PySALT User Package

The PySALT user package was used in the past as the primary reduction and analysis software tools for the SALT telescope. This software package is however no longer being developed or supported by the SALT team and is also no longer part of the primary data reduction pipeline of the SALT telescope. Users who wish to install and use the PySALT package are doing so at their own risk.

The PySALT package includes tools for basic RSS and SALTICAM data reductions in both imaging and spectroscopic modes. Basic analysis software for slot mode data is also provided.  These tools are primarily written in python/PyRAF with some additional IRAF code.

Docker Installation Instructions (RECOMMENDED):

SALT users have found it difficult to install PySALT due to different installation recipes based on OS and dependencies. We have created a Docker environment to simplify the installation process and this is the recommended method we now advise users to go with; the installation instructions are given here. If you are installing PySALT for the first time, we strongly recommend you use Docker.

Download (PySALT v0.47):

If you really want to download the package instead, we currently suggest that you download PySALT user package v0.47 (released on 4 Apr 2014). In order to install PySALT, several other packages have to be installed as well including python, PyRAF, and IRAF. Descriptions and links to each of those packages are included under dependencies. All of the dependent programs are available on the SALT ftp site.  If you are downloading the package from outside South Africa, it is suggested that the dependencies be downloaded from their original source. The instructions for the installation of the PySALT package via source code are below (they are also provided in the tarball).

Older versions of the software can are also available as well as a nightly build. Release notes are available and the source code is available from a github repository.

We note again that the PySALT package is no longer being developed or supported by the SALT team, we can therefore not guarantee assistance if problems occur.


Documentation is available on the SALT Wiki, in the form of user manuals, tutorials and also provided within the package itself. For developers, API documentation and design documents are also available.


If you use data reduced by the SALT science pipeline or use the PySALT software, please provide a link to ‘’ and cite the following paper:

Crawford, S.M., Still, M., Schellart, P., Balona, L., Buckley, D.A.H., Gulbis, A.A.S., Kniazev, A., Kotze, M., Loaring, N., Nordsieck, K.H., Pickering, T.E., Potter, S., Romero Colmenero, E., Vaisanen, P., Wiliams, T., Zietsman, E., 2010. PySALT: the SALT Science Pipeline. SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation, 7737. ADS