Science Operations

LMS Install

This page contains instructions for downloading and installing the LMS software used for LUCI mask generation, as well as some of the release notes for this latest update.

System Requirements

The LMS software requires a working installation of ESO’s Skycat software.  That software is still maintained for Linux and OS-X (Mac) operating systems (the current version is 3.1.4).  Information regarding installation of pre-compiled binaries for Skycat can be found here:

Installing Skycat may require you to specially configure the repositories used to obtain the binaries. That information is provided (by ESO) for various Linux flavors and OSX here: 

OS-X (Mac) users:

  1. Skycat and LMS require X-windows to be installed on your system.  A pre-compiled binary for X-windows can be found here from Xquartz  The latest version is 2.7.11 and works on all versions of OS-X.
  2. The preferred method of installing Skycat is using Macports.  ESO provides a guideline to installation.  The Macports website provides more information.

Users may also compile the Skycat source code on their own, rather than install pre-configured binaries. That information is found at the bottom of the webpage:

Installing LMS

For Version 3.1.2:  Distribution files for both OSX (Mac) and linux are available here:


NOTE: Updated version release 08/04/2019 that addresses accuracy issue for slit positions.  This issue resulted in a slight distortion that could impact positions of outer edge of the 4′ FOV in v3.1.1 or prior up to 0.1″.

  • Mac OS X
    Drop the untarred file into your /Applications folder and you are ready to Get Started

    cd /Applications
    tar -zxvf [tar file location]/LMS_v3.1.2_mac.tgz

    This distribution assumes that Skycat has been installed via Macports.  If Skycat was installed by other means, or is not located in the standard /opt/local/bin/skycat directory, then edit the “call skycat” directory located near the end of in LMS_v3.0/bin to point to your Skycat directory.


  • Linux (Fedora, Scientific Linux, and CentOS, likely to be compatible with other distributions).
    Untar the file. If the LMS_v3.1 is placed in your home directory and skycat is in your path,
    $LMSROOT to match the path for your LMS directory, and the “call skycat” path located in LMS_v3.0/bin/

The application is distributed via Google Drive, you should use your web browser to download the files, follow the Google Drive instructions to download the file

For Version 1.65: A tarball of LMS_v1.65 and the manual, which outlines detailed use of the LUCI Mask Software, is available here.

Release Notes:

The main fixes/additions for version 3.1.2:

Alignment stars can be placed without cut boxes

Auto-slit can be run at any position angle

Updated scale factor for more accurate slit placement

Updated menus to help guide the user through the optimal mask configuration

This version is backwards compatible with v1.65, v2.0, and v2.22 generated files, allowing the user to load and update older masks.

EPSF files are not generating correctly in version 3.1.  Fix pending.  The most accurate representation of the mask is the gerber file (used by the mask cutting software) and the lms file (loaded in the luci rtd and OT).  Gerber file viewer are available online, or you can download gerbv for viewing.  Additional release notes and a list of known bugs are available here.