waqas bhatti / notes / installing idl on fedora/rhel

note added November 2016: I haven't used IDL in about five years, ever since I switched to Python the last year of my thesis work at JHU. The instructions below aren't guaranteed to work any more. I highly recommend moving to the Python scientific/astropy stack if you're not dead set on still using IDL; it's FAR easier to get started and much more rewarding in the long term.

First, become root. Then, install some libraries needed by IDL:

$ yum install compat-libstdc++-33 compat-gcc34-c++ compat-gcc34-g77 libXp

Then make the directory needed for IDL installation and copy over the tarball:

$ mkdir /usr/local/ittvis
$ cp [idl-tarball.tar.gz] /usr/local/ittvis
$ tar xvfz [idl-tarball.tar.gz]

Run ./install, say yes to everything except for installing DICOM network services (unless you need them).

Edit /etc/bashrc (or /etc/cshrc):

For bash, add to end:

. /usr/local/ittvis/idl/bin/idl_setup.bash

For tcsh/csh, add to end:

source /usr/local/ittvis/idl/bin/idl_setup

Reload your bashrc/cshrc:

$ . ~/.bashrc (or source ~/.cshrc)

Copy over your license.dat file to /usr/local/ittvis/license/. Run ittlicense and pick Install a license you have already received. Click next a couple of times. Allow the program to install and launch the FLEXlm daemon.

After the install is complete:

$ chkconfig sys5_idl_lmgrd on

For IDL installation on Fedora 15+, you will need to rename the em1 interface back to eth0 for the FLEXlm license server to correctly find the MAC address for use in licence verification.

For Fedora 15: add the following item to the grub kernel command line in /etc/grub/grub.conf:


For Fedora 16+: you'll have to update the /etc/default/grub file for GRUB2. Add the following item to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX item:


Then update the grub configuration (as root):

$ grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Finally, in /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, change em1 to eth0.