Commander is still under heavy development, so installation is a little tricky at the moment. This will be cleared up in the future, once the dust has settled.

For now, try the following instructions, which have been tested with Python 2.7.4 on Ubuntu 13.04.

NOTE: Before following these instructions, read the "Known Issues" section
  1. Ensure that recent versions of the following Python packages are installed:
    • numpy
    • scipy
    • h5py
    • pyfits
    • pytables
    • python-concurrent.futures
You will also require standard build tools like autoconf, an MPI-enabled compiler, and a working version of Cython (tested using 0.17.4 here).
  1. Install and compile libsharp as follows:
    1. Clone the libsharp git repository:

      $ git clone git:// libsharp

    2. Change to the newly-created libsharp/ directory, run 'autoconf' to create a configure script, and then configure with the following flags:

      $ cd libsharp/ $ autoconf $ CC=mpicc ./configure --enable-mpi --enable-pic

      It's important to explicitly define an MPI-enabled compiler. Otherwise, you'll get error messages like "commander/sphere/ undefined symbol: sharp_execute_mpi" when you try to run Commander.

    3. Run `make test' to ensure everything is working.

  1. Install a recent version of Healpix (at least version 3.11) from Build it with gfortran (or ifort). Make sure to answer yes to enable PIC. Only the Fortran portion is needed, i.e., you can save some time by building using make f90-all.

  2. Download and build a recent version of OpenBLAS from This should be built in single-threaded mode, e.g., make USE_THREAD=0, because Commander will do its own OpenMP parallelization where each thread does matrix operations on very small matrices.

  3. In the root directory of the Commander 2 git checkout, make a copy of the file called 'config.example' and name it (e.g.) 'config.mymachine'. Then, add the following options to the "./waf configure" line, making sure to replace the paths given here with the appropriate ones for your machine:

    ./waf configure --inplace

    --with-libsharp=$SOMEWHERE/libsharp/auto --with-healpix-include=$SOMEWHERE/Healpix_3.11/include_gfortran --with-healpix-lib=$SOMEWHERE/Healpix_3.11/lib_gfortran --with-lapack=$SOMEWHERE/OpenBLAS --with-lapack-lib=openblas

Ensure that 'config.mymachine' is executable, and then run:
$ ./config.mymachine
  1. Assuming that the configure script found everything it needs, you can now build Commander:

    $ ./waf install wscript

  2. Once Commander has been built successfully, add the git root directory to your PYTHONPATH. For example, if the absolute path to the commander2/ git directory is /home/joe/commander2, you would use:

    $ export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/home/joe/commander2

  3. Check that everything is working properly by seeing if you can import the 'commander' Python package, e.g.

    $ python -c "import commander"

    If you don't get any error messages, then everything is probably fine.

Known issues

MKL and NumPy/SciPy: Some scientific Python distributions (e.g., Enthought Python Distribution) ship with NumPy/SciPy linked with MKL. The problem with this is that MKL is loaded in such a way that the symbols from the library overwrite the symbols of the single-threaded OpenBLAS (as described above). The result is that rather than using N threads, N^2 threads are used, usually with resulting program crash due to running out of memory.

For now the workaround is to build NumPy/SciPy oneself and add it to PYTHONPATH. For instance, compile another version of OpenBLAS, this time with USE_THREAD=1, and then build NumPy using it, and then build SciPy with the rebuilt NumPy in PYTHONPATH.