1. Downloading and Installation

The latest release version of Larch is 0.9.55.

Larch is in active and continuing development. The goal is to release a new version every six months or so, but without specific timelines. The packaging and installation process also changes rather frequently. We try to keep the instruction here up-to-date. Your feedback, bug reports, and patience are greatly appreciated.

1.1. Single-File Installers and Source Installation Files

Table of Larch Installers and Downloads

Operating System

Binary Installer File

Installation Script

Installation Notes

Windows (64 bit)

Larch for Windows

GetLarch.bat

Notes

Mac OSX (64 bit)

Larch for MacOSX

GetLarch.sh

Notes

Linux (64 bit)

Larch for Linux

GetLarch.sh

Notes

Source Code

source code

Notes

Docs and Examples (all systems)

Docs and Examples

Notes

Standalone binary installers for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux, are available at Larch Binary Installers. These are fairly large (400 to 600 Mb files) self-contained files that will install a complete Anaconda Python environment with all of libraries needed by Larch. Normally, this installation will be create a folder called xraylarch in your home folder – see platform-specific notes below. The installation scripts listed above are much smaller and will download and install a complete Larch environment that will be essentially identical to the one from the binary installers.

Note

There can be no spaces in your username or the path in which Larch is installed.

Installing with these installers should write to files only to folders owned by the user account. It should not require administrative privilege and should not interfere with any thing else on your system (such as system Python).

These installers will also create a folder called Larch on your desktop that contains links (or shortcuts or Apps) to many of the Larch GUI applications listed in Table of Larch Applications and Programs. This includes tools for X-ray Absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and working with X-ray diffraction images.

1.1.1. Windows Notes

For Windows, download the Larch for Windows binary installer above and run it to install Larch. This will be installed to C:\Users\<YourName>\xraylarch for most individual Windows installations or to C:\Users\<YourName>\AppData\Local\xraylarch if your machine is part of a Windows Workgroup or Domain.

Note

If you get prompted for an administrative password during the installation process, you should make sure you are installing to a folder that is writable by the user.

Alternatively you can download the GetLarch.bat script, and run that by double-clicking on it. This will download, install, and configure the Larch package, with a result that is nearly identical to the binary installer.

1.1.2. MacOS Notes

For Mac OS, download the Larch for MacOSX package installer above and click it to install Larch. There are two important notes:

Note

With MacOS 10.15 (Catalina), Apple will not install non-signed 3rd party packages by default. You may need to go into General Settings part of the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences and explicitly allow this package to be installed. You probably will be prompted for an Administrative password.

Note

You need to explicitly click on “Install only for me” during the installation process. If you get prompted for an Administrative password by the installer, go back and explicitly choose “Install only for me”.

Alternatively you can download the GetLarch.sh script, and run that in a Terminal session (Applications->Utilities->Terminal). This will download, install, and configure the Larch package, with a result that is nearly identical to the binary installer. If you run into any problems with permissions or adminstrative privileges or “unauthorized application” with the package installer, running this installer script actually avoids all of those issues since your user account will simply be running the commands to write files to your home directory.

1.1.3. Linux Notes

For Linux, download the Larch for Linux shell installer file, then open a Terminal, use cd to move to the download folder (typically $HOME/Downloads) and run:

~> bash ./xraylarch-2021-07-Linux-x86_64.sh

Desktop shortcuts as .desktop files will be created on all Linux platforms, but whether these actually appear on your desktop depends on the Windowing system used: they will appear on the desktop with KDE and many other systems, but not with Gnome. Clickable icons should also show up in the Applications selection of the “Start Menu” or Applications list.

Alternatively you can download the GetLarch.sh script, and run that in a Terminal session. This will download, install, and configure the Larch package, with a result that is nearly identical to the binary installer.

1.2. Using Installation Scripts GetLarch.sh and GetLarch.bat

The scripts GetLarch.sh (for Linux and MacOSX) and GetLarch.bat in the installers folder of the source distribution (see Larch Installer Scripts) will download and install Miniforge Python which uses Anaconda Python and the conda-forge channel as the basis of an installation that will be essentially identical to the environment installed by the binary installers. You can read these scripts and modify them for your needs (or maybe suggest ways we could maintain that for others to use too). In simple bash, that might look like this:

#!/usr/bin/sh
prefix=$HOME/xraylarch
condaurl="https://github.com/conda-forge/miniforge/releases/latest/download"
condafile="Miniforge3-$uname-x86_64.sh"
condaforge_pkgs="numpy=>1.18 scipy=>1.6 matplotlib=>3.3 scikit-image scikit-learn pymatgen pycifrw wxpython tomopy"
uname=`uname`
if [ $uname == Darwin ]; then
    uname=MacOSX
    condaforge_pkgs="$condaforge_pkgs python.app"
fi
/usr/bin/curl $condaurl/$condafile
unset CONDA_EXE CONDA_PYTHON_EXE CONDA_PREFIX PROJ_LIB
sh ./$condafile -b -p $prefix
$prefix/bin/conda update -y --all
$prefix/bin/conda install --force-reinstall -yc conda-forge $condaforge_pkgs
$prefix/bin/pip install wxmplot wxutils lmfit asteval pyshortcuts pyfai xraylarch

Note that this script will install several extra packages that are not strictly necessary for using Larch, but do add some useful and/or convenient functionality. That is, for any Python (version 3.6 or higher):

pip install xraylarch

will install a functional version of the Larch library, pulling in any missing dependencies.

Some of the extra packages that are installed here are:

  • wxpython: needed for all plotting, graphics and GUI applications.

  • python.app: needed (from conda-forge) for any Anaconda-based Python on MacOSX (but no other systems).

  • tomopy: needed for reconstructing X-ray fluorescence tomography.

  • pyepics, epicsapps: needed to interact with Epics control system.

  • pyFAI: needed for integrating 2D X-ray Diffraction images to 1D XRD patterns.

None of these are strictly needed for using the Larch library for XAFS analysis.

1.3. Install with Python

For those familiar with Python, Larch can be installed into an existing Python environment. Larch requires Python 3.6 or higher.

If you are starting out with Python and interested in Larch, using Anaconda Python for Larch is a good option as Anaconda provides and maintains a free Python distribution than contains many of the scientific Python packages needed for Larch.

But, you can also install Larch in other Python environments. While the binary installers are convenient, they do install a full Python environment with many additional packages in a user directory on your machine. In some cases, you may want to install Larch with a different version of Python, without every package, or in a system-wide location. The instructions here should help you do that.

For Linux users, if you have Python 3.7 installed on your system, you should be able to make a separate environment yourself on any operating system by opening a Terminal, moving to your home folder (or where ever you want to install Larch) and do:

> python3 -m venv xraylarth

Then you can do:

> source/bin/xraylarch/activate
> pip install xraylarch

That will install the basic library. On Linux, binary installs for wxPython are not available on PyPI, and the above will try to compile wxPython from source (which requires many “developer” packages). For many Linux distributions, you can get these with one of:

> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/centos-7 wxPython
> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/centos-8  wxPython
> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/debian-10  wxPython
> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/fedora-31  wxPython
> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/ubunto-18.04  wxPython
> pip install -U -f https://extras.wxpython.org/wxPython4/extras/linux/gtk3/ubunto-20.04  wxPython

If wxPython has been installed, then running:

> larch -m

will create a Larch folder on your desktop pointing this Python environment, and may install other packages needed for using the wxPython applications.

1.3.1. Using Anaconda Python

By default, Anaconda Python installs into your own home folder (on Windows, this will be the APPDATA location, which is typically something like C:\\Users\<YourName>\Anaconda3 or C:\\Users\<YourName>\AppData\Local\Anaconda3). As with the single-file installers above, installing Anaconda Python does not require extra permissions to install, upgrade, or remove components. Anaconda includes a robust package manager called conda that makes it easy to update the packages it manages, including Larch.

Start by installing the latest version of Anaconda Python from the Anaconda Downloads site. Python 3.8 or Python 3.9 is recommended. Larch should work with Python 3.7 and Python 3.6 (to be clear, it will not work with Python 2.7). You can also download and install Miniconda from Miniconda Downloads as a starting distribution.

Once Anaconda or Miniconda Python is installed, you can open a Terminal (on Linux or Mac OSX) or the Anaconda prompt (on Windows) and type:

pip install xraylarch

to install Larch.

To make a Larch folder on your desktop with shortcuts (Windows or Linux) or Applications (MacOS) for the main Larch applications, you can then type:

larch -m

If that complains that it does not find larch, you may have to explicitly give the path to Python and/or Larch:

$HOME/xraylarch/bin/larch -m

from Linux or MacOSX or:

%APPDATA%\\Local\\xraylarch\Scripts\larch.exe -m

from Windows.

1.3.2. Updating with conda

This is no longer supported. Use pip to update, even when using Anaconda Python.

1.3.3. Updating with pip

Starting with Larch version 0.9.46, Larch can be used with Python versions from Python.org. That is, you can install one of the installers there, and install (most of) Larch simply with:

pip install --upgrade xraylarch

This will install Larch and all of the required packages. Some of the recommended packages listed below may need to be installed separately.

1.3.4. Source Installation

For developers, Larch is an open-source project, with active development happening at the Larch Repository (github.com). There, you will find the latest source code and pages for submit bug reports. To install from source, you can either clone this repository with:

git clone https://github.com/xraypy/xraylarch.git

or download and unpack the latest release of the source code package at source code and then do:

python setup.py install

This will automatically use pip to install any requirements and Larch itself. Depending on your platform and version of Python, you may need elevated permissions as from sudo to install Larch to a system folder.

1.3.5. Optional Python Packages

While most of the packages required for Larch will be installed automatically (and are listed in the requirements.txt file in the source tree), there are a few packages that are useful for some functionality but somewhat less easy to have as a hard dependency (usually because they are not readily available on PyPI for all platforms). These optional packages are listed in the table below. Note that most of these will be installed with Larch whether you install from a binary installer, with conda install xraylarch, with pip install xraylarch, or with python setup.py install

1.4. Getting Help

For questions about using or installing Larch, please use the Ifeffit Mailing List.

For reporting bugs or working with the development process, please use the Larch Github Pages.

1.5. Docs and Examples

The source kit includes sources for documentation in the docs folder and several examples (including all those shown in this documentation) in the examples folder.

These are also available separately in the zip file at Docs and Examples that contains a doc folder with this full documentation, and an examples folder with all of the Larch examples.

1.6. Citing Larch

Currently, the best citation for Larch is M. Newville, Larch: An Analysis Package For XAFS And Related Spectroscopies. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 430:012007 (2013). [Newville (2013)]

1.7. Funding and Support

Larch development at the GeoScoilEnviroCARS sector of Center for Advanced Radiation Sources at the University of Chicago has been supported by the US National Science Foundation - Earth Sciences (EAR-1128799), and Department of Energy GeoSciences (DE-FG02-94ER14466). In addition, funding specifically for Larch was granted by the National Science Foundation - Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ACI-1450468).

1.8. Acknowledgements

Larch was mostly written by and is maintained by Matt Newville <newville@cars.uchicago.edu>. Bruce Ravel has an incalculable influence on the design and implementation of this code and has provided countless fixes for serious problems in design and execution in the early stages. More importantly, Larch would simply not exist without the long and fruitful collaboration we’ve enjoyed. Margaret Koker wrote most of the X-ray diffraction analysis code, and much of the advanced functionality of the GSECARS XRF Map Viewer. Mauro Rovezzi has provided the spec-data reading interface and the RIXS viewer. Tom Trainor had a very strong influence on the original design of Larch, and helped with the initial version of the python implementation. Yong Choi wrote the code for X-ray standing wave and reflectivity analysis and graciously allowed it to be included and modified for Larch. Tony Lanzirotti and Steve Sutton have provided wonderful and patient feedback on many parts of Larch, especially for XANES processing and testing of the XAS Viewer GUI.

Because Larch began as a rewrite of the Ifeffit XAFS Analysis Package, it also references and builds on quite a bit of code developed for XAFS over many years at the University of Chicago and the University of Washington. The existence of the code and a great deal of its initial design therefore owes a great thanks to Edward Stern, Yizhak Yacoby, Peter Livens, Steve Zabinsky, and John Rehr. More specifically, code written by Steve Zabinsky and John Rehr for the manipulation of results from FEFF and for the calculation of thermal disorder parameters for XAFS are included in Larch with little modification. Both Feff6l and Feff8l, the product of many man years of effort by the Feff group led by John Rehr, are included in Larch. A great many people have provided excellent bug reports, feedback, in depth conversations, and suggestions for making Ifeffit better, including on the ifeffit mailing list. Many of these contributions have found their way into Larch.

Larch uses X-ray scattering factors and cross-sections fro the xraydb library. This uses code to store and read the X-ray Scattering data from the Elam Tables was modified from code originally written by Darren S. Dale. Refined values for anomalous scattering factors there have been provided directly by Christopher T. Chantler. Further details of the origin of much of the tabularized X-ray data is given in X-ray Databases.

As Larch depends on the fantastic scientific librarie written and maintained in python, especially the numpy, scipy, and matplotlib, the entire scientific python community deserves a hearty thanks. In particular, Larch uses the lmfit library, which began as part of Larch but was spun off into a standalone, general purpose fitting library that became useful for application areas other than XAFS, and has benefited greatly from numerous collaborators and added many features that Larch, in turn, has been able to depend on.

1.9. License

Except where explicitly noted in the individual files, the code, documentation, and all material associated with Larch are distributed under the BSD License:

BSD-2-CLAUSE LICENSE

Copyright, Licensing, and Re-distribution
-----------------------------------------

Unless otherwise stated, all files included here are copyrighted and
distributed under the following license:

Copyright (c) 2010-2020 Matthew Newville, The University of Chicago
All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

* Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
  list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

* Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
  this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
  and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS"
AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER
CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY,
OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.