Table of Contents


The Python cdsclient package gather scripts to query large tables : wise, 2mass, sdss, Gaia, … It needs no special installation (except that python version 2 or 3 must be installed).

  1. Install :
 tar -xzvf python-cdsclient.tar.gz
 cd python-cdsclient
and test:
 ./ -h

the package includes:

 List big catalogues : -l
 Get columns information for 2mass (=II/246) : -source=II/246 -i
 Query Gaia (I/337/gaia) around M1 (10arcsec) : -source=I/337/gaia -c=M1 
 Get hipparcos (HIP=1) in votable : -source=I/239/hip_main -mime=votable -out.max=50 "HIP=1"
 Query 2mass arround M1: M1
 Query sdss12 arround '217.488910+36.086880': "217.488910+36.086880"

You can also query with constraints (see –help to list the constraints available (case sensitive))

 Query 2mass with jamg constraint: --Jmag="<11"
 Query sdss using identifier:  --objID=1237662225689281592  --mime=tsv and dedicated scripts can also to be used as API:

import find_sdss9 as sdss
process = sdss.QueryCatVizieR()
process.position = "217.091350+35.985222"
process.radius = 120
data = process.get()
print (data)


The cdsclient package is a set of C and csh routines which can be built on Unix stations or PCs running Linux, which once compiled allow to query some databases located at CDS or on mirrors over the network.

The cdsclient package includes two generic query programs:

vizquery Package Installation

The tar file is available at or as the file cdsclient.tar.gz in the directory.

  1. Once the file is copied e.g. as the file cdsclient.tar.gz in your home directory, untar the file :
    tar xvfz cdsclient.tar.gz

    the z option is available in the GNU tar; if your installation doesn't know the z option, execute

    gzip -cd cdsclient.tar.gz | tar xvf -

    A subdirectory cdsclient-V.vv (where V.vv represents the version number) is created; move to that directory by

    cd cdsclient-V.vv
  2. To configure the package for your system, type

    on some old versions of System V, you might need to type

    sh configure

    If you wish a final installation (executables, libraries, and manpages) in a non-standard directory tree structure (the default is /usr/local), specify the preferred prefix, e.g.

    ./configure --prefix=$HOME

    to prepare an installation of executables in your ~/bin directory — an installation which does not require any root privilege.

  3. Type

    to compile the package.

  4. Type
    make install

    moves the various pieces to the standard directories (/usr/local/bin by default for the executables, see item 2 above to reconfigure, or just modify the value of PREFIX in the Makefile)

There are several query programs; as a rule, each program can be executed with the -help option to list the basic available options, e.g.

findgsc -help

A -HELP option is also available for details on the column contents for the programs that return data, like findgsc or findpmm

Package Contents

The available programs are:

Proxys and firewall

Most programs are using the port 1660 which may be closed (more and more institutes are closing almost all ports except a dozen or so like http, ssh, https, …). It is possible to use alternative ports or servers via a CDSCLIENT environment variable: