Before you install pyKLIP, you will need to install the following packages, which are useful for most astronomical data analysis situations anyways. The main pyKLIP code is cross-compatible with both python2.7 and python3.5.

  • numpy
  • scipy
  • astropy
  • Optional: matplotlib, mkl-service

For the optional packages, matplotlib is useful to actually plot the images. For mkl-service, pyKLIP autmoatically toggles off MKL parallelism during parallelized KLIP if the mkl-service package is installed. Otherwise, you will need to toggle them off yourself for optimal performance. See notes on parallelized performance below.

For Foward-Model Astrometry and Photometry specifically, you’ll also want to install the following packages:

  • emcee
  • corner

As pyKLIP is computationally expensive, we recommend a powerful computer to optimize the computation. As direct imaging data comes in many different forms, we cannot say right here what the hardware requirements are for your data reduction needs. For data from the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), a computer with 20+ GB of memory is optimal for an 1 hour sequence taken with the integral field spectrograph and reduced using ADI+SDI. For broadband polarimetry data from GPI, any laptop can reduce the data.


Due to the continually developing nature of pyKLIP, we recommend you use the current version of the code on Bitbucket and keep it updated. To install the most up to date developer version, clone this repository if you haven’t already:

$ git clone

This clones the repoistory using HTTPS authentication. Once the repository is cloned onto your computer, cd into it and run the setup file:

$ python develop

If you use multiple versions of python, you will need to run with each version of python (this should not apply to most people).

Note on parallelized performance

Due to the fact that numpy compiled with BLAS and MKL also parallelizes linear algebra routines across multiple cores, performance can actually sharply decrease when multiprocessing and BLAS/MKL both try to parallelize the KLIP math. If you are noticing your load averages greatly exceeding the number of threads/CPUs, try disabling the BLAS/MKL optimization when running pyKLIP.

To disable OpenBLAS, just set the following environment variable before running pyKLIP:


A recent update to anaconda included some MKL optimizations which may cause load averages to greatly exceed the number of threads specified in pyKLIP. As with the OpenBLAS optimizations, this can be avoided by setting the maximum number of threads the MKL-enabled processes can use:

$ export MKL_NUM_THREADS=1

As these optimizations may be useful for other python tasks, you may only want MKL_NUM_THREADS=1 only when pyKLIP is called, rather than on a system-wide level. By defaulf in, if mkl-service is installed, the original maximum number of threads for MKL is saved, and restored to its original value after pyKLIP has finished. You can also modify the number of threads MKL uses on a per-code basis by running the following piece of code (assuming mkl-service is installed):

import mkl

Parallelization on windows

On windows, you might run into the following error:

        Attempt to start a new process before the current process
        has finished its bootstrapping phase.
        This probably means that you are on Windows and you have
        forgotten to use the proper idiom in the main module:
            if __name__ == '__main__':
        The "freeze_support()" line can be omitted if the program
        is not going to be frozen to produce a Windows executable.

If so, simply encapsulate the main code of your script within the following if statement if __name__ == '__main__': as shown below. Note that definitions of new functions or include statements can be placed before this statement. Example:

import glob
import pyklip.instruments.GPI as GPI
import pyklip.parallelized as parallelized

if __name__ == '__main__':
    filelist = glob.glob("path/to/dataset/*.fits")
    dataset = GPI.GPIData(filelist, highpass=True)

    parallelized.klip_dataset(dataset, outputdir="path/to/save/dir/", fileprefix="myobject",
                              annuli=9, subsections=4, movement=1, numbasis=[1,20,50,100],
                              calibrate_flux=True, mode="ADI+SDI")