I have updated my recent article on how to configure Scientific Linux 6.1 to be your desktop operating system in one crucial respect: the original instructions on how to install Stellarium (the world’s best astronomy program bar none) didn’t work properly.
The original instructions were to add the repoforge repository to the list of available respositories and then simply do a yum install stellarium.
This technique is very convenient and appears to work -but, unfortunately, it installs version 10.2 of Stellarium …which has a known bug whereby its display is garbled when using recent NVidia graphics drivers (I have no idea if ATI or Intel drivers are similarly a problem, but from my reading it appears they might be). You end up with this nonsense when you run the program:
Note the garbled text menus, the complete lack of stars in the main part of the window and the ‘fuzzy’ display of the various toolbars. The solution is, I’m afraid, to uninstall the version of Stellarium that comes from the repositories and, instead, to download source code and compile it. Normally, I’d run a mile from self-compilation, but in this case it is (a) necessary and (b) simple. It also, not incidentally, (c) results in a fully working version of Stellarium. The details are as follows (do all the following as root):
yum remove stellarium
(which cleans out any existing Stellarium installation). Then: Download the source code from http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/Stellarium-sources/0.11.1/stellarium-0.11.1.tar.gz/download, saving it to (say) your Desktop directory. Next, right-click the downloaded tarball and select the Extract Here menu option. That will create a directory called something like /home/hjr/Desktop/stellarium-11.1. Change to that directory and create a couple of new sub-directories, as follows:
cd stellarium-11.1 mkdir -p builds/unix cd builds/unix
Again as root, and at a command prompt, type the following commands:
yum install gcc gcc-c++ libstdc++ cmake cmake-gui gettext gettext-devel mesa-libGL-devel mesa-libGLU-devel zlib-devel libpng-devel freetype-devel boost-devel libjpeg-devel qt-devel doxygen graphviz subversion make
That gets the software dependencies installed. Then you can (again as root) issue three simple commands:
cmake ../.. make make install
Note that the cmake command is issued whilst you’re sitting in your stellarium-11.1/builds/unix directory. Hence the use of ‘..’ to reference other directories, relative to that.
Now you have the latest version of Stellarium installed and can (as yourself) simply type the command stellarium to launch the thing. This time, it should all work as expected:
You’ll probably want to create a new launcher for the program on your top panel because the self-compile route doesn’t create nice menu options to launch the program. If you’d like to edit the Applications menu and add an item that points to your freshly-installed application, you’ll need to install alacarte (easily done with a simple yum install alacarte). In either case, you’ll end up configuring an application launcher to simply run the command stellarium.