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Cartes du Ciel is free software released under the terms of the
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Directories and Files

Here is an overview of the directories and files on standard installations.


executableskychart.exe (the main program)
executablecdcicon.exe (the clock with many times)
executablevarobs.exe (Variable Star Observer)
InstallationC:\Program Files\ciel
User dataC:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Skychart (Vista,Win7,Win8)
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\local Settings\Application Data\Skychart (Win XP)

Some directories may be hidden, change the Explorer setting to show them.


executable/usr/bin/skychart (the main program)
executable/usr/bin/cdcicon (the clock with many times)
executable/usr/bin/varobs (Variable Star Observer)
User data~/.skychart (watch the preceding dot, this makes the directory 'hidden'.)

Mac OS X

PurposeDirectory (the main program) (Variable Star Observer)
Installation/Applications/Cartes du Ciel
User data~/Library/Application Support/skychart

The content of the user data directory

  • skychart.ini. This file contains all configuration settings made by the user. Some examples: the observation position, the directories to the configured catalogs, and the definitions of your markers.
  • scope.ini The settings for the internal LX200 or Encoder telescope driver.
  • cdc_trace.txt. This file keeps track of the events with the last started instance of skychart.exe. It can be used for a simple form of debugging. Only found under Windows and Mac OSX, under Linux this trace is to stdout.
  • Archive A default location to save the FITS pictures.
  • database. As the name suggests, this is the place where SkyCharts keeps a database with the name cdc.db that consists of indexed, searchable data. The database contains several tables. Herein the ephemeris of the asteroids and comets are kept after these were calculated from the orbital elements. Also there is a table that contains the ordered list of object-pictures that can be displayed. (For example, those in the data\pictures\sac subdirectory in the installation directory.) And the data for Countries and Observation locations are kept in this file.
  • MPC. In this directory SkyChart saves the comet and asteroid data that was downloaded from the Minor Planet Center.
  • pictures. Directory where the FITS-pictures are saved, downloaded from the online DSS resources. Usually, you will find files with names like $ and $
  • satellites The location to put your TLE files with the file extension .tle
  • script Your personal tool box script go there.
  • tmp. Directory where temporary pictures of planets are saved, retrieved from the xplanet program.
  • varobs The Variable star observer catalog
  • vo Your Virtual Observatory downloaded catalogs.

en/documentation/directories_and_files.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/20 22:15 by pch