Download the HEASOFT Software

Current version 6.33.2 Release Notes

Before downloading:

HEASOFT tasks may now be run remotely using SciServer without having to install the software locally. SciServer provides a quick way to use the software (along with access to archival data) and is ideal for users who have limited or infrequent need to run the HEASOFT tasks. More intensive users of HEASOFT are still encouraged to install the software locally for best performance, or consider using HEASoft in a Docker container.

A download containing all of the package selections can be around 5 Gb in size when unpacked; the actual size will vary depending on the packages you select and - if you choose a binary distribution - the architecture selected. If large file sizes present problems for your connection, it is possible to download the packages you want separately and unpack the tar files on top of each other afterwards, though you may need to either rename each tar file with a temporary name during the process or unpack each file immediately upon downloading so that one tar file isn't overwritten by the next.

Please use the interface below to make "a la carte" selections for your source code or pre-compiled binary download. Alternatively, you may choose the complete HEASoft source code via these direct tar file links, one of the complete source code, and one which adds older Xspec model data files:

  • Complete HEASoft source code (all mission & general-use software) (3.2 Gb / 6.5 Gb unpacked); md5 checksum

  • Complete HEASoft source code plus older Xspec model data unneeded by most users (4.2 Gb / 11 Gb unpacked); md5 checksum

    STEP 1 - Select the type of software:


    Please note that the source code distribution is recommended - particularly for Linux users - due to portability issues that can affect the pre-compiled binaries. Also, a source code distribution is required for users who wish to use local models in XSPEC / PyXspec.

    Although the source code is intended to be portable to most PCs (Linux or WSL) or Macs, for project statistics purposes and to help us better serve our users, please indicate the platform(s) on which you intend to try to compile the HEAsoft source code. If you are uncertain about the version or flavor of your operating system, see the file "/etc/issue" on Linux or use the sw_vers command on Macs. Please note that not all of the systems listed below are actively supported. We have tried to note systems below that are known to be unsupported or only partially supported.


    PRE-COMPILED BINARY DISTRIBUTIONS (May experience portability issues):

    Please note that the pre-compiled binaries are not recommended - particularly for Linux users - due to Perl portability issues. Also, note that users who wish to use local models in XSPEC or PyXspec must get the source code distribution instead. Pre-compiled binaries for Silicon Macs are currently unavailable but may be added at a later date.

    STEP 2 - Download the desired packages:

    Selecting an individual mission package will automatically select a set of recommended general-use tools.


    Please click SUBMIT only once, and be patient while a tar file containing your selections is assembled and retrieved.

    * Xspec Notes:

    • HEASOFT 6.33.2 includes Xspec v12.14.0h. Please see the Xspec issues web page to apply the latest patches after building Xspec (source code distribution required).

    • Older Xspec model data (file list here) is available in a separate tar file:

      Older Xspec model data  (1Gb / 4.5Gb unpacked)

      After installing and initializing HEASoft, unpack this tar file in the directory above $HEADAS:
                   $ cd $HEADAS/..
                   $ tar zxf xspec-older-model-data.tar.gz
    • Users who wish to link Xspec models into their own program are advised to download the Xspec source code distribution and configure heasoft using the option "--enable-xs-models-only".

    STEP 3 - Install the software:

    • Visit the known issues page for notifications about any problems (and relevant patches) identified after HEAsoft 6.33.2 was released.

    • Un-gzip and un-tar the file created for you (either heasoft-6.33.2src.tar.gz or heasoft-6.33.2<platform>.tar.gz depending on which type of distribution you selected) in a clean directory and follow the instructions in our installation guides for the following platforms:

    • See our recommendations for batch processing and good scripting practices when writing your own scripts to run HEASoft tasks.

    • Optional: download and run the hwrap script to create an alternate runtime environment for HEASOFT to help avoid conflicts with other software packages (e.g. XMM-SAS or CIAO).

    HEASoft / FTOOLS Help Desk

    If FTOOLS has been useful in your research, please reference this site ( and use the ASCL reference for HEASoft [ascl:1408.004] or the ASCL reference for the original FTOOLs paper [ascl:9912.002]:

    Blackburn, J. K. 1995, in ASP Conf. Ser., Vol. 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV, ed. R. A. Shaw, H. E. Payne, and J. J. E. Hayes (San Francisco: ASP), 367.

    Web page maintained by: Bryan K. Irby

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    Last modified: Monday, 22-Apr-2024 14:10:27 EDT