A substantial portion of the SDSS software is written in the IDL language. We strongly recommend installing the idlutils package, as this is a prerequisite for many other SDSS software packages.
SDSS has also transitioned a large amount of software to Python. For Python users, the
sdss_python_module package is recommended.
The basic software tools necessary for analyzing SDSS data are contained in the IDL-based products:
photoop. The latter two often depend on two more products containing essential meta-data:
Note we also distribute software for reading atlas images (readAtlasImages-v5_4_11.tar.gz), whose usage can be found in the atlas image description.
Additionally, there are a number of products distributed with the software that contain external data of various sorts (dust maps, FIRST catalogs, RC3, Tycho-2, etc).