Starlink Installation with Flatpak
Flatpak is a package manager for Linux which comes with many modern distributions. It is intended for applications, and runs them in an isolated environment, separate from the rest of your system. Installing Starlink using flatpak has a number of advantages and disadvantages:
- Installation and updating are easy, using the flatpak software which you are likely to already have.
- Starlink should work on a wide variety of Linux distributions due to flatpak's use of common base platforms.
- Flatpak expects a package to contain a single application to run when launched. This does not match Starlink's nature as a collection of software. Therefore we just launch a bash shell running in a terminal, from which you can access Starlink applications. (If you open a file with the flatpak application, it will try to open it with GAIA.)
- From within the flatpak environment (i.e. the bash shell) you can not access other software installed on your system. You will therefore have to use this shell just for Starlink, and do other tasks in another window.
Our flatpak repository contains the following branches:
2023A — the 2023A release (or a preview version of it)
dev — a recent development version of Starlink (not a particular release).
The following modifications are made to the Starlink software for the flatpak packages:
- STARLINK_DIR will be set to /app as this is where flatpak will place the software.
- Various environment variables (e.g. ADAM_USER, HDS_SCRATCH) are pointed to /tmp to maintain the isolation of the Starlink environment.
- Documentation, examples, etc. are removed to make the packages as small as possible.
StarJava is packaged as an extension so that you can optionally install it if desired.
You can install on Linux as follows (assuming you already have flatpak itself installed):
flatpak remote-add --user --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak remote-add --user --no-gpg-verify starlink https://ftp.eao.hawaii.edu/starlink/flatpak/starlink.flatpakrepo flatpak install --user starlink edu.hawaii.eao.starlink.Starlink//2023A flatpak install --user starlink edu.hawaii.eao.starlink.Starlink.StarJava//2023A
The last part of these identifiers (//2023A) gives the branch name, from the list of branches above.
And then run with:
flatpak run edu.hawaii.eao.starlink.Starlink
or use the icon which should have been added to your menu.
This should open a shell inside the isolated environment, with Starlink installed at /app and already set up. (Note however that from this terminal your other system programs will not be available.)
Starlink can be removed as follows:
flatpak uninstall edu.hawaii.eao.starlink.Starlink flatpak remote-delete starlink
And if the flathub remote is not being used for anything else, it can be removed:
flatpak remote-delete flathub