 13"), so will be great for portable image processing, and has a 12 hour battery life. The only real down sides are cost (it's around £900) and limited storage (64gb solid state built in). It does have USB 3 and USB C plus a SD card slot, so extra storage can be added easily. Getting Linux on was pretty simple and is well documented. I've installed Indilib and built phd2 and I'm just waiting for USB adapter for my az-eq6 before giving it all a go.

Main use will be command and control when at home (I have decent workstation for image processing at home) and for c&c  and image processing when mobile (will be trying the PixInSight demo soon).

Hopefully will have some feedback soon.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/08/2016 at 21:16, hitmanh said:

So, I decided to jump into linux for control and capture (I've been using it for years for servers and storage). I picked up a Google Pixel Chromebook and I've installed GalliumOS (based on Xubuntu with some optimizations build in for Chromebooks). The Pixel has quad core i7  with 16gb ram, a great display (2560x1700, 13"), so will be great for portable image processing, and has a 12 hour battery life. The only real down sides are cost (it's around £900) and limited storage (64gb solid state built in). It does have USB 3 and USB C plus a SD card slot, so extra storage can be added easily. Getting Linux on was pretty simple and is well documented. I've installed Indilib and built phd2 and I'm just waiting for USB adapter for my az-eq6 before giving it all a go.

Main use will be command and control when at home (I have decent workstation for image processing at home) and for c&c  and image processing when mobile (will be trying the PixInSight demo soon).

Hopefully will have some feedback soon.

Feedback:

omg, omg, plate solving, omg.

Ah, got that out of my system. Installing Indilib was simple enough and had no issues. Creating profile was straight forward. Connecting to az-eq6-gt using eqmod driver and Zwo asi1600 using Zwo drivers just worked.

Here things got a little more difficult, it isn't exactly clear what you need to set versus what can be left alone. It took a while to work past some error messages imply because it isn't clear in the UI what boxes you need to fill in. Documentation on Indilib isn't great (it's mainly a glossary with a few parts on actually how to do stuff). Forums are helpful and devs are active on there, which is great.

Simplest way to get working is to following this video, which I found far more helpful.

One I understood the setup and workflows, Ekos is very simple and easy to use. Last night I was on m33 and m31 very quickly and plate solving -> slew to target works very well to get DSOs centered in your view. Configuring photo sequences is very easy and straight forward, sadly sky conditions weren't great (high level cloud) so I didn't have much to show. Getting focus manually on the CCD was fine using the tools

Issues I had:

  • Initial config wasn't always clear (text input boxes are exactly the same as current setting boxes, for example, so it's not necessarily clear when/where you need to add data) and it isn't clear what you need to add to get going versus advanced config that isn't necessarily required to make it work
  • During last session, plate solving stopped working. Not sure what the problem is yet.
  • FITS viewer not coming to front on occasions

Stuff I haven't done yet:

  • Guiding
  • Filter wheel
  • Polar alignment process

Overall, I am very happy with Indilib/Ekos. Once configured it is very easy to use and stable (ran for over 5 hours over two nights on the laptop on battery) with tracking and photo sequences running without a single failure/crash, missed shot, or tracking issue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice review!

I was away on vacation so I could not progress on this. I got myself an ASI185 so that is one more thing that I need to test

So far I was able to control my mount and thanks to the excellent work of AJK I was able to control my DCfocuser. I still need to test JamesF's oacapture for the Cam and test if my DSLR will work.

I did take a very big bite by trying to get it working also on RPI3 and building a powerbox with a relay board ... the long winter nights will be quite busy this year ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which capture software are you using?  I found oacapture won't work with exposures longer than a couple of seconds - James is looking into it but not come up with a solution yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/09/2016 at 19:37, Gina said:

Which capture software are you using?  I found oacapture won't work with exposures longer than a couple of seconds - James is looking into it but not come up with a solution yet.

I used to use SharpCap on Win10. I have not yet tested my new ASI cam on Linux so I thought I would give oacapture a try since it is well known on the forum and JamesF is a serious developer :)

Edited by Vox45

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have updated PIPP's website with some notes about running PIPP on Linux using Wine and thought that it is worth mentioning here.

See https://sites.google.com/site/astropipp/downloads/installing-pipp-on-linux-with-wine for details.

I am still planning to produce a native version of PIPP for Linux and OS X, but hopefully this will help somebody in the meantime.

Cheers,
Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/06/2016 at 12:03, The Admiral said:

Well, StarTools claims to work on Linux, though I've not tried it. Has anyone here?

"StarTools multi-platform processing engine and UI (User Interface) presently runs on Intel Windows 32-bit and 64-bit, Intel MacOSX 64-bit, Intel Linux 32-bit and 64-bit, and ARM Android 32-bit devices. "

Ian

Yes this works fine and running on mint 17.3 64bit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.