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Fabian is designed for the purpose of viewing image file series. In particular such diffraction image files obtained from synchrotron experiments. It was originally written by Henning Osholm Sørensen & Erik Knudsen from the Technical University of Denmark.

The current homepage for Fabian is at

Installing Fabian

Necessary hardware and software

Fabian is easier to install on Linux, either as a separate hard drive or as a virtual machine on your Windows/Apple computer. In case you are not familiar with Linux, ask your administrator for help.

Fabian will need other programs to run. The list is available on the Fabian homepage. Scroll down, there is a list of all the stuff you need in order to run Fabian properly. If you have a newly installed linux from your IT guys, there is usually only the very basic stuff on it.

There are two ways:

  1. Add the missing python libraries using your linux distribution installer (e.g. yast in OpenSuse), which I what Seb does,
  2. Download and install Anaconda.

Anaconda includes the most recent versions of python and contains most of the necessary libraries. You will be done with installations within 5 minutes. There are also several other advantages coming with Anaconda (for example the installation assistant for GrainSpotter).

Anaconda, on the other hand, is a cutting-edge version of python which may complain if you are using somewhat older libraries.


Go to the Fabian homepage and click on the green button “clone or download”. Click on “Download ZIP”. After the download is finished, navigate to the “Downloads” folder and unpack the ZIP folder to a directory of your choice.

Open a terminal and navigate to the unpacked Fabian directory. There should be a folder called “”. Type the following to the Konsole:

  python build

If you get an error, there might be some of the additional libraries still missing.

Running Fabian

When the installation was successful you should be able to start Fabian by typing

Be aware that the terminal is now busy with running Fabian. If you want to get the terminal back, you should start Fabian by typing &

If you forgot the & sign, you can get the hand on the terminal back by typing Crt-Z and then bg in your terminal.

Screen shots

This is how the main interface of Fabian looks like

Useful features

Fabian is used to visualize diffraction images. It includes many features which are particularly useful in processing multigrain diffraction data:

  • the possibility to navigate through step scan images by simply clicking next, or previous,
  • convenient zoom capabilities,
  • a correct implementation of the fable orientation matrix, which you can use to figure out yours,
  • the possibility to remove a background from the current image,
  • the possibility to add peaks in overlay after running a peak search,
  • and many others…
Substracting a background in the Fabian display
Showing peaks in Fabian
software/fabian.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/21 06:38 by smerkel