Installing neat

You can install neat either by downloading and compiling the source code yourself, or you can get pre-compiled binaries from software repositories. The version of the code you get will be slightly different in each case. I recommend installing from my PPA if you can, as it provides the most convenient way to keep your installation up to date.

Download the source code: this will get you the most recent version of the code.

Compiling from source

If you can't install neat using a package manager, then you will need to get the source code and compile it. You can get the most recent version in .tar.gz format or zip format. For older versions, see releases.

Changes from previous versions are listed here, and can also be seen on github. neat comes with all the atomic data necessary to run the code, predominantly from the CHIANTI 7.0 database but from other sources for a couple of ions. You can get atomic data compilations from CHIANTI 5.2, CHIANTI 6.0, CHIANTI 7.0, and an assortment of older sources, from

Once you have downloaded neat, extract the archive and then, in the directory it extracted to, compile the code by typing


Our makefile assumes that you have gfortran installed, if you don't have gfortran installed then any modern fortran compiler should work as well, although some alterations may be required given that dialects of Fortran are not necessarily 100% compatible.

Once you've typed make, then after a few seconds the code should have compiled, and you should now see an executable `neat' in the directory you are in. If so, then the code has compiled properly. Now you can install the code by typing

sudo make install

If you don't have root access, or you want to install to a different location, you can change the value of PREFIX in the makefile before compiling.

Install from my PPA (Ubuntu and derivatives): I upload new binaries for currently supported distributions whenever the code is updated.

Installing from my PPA

Frequently updated binaries are available for Ubuntu and derivatives if you first enable my Personal Package Archive. Do that with the following two commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nebulousresearch/ppa
sudo apt update

Then install the code with:

sudo apt install neat
Install from Debian repositories (Debian and derivatives): will get you version 2.3. I upload new binaries when neat's version number is incremented.

If you are using Linux Debian version 9 (Stretch) or later, Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic) or later, or Linux Mint 19 (Tara) or later, you can install neat version 2.3 by clicking here to install using APT, or in a terminal window by typing

sudo apt install neat

neat is just one of hundreds of pieces of astronomical software conveniently packaged for Debian and derivatives: see Debian Astro Packages for details.

After installation

To verify that the code is working, try out one of the numerous sample linelists. You will find them in /usr/share/doc/neat/examples or (on a Mac) /usr/local/share/doc/neat/examples. Copy a file from there to a convenient location, and test that the code is working by typing

./neat -i ngc6543_3cols.dat

(changing the file name as appropriate). You should then see something like the following in the terminal:

 NEAT, the Nebular Empirical Analysis Tool
 version 2.2.0-1ppa1~xenial1ubuntu2

 15:29:37 : starting code
            command line: neat -i ngc6543_3cols.dat

            unresolved blend: changed wavelength 7318.92 to 7319.45
            line list file ngc6543_3cols.dat read successfully (223 lines)

            using Howarth (1983) galactic extinction law
            using Porter et al. (2012) He I emissivities
            using Delgado-Inglada et al. (2014) ICF

            reading in abundance analysis weights from /usr/share/neat/default.cfg
            reading atomic data from /usr/share/neat
            reading H emissivities
            reading He I emissivities
            reading He II emissivities
            reading OII diagnostics data

            doing abundance calculations
            finished abundance calculations

            Writing line list
            Linelist written to files:
            Writing summary files
            Results written to files:

            all done

And if you then look in the output file, ngc6543_3cols.dat_results, you should see a lot of calculated values, starting with the logarithmic extinction at Hβ and ending with abundance discrepancy factors.

If there were problems and something unlike what is described here has happened, please get in touch.