Building Montage

  1. Download the source code for Montage, and save it in the directory of your choice; we will refer to this containing directory as $INSTALL.
  2. Unzip the file. For example, if you downloaded Montage_vX.Y.tar.gz, type:

    gunzip Montage_vX.Y.tar.gz

    This will uncompress the file Montage_vX.Y.tar.

  3. Un-tar the file:

    tar xpf Montage_vX.Y.tar

    This will create the directory Montage_vX.Y, which will include the Montage files and subdirectories.

    Click here to see a packing list of the contents of the directories.

    See the Before Building section in Overview of Components for additional information.

  4. cd into the main Montage directory (Montage_vX.Y) and type "make" to build Montage. This will build all the libraries and executables (described in Montage Components), and place all the executables in $INSTALL/Montage_vX.Y/bin. Nothing outside the Montage directory will be altered. The build may take up to several minutes. There should be a continuous stream of output messages during this process.
  5. If you want to be able to run the Montage executables from any directory, you will need to add $INSTALL/Montage_vX.Y/bin to your path.

    For instance, using the bash shell on Linux, after installing Montage in /home/username/Montage_vX.Y, we add the following line to /home/username/.bash-profile:


    If you are using csh, you would add the following line to /home/username/.cshrc:

    set path = ($path /home/username/Montage_vX.Y/bin)



Montage relies on several astronomical libraries, all of which are included in the package and installed when Montage is built (under lib):

Given a set of points on the sky, boundaries can determine the best-fit polygon containing them.
A library of routines for reading and writing data files in the FITS data format, written by William D Pence at HEASARC.
Coordinate handling routines to transform coordinates between systems and epochs.
JPEG image library
Routines for extracting information from ASCII tables.
Boundaries around sets of points in the x-y plane
Montage executables all produce structured responses as output (of the form [struct stat=status, ... additional information]). The svc library contains routines to start up processes, send commands, and parse the responses to extract keyword = value pairs or the value of a particular keyword.
Plane-to-plane transformations in the tangent plane
Subroutines for setting and using the world coordinate systems (WCS) in the headers of FITS images. Part of SAO's WCS Tools (


Updating External Libraries:

If you would like to install a new version of the WCS or CFITSIO libraries under Montage, please read the external library notes in "Montage Components."