Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Release candidates

Release candidates repository – Release candidates are usually testing versions published before a release is made in order to help iron out bugs and problems. You can try them out and report bugs if you encounter them.

(September 10, 2019) Current version: 2.2.1

Gaia Sky 2.2.1 is the first official version to support VR! Use the CLI argument gaiasky -vr or use the gaiaskyvr.exe executable (on Windows) to run it. You need an HDM supporting OpenVR.

System Package MD5
Linux DEB package (64 MB)
RPM package (64 MB)
Linux/Unix installer (65M MB)
AUR package - gaiasky
Windows 64-bit installer (111 MB) e81df906cf0d9317fdc6f1a23ffdbcc9
macOS DMG package (136 MB) 93c0666d6f3f89824f70512f1a06c327
Archive file TAR.GZ archive file (63 MB) f04bceec2f3550a62cd26553763d358f
GIT repository Source code

Installation instructions

Windows installer

Download the installer and double-click on it. Follow the on-screen instructions. In Windows 8/10 SmartScreen may block the installation. If so, just click on More info and then on Run anyway.

macOS installer

Download and run the DMG file. Then follow the installer instructions. Our package is not signed, so you may want to have a look at how to open apps from "unidentified developers".

TGZ installation

Uncompress the archive in POSIX systems using:

$ tar -zxvf gaiasky-[version].tar.gz

DEB package

Run the following in a terminal:

$ dpkg -i gaiasky-[version].deb

RPM package

Run the following in a terminal:

$ rpm -ivh --nodigest gaiasky-[version].rpm

AUR package

Use any tool capable of installing packages from AUR. The package name is gaiasky. For example, with yay:

$ yay -S gaiasky

How to run...

Gaia Sky
Use the shortcut provided by your Operating System, or use the $ gaiasky command from your favourite CLI.
Gaia Sky VR
Use the 'Gaia Sky VR' shortcut in the start menu or gaiaskyvr.exe (Windows) or $ gaiasky -vr from CLI.

Base data package

In order to run Gaia Sky you need to download the base data package, containing the essential data to run the software (planets, moons, etc.). Usually, the base data is selected and downloaded automatically at startup if it is not found. However, if you require a manual download, you can get it here:

Gaia DR2 catalogues (version 2.1.0+)

Latest update: 2019/02/18

Here you can find larger catalogues for download, based on Gaia DR2 data. The 'criteria' column contains, unless otherwise stated, the two selection criteria used in the catalogue, for bright (gmag <= 13) and faint (gmag > 13) stars in parallax relative error.

These catalogues can also be downloaded directly with the download manager from within Gaia Sky, or manually via these server pages.

Download the desired catalogue and extract it into your data folder ([user.home]/.gaiasky/data in Windows and macOS, ~/.local/share/gaiasky/data in Linux). That's it, you are done!


Data Criteria Number of stars Size (compressed)
Very small 5% / 0.5% 5.1 million
522 MB
  A very small dataset. Scanning underdensities are clearly visible due to the very strict bright star criterion (10%). Otherwise, a good dataset to explore without filling up your disk.
Small 10% / 0.5% 6.7 million
689 MB
  A reasonably small dataset. Some scanning underdensities are present due to the strict bright star criterion (10%).
Default 20% / 0.5% 7.5 million
771 MB
  This is a useful first catalogue to try out. The catalogue is a trade-off between number of stars and size. Contains bright stars with parallaxes up to 20% relative error, and faint stars with 0.5% relative error.
Bright 90% / 0% 7.7 million
788 MB
  Contains only bright stars with parallax relative errors up to 90%. No faint stars (gmag > 13) are included.
Large 50% / 12.5% 97 million
9,1 GB
  This is the default large dataset. Contains about a hundred million stars, with a 50% relative error for bright stars and 12.5% for faint stars.
Rather large 50% / 50% 400 million
37 GB
  This is a rather large dataset. Contains four hundred million stars, up to 50% parallax relative error.
Very large 90% / 90% 601 million
47 GB
  Lots of stars (601 million) in this dataset. Parallax criteria are very relaxed, at 90% relative error for both bright and faint stars.
Extra large Bayesian distances 1.33 billion
56 GB
  Catalogue with 1.33 billion stars (all 5-parameter sources in DR2) based on the bayesian distances paper by Bailer-Jones et al.. We are still working on getting a good artifact-free LOD structure with this catalogue, so bear in mind this is not the final product.
RUWE RUWE 92 million
8.6 GB
  Catalogue with 92 million stars where the Re-normalised Unit Weight Error (RUWE) < 1.4. See this.

Isosurface maps

Here you can find additional isosurface maps produced by Galaxy Map ready to use with Gaia Sky. Just extract the packages in your data folder ([user.home]/.gaiasky/data in Windows and macOS, ~/.local/share/gaiasky/data in Linux).

File Description Size
Very ionizing Very ionizing hot stars 15 MB
Some ionizing Some ionizing hot stars 16 MB
Non-ionizing Non-ionizing hot stars 18 MB
Non-medium-ionizing Non-medium-ionizing hot stars 33 MB

High resolution texture packs

The installation packages do not include high resolution textures to keep the file size at bay. However, we offer a high resolution texture pack with 4K and 8K textures which must be extracted in [user.home]/.gaiasky/data (Windows and macOS) and ~/.local/share/gaiasky/data (Linux).

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