FITSVERIFY - A FITS File Format-Verification Tool

Latest Version: 4.22 (July 2023)

SEE ALSO the Web version of FITSVERIFY to interactively verify FITS files using your web browser.

Fitsverify is a computer program that rigorously checks whether a FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data file conforms to the requirements defined in Version 3.0 of the FITS Standard document.

You can download the source code files which can be used to build fitsverify on any platform. The the source code must be compiled and linked with the CFITSIO library. Refer to the README file that is included with the source distributions for complete build instructions.

The fitsverify program is run by entering

    fitsverify filename.fits

on the command line, where "filename.fits" is the name of the file(s) to be verified. Other available options are:

  • fitsverify -H filename.fits (test ESO HIERARCH keywords)
  • fitsverify -l filename.fits (list all header keywords when verifying each file)
  • fitsverify -q *.fits (Verify all *.fits files in the current directory in 'quiet' mode. This suppresses the detailed verification report and only writes a 1-line pass/fail message for each file)
  • fitsverify -e filename.fits (only check for errors, ignore warnings)
  • fitsverify @textfile (verify the FITS files listed in the text file, 1 file name per line)
  • fitsverify -h (for complete help listing)

fitsverify is a stand-alone version of the ftverify and fverify tasks that are distributed as part of the ftools software package. Any comments or problems regarding this program should be sent to the FTOOLS helpdesk.

The following is a list of the errors and warning conditions that will be detected by fitsverify:

     - Mandatory keyword not present or out of order
     - Mandatory keyword has wrong datatype or illegal value
     - END header keyword is not present
     - Sum of table column widths is inconsistent with NAXIS1 value
     - BLANK keyword present in image with floating-point datatype
     - TNULLn keyword present for floating-point binary table column
     - Bit column has non-zero fill bits or is not left adjusted(*)
     - ASCII TABLE column contains illegal value inconsistent with TFORMn(*)
     - Address to a variable length array not within the data heap(*)
     - Extraneous bytes in the FITS file following the last HDU

     - Mandatory keyword values not expressed in fixed format
     - Mandatory keyword duplicated elsewhere in the header
     - Header contains illegal ASCII character (not ASCII 32 - 126)
     - Keyword name contains illegal character
     - Keyword value field has illegal format
     - Value and comment fields not separated by a slash character
     - END keyword not filled with blanks in columns 9 - 80
     - Reserved keyword with wrong datatype or illegal value
     - XTENSION keyword in the primary array
     - Column related keyword (TFIELDS, TTYPEn,TFORMn, etc.) in an image
     - SIMPLE, EXTEND, or BLOCKED keyword in any extension
     - BSCALE, BZERO, BUNIT, BLANK, DATAMAX, DATAMIN keywords in a table
     - Table WCS keywords (TCTYPn, TCRPXn, TCRVLn, etc.) in an image
     - TDIMn or THEAP keyword in an ASCII table
     - TBCOLn keyword in a Binary table
     - THEAP keyword in a binary table that has PCOUNT = 0
     - XTENSION, TFORMn, TDISPn or TDIMn value contains leading space(s)
     - WCSAXES keyword appears after other WCS keywords
     - Index of any WCS keyword (CRPIXn, CRVALn, etc.) greater than
       value of WCSAXES
     - Index of any table column descriptor keyword (TTYPEn, TFORMn,
       etc.) greater than value of TFIELDS
     - TSCALn or TZEROn present for an ASCII, logical, or Bit column
     - TDISPn value is inconsistent with the column datatype
     - Length of a variable length array greater than the maximum
       length as given by the TFORMn keyword
     - ASCII table floating-point column value does not have decimal point(*)
     - ASCII table numeric column value has embedded space character
     - Logical column contains illegal value not equal to 'T', 'F', or 0(*)
     - Character string column contains non-ASCII text character(*)
     - Header fill bytes not all blanks (**)
     - Data fill bytes not all blanks in ASCII tables or all zeros
       in any other type of HDU (**)
     - Gaps between defined ASCII table columns contain characters with
       ASCII value > 127  (**)

     - SIMPLE = F
     - Presence of deprecated keywords BLOCKED or EPOCH
     - 2 HDUs have identical EXTNAME and EXTVER values
     - BSCALE or TSCALn value = 0.
     - BLANK OR TNULLn value exceeds the legal range
     - TFORMn has 'rAw' format and r is not a multiple of w
     - DATE = 'dd/mm/yy' and yy is less than 10 (Y2K problem??)
     - Index of any WCS keyword (CRPIXn, CRVALn, etc.) greater than
       value of NAXIS, if the WCSAXES keyword is not present
     - Duplicated keyword (except COMMENT, HISTORY, blank, etc.)
     - Column name (TTYPEn) does not exist or contains characters
       other than letter, digit and underscore
     - Binary table has PCOUNT > 0, but no variable-length array columns
     - Calculated checksum inconsistent with CHECKSUM or DATASUM
     - The HEASARC long string keyword convention is used without the
       recommended LONGSTRN keyword (****)

        (*) only checked when "testdata" is 'Yes'
       (**) only checked when "testdata" and "testfill" are 'Yes'
      (***) only checked when "testdata" and "tchksum" are 'Yes'
     (****) only checked when the "heasarc" is 'Yes'

   Every HDU in the FITS file is checked in turn until the end of file is

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Last modified: Tuesday, 25-Jul-2023 11:18:20 EDT