Astronomical imaging with Linux

Capture software

Update November 2018

Current release 0.68.1

Download Instructions pdf to explain how to set up a Lubuntu Linux Virtual Machine on Windows 10 using Oracle VM VirtuLBox

Nicola Mackin FRAS has been developing new Linux capture software since June 2016. The software is called AstroDMx Capture for Linux.

The software can be downloaded at

Splash screen of AstroDMx Capture for Linux (Version 0.50.10)

I have been working on testing and some algorithms, while Nicola has done all of the coding. Below is an 8 panel high resolution mosaic of the Moon captured with AstroDMx Capture for Linux.

Everything has been captured under Mint, Xubuntu or Fedora Linux. The lunar images were captured as 1000-frame SER files at 1280 x 960 resolution using a ZWO ASI120 MC camera. The capture was in 8 bit RAW and was debayered on the fly by AstroDMx Capture for Linux.

The SER files were stacked (80% best images) in Autostakkert! 2.6 running in Wine. The resulting images were wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 in Wine and the 8 resulting images were stitched using Microsoft ICE running in Wine. The final mosaic was post-processed in the Gimp 2.9 running natively under Linux. The image is shown full size below.

63%, waxing, gibbous Moon

Below are a sample of images captured by AstroDMx Capture for Linux, using DMK, DFK and ZWO ASI120 MC and MM cameras.

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux

M42/43 with a ZWO ASI178MC (USB3.0, 14 bit ADC)

The Running Man Nebula with a ZWO ASI178MC (USB3.0, 14 bit ADC)

The Flame  Nebula with a ZWO ASI178MC (USB3.0, 14 bit ADC

with a ZWO ASI120 MC

M13 with ZWO ASI120 MC

M17, the Swan nebula with a ZWO ASI120 MC

LRGB image of M57 with a DMK 21AU04.AS camera with AstroDMx Capture for Linux controlling the ZWO motorised filter wheel. The scope was an 8" SCT with an 0.6 focal reducer.

LRGB image

Jupiter with a ZWO ASI120 MC

Jupiter captured with a tracked ROI by AstroDMx
        Capture for Linux with a ZWO ASI120 MC

Release 0.50.10 of AstroDMx Capture for Linux has full support for:

Astronomy USB cameras

DMK 21AU04.AS (8 bit ADC)
DFK 21AU04.AS (8 bit ADC)
DBK 21AU04.AS (8 bit ADC)
ZWO ASI120MC (USB2.0, 12 bit ADC)
ZWO ASI120MC-S (USB3.0, 12 bit ADC)
ZWO ASI120MM-S (USB3.0, 12 bit ADC)
ZWO ASI178MC (USB3.0, 14 bit ADC)
QHY 5L-II-M astronomy camera (USB2.0, 12 bit ADC)
QHY 5L-II-C astronomy camera (USB2.0, 12 bit ADC)
T7 High-speed camera (USB2.0, 12 bit ADC)
Atik 314L CCD camera mono (USB2.0, 16 bit ADC)
Atik 320E CCD camera colour (USB2.0, 16 bit ADC)
Orion Starshoot Solar System Color Imager IV (USB2.0, 8 bit ADC)
Bresser MicrOcular Full HD Digital Camera (USB2.0, 8 bit ADC)
SVBONY SV105 HD (8 bit ADC)
SVBONY SV205 8Mp (8 bit ADC)
SVBONY SV305 HD (12 bit ADC)
Altair (Orion Starshoot) USB eyepiece (USB2.0, 8 bit ADC)
USB cameras
DMK 37AUX273 machine vision camera (USB3.0, 12 bit ADC)
ELP 1.3Mp CMOS board-level HD USB camera (8 bit ADC)
Lucky Zoom 5Mp microscope USB CMOS camera (8 bit ADC)
Vimicro USB2.0 UVC PC camera (e.g. Maplin USB2.0 Microscope) (8 bit ADC)
USB Capture cards
UVC capture card (Motion-JPEG only) (8 bit ADC)
EasyCAP (Motion-JPEG only) (8 bit ADC)
USB webcams
TRUST WB 5400 CMOS 1.3 Mp webcam (8 bit ADC). Bayer output.
Sweex WC066 HD webcam (8 bit ADC)
Sweex WC070 ViewPlus (8 bit ADC)
Sweex WC035V2 VGA webcam (8 bit ADC)
Philips SPC900NC including SPC800 and Philips 740 flashed to SPC900NC (8 bit ADC)
Philips 690 Vesta Pro Webcam (8 bit ADC)
Logitech HD C525 (8 bit ADC)
Microsoft LIFECAM 2 (8 bit ADC)
Creative Webcam Live (8 bit ADC) Bayer output only.
All Video 4 Linux cameras.
The software also controls the ZWO USB filter wheel.

AstroDMx Capture for Linux is under constant development, so this list of supported cameras will grow over time.

List of Linux Operating systems and desktop environments tested to date with AstroDMx Capture for Linux (0.50.1)
Debian 9, Xfce, LXDE, Cinnamon, GNOME 3, MATE, Plasma
Fedora 24, 25, 26 Gnome 3
Fedora 26, 27, Cinnamon
Fedora 28, 29 Xfce, Cinnamon, Gnome 3
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce
Kubuntu 16.04 LTS
Kubuntu 17.04
Xubuntu 17.04, 18.04
Lubuntu 17.04
Ubuntu Gnome, Gnome 3 or classic
Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity (with the additional download package)
Ubuntu 17.04 with Unity (with the additional download package), and Ubuntu 18.04
Peppermint OS
Antergos Linux
PC Linux Mate
Mageia Linux
Elementary OS.
Deepin Linux
Ubuntu Kylin
Netrunner OS

Nicola Mackin FRAS & Steve Wainwright FRAS