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Linux software kit installation

There is a whole suite of software required to run multigrain X-ray diffraction, and their installation procedure can be quite tricky if you are not comfortable with computing techniques.

The procedure below was tested with a recent Windows laptop. We proceed as follow:

  • Install a linux Ubuntu virtual machine
  • Set-up anaconda
  • Install the multigrain software suite within anaconda

You may be able to run this in windows only. This was not tested.

Install a linux Ubuntu virtual machine

There are many tutorials on how to do so on the internet. Here is a quick summary of how we proceeded


Anaconda is a distribution of the python and other programming languages for scientific computing. It makes it much easier to install and manage packages without messing up your environment or interfering with the operating system.

Download Anaconda from Install anaconda

sh Download/Anconda……. (change file name according to what was downloaded)

Keep note of where anaconda will be installed, typically /home/myhome/anaconda3

Keep note of the instructions at the end of the anadonda installation as you may have to type those commands each time you start a new terminal. In our case

eval “$(/home/myhome/anaconda3/bin/conda shell.bash hook)”
conda init

Install ESRF data analysis tools, fabio, silx, and ImageD11

Within a terminal in which anaconda is activated

pip3 install fabio
pip3 install silx
pip3 install ImageD11

Install additional packages by hand


Fabian is very handy to visualize diffraction images, figure out detector orientations, identify parameters for peak extraction, etc. It is an old piece of software, but there is not real replacement at this point.

Start by installing the Pmw libray, which is required by fabian

pip3 install Pmw

Create a folder for additional software somewhere on your hard disk, called Fable-3DXRD for instance. Move into this folder and create a clone of the repository at github

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD
git clone
cd fabian
python3 build
python3 install

Next time, if you want to update your installation of fabian with a new version, you will not need to clone the directory. You will move into your folder and update it:

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD/fabian/
git pull
python3 build
python3 install

We did have a problem while install fabian, which was calling some obscure functions with OpenGL. Move looked into the fabian source code to de-activate those functions. This should be documented somewhere but we did not do it yet.


If you want to simulate data for training, you need will PolyXSim. The procedure is very similar to that we used for fabian. If you never installed PolyXSim:

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD
git clone
cd PolyXSim
python3 build
python3 install

If you need to update PolyXSim:

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD/PolyXSim
git pull
python3 build
python3 install


The TIMEleSS-tools include many helpers, guis, etc that were developed along with this tutorial. You will probably need them.

If you never installed the TIMEleSS-tools:

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD
git clone 
python3 build
python3 install

Otherwise, if you simply want to update your local copy:

cd ~/Fable-3DXRD/TIMEleSS
git pull
python3 build
python3 install


Grainspotter is often used to index grains. It is available on conda:

conda install -c fable grainspotter


If you made it here, you are done! You can follow other pages of this wiki to get started. Good luck!

processing/minimal_software_intallation.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/10 10:59 by smerkel