HEAsoft v6.14 - Known Issues

If you are using HEASOFT v6.13 and don't want to upgrade to v6.14 just yet, see the HEASOFT 6.13 Issues List.

Please visit the HEASOFT Supported Platforms page for current information about supported operating systems and compilers.

Several packages track issues separately from this page:

The following is a list of known issues in v6.14 of HEAsoft not covered by the above pages.

Last modified Friday, 04-Apr-2014 18:06:50 EDT
  • xstar (PC Linux 64-bit) [Source code distribution only]:

    The xstar modeling package v2.2.1bn15 may abort prematurely without an obvious error on some 64-bit Linux operating systems due to an incorrect buffer size in the routine which reads the atomic data file. The source code downloads have been patched with a fix for this issue (providing xstar v2.2.1bn16) as of 17:00 EDT Monday, 26 August 2013. A patch file for existing source code installations is available here. The PC Linux 64-bit pre-compiled binaries are not affected. To update your source code distribution:
      1) Initialize your environment to use HEASoft.
      2) The patch file contains
         so unpack it above your existing heasoft-6.14 directory
         (i.e. unpack in the directory containing heasoft-6.14).
      3) cd heasoft-6.14/ftools/xstar/
      4) hmake all install
  • ximage:

    HEASoft 6.14 incorporates Tcl/Tk version 8.5.13, which has resulted in a known but apparently harmless issue on some platforms. After using the /XTK plot device, the following message may be displayed upon exit:
        [XIMAGE> quit
        X Error of failed request:  RenderBadPicture (invalid Picture parameter)
          Major opcode of failed request:  ### (RENDER)
          Minor opcode of failed request:  # (RenderFreePicture)
          Picture id in failed request: #########
          Serial number of failed request:  ####
          Current serial number in output stream:  ####
  • Perl version mismatch::

    Pre-compiled Perl libraries used extensively by mission software (Swift, Suzaku, NuSTAR) and other packages are not especially portable, so we generally recommend building HEASoft from the source code distribution.

  • uvotgrplot:

    This Swift/UVOT task may fail with a Fortran runtime error while generating a postscript plot when compiled using certain versions of gfortran (e.g. v4.6.2 installed via fink) on Mac OS X. At present we suspect a compiler bug and recommend using an alternate compiler from the options on our support page.

  • xspec / PLT - wenv, whead, wdata:

    Some GNU Fortran compilers (gfortran 4.4.x, 4.0.x, 4.1.x) appear to have internal issues which prevent the PLT commands wenv, whead and wdata from working unless an output file is specified; i.e. attempts at producing terminal output may fail with "Fortran runtime error: Invalid argument". To get around this, provide an output file name when using these commands, for example:
         wenv myFile1.qdp
         whead myFile2.qdp
         wdata myFile3.qdp

  • HEASoft and other software packages (CIAO, XMM-SAS):

    Please note:

    Users may wish to download and run our hwrap script to create an alternate runtime environment for HEASOFT to help avoid conflicts with other software packages, but if not, please take note of the potential pitfalls below:

    • CIAO:

      Please see the following notes at the CXC website regarding the potential dangers of using CIAO and HEASOFT together in the same session:

    • XMM:

      When the XMM-SAS is initialized after HEASoft (when both are used in the same session), the SAS setup changes the value of the environment variable PGPLOT_FONT with the result that plots in e.g. Xspec may (or may not, depending on the software distributions in use) have no axis labels or values. Users can fix this by resetting PGPLOT_FONT to point to the HEASoft location:
               setenv PGPLOT_FONT $HEADAS/lib/grfont.dat
           Bourne shell:
               export PGPLOT_FONT=$HEADAS/lib/grfont.dat
      or by simply re-initializing HEASoft:
               source $HEADAS/headas-init.csh
           Bourne shell:
               . $HEADAS/headas-init.sh
      This may in turn have consequences for plotting in XMM-SAS, in which case users may need to return PGPLOT_FONT to the SAS setting when using it for data analysis.

If you have any questions about the information above, please write to us at the FTOOLS help desk.

If FTOOLS has been useful in your research, please reference this website (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftools/) and the following:

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