ctools is a software package for the scientific analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data. The package comprises an extensive set of tools for the analysis of data from existing and future Cherenkov telescopes, including H.E.S.S., VERITAS, MAGIC and CTA. ctools supports also the analysis of data from CGRO/COMPTEL, Fermi/LAT and INTEGRAL/SPI, enabling the exploration of the full gamma-ray energy band, spanning from hundreds of keV to hundreds of TeV.

The ctools philosophy is inherited from ftools and consists of providing building blocks that perform well-defined science data analysis tasks, including observation and event selection, binning, sky map creation, source detection, model fitting, spectra, phase curve and light curve generation, and observation simulations. The building blocks are then combined by the user to create flexible analysis workflows that can fit the needs of any scientist.

ctools can be used as command-line executables alike ftools to carry out simple analyses even for users without any programming skills. Furthermore, the tools are accessible through dedicated Python modules providing an alternative user interface to the software, as well as the possibility to provide tutorials in the form of Jupyter notebooks. Shell or Python scripts can be used by more advanced users to build analysis pipelines to any degrees of complexity.

ctools are based on GammaLib, a versatile toolbox for the scientific analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data.

ctools are developed by a community of enthousiastic gamma-ray astronomers with support from engineers. The lead institute is


As of today there have been contributions by the following institutions:


ctools is free software distributed under the GNU GPL license version 3