ctools is a software package developed for the scientific analysis of Cherenkov telescope data, such as H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS or CTA.

ctools comprises a set of ftools-like binary executables and Python scripts with a command-line interface allowing for interactive step-wise data analysis. ctools includes also Python modules to control all tools and scripts from within Python. Creation of shell or Python scripts and pipelines is supported as well.

ctools are based on GammaLib, a versatile toolbox for the scientific analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data. GammaLib supports the analysis of H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, CTA, Fermi/LAT, CGRO/COMPTEL and INTEGRAL/SPI data. GammaLib supports in particular the combination of data from different instruments in a true joint multi-wavelength analysis that consistently handles the response of each instrument. An interface to virtual observatory resources does also exist.

ctools are developed by a team of enthousiastic gamma-ray astronomers with support from engineers. We regularily organise coding sprints where key developers but also newcomers meet to discuss the developments and next steps, and advance with the coding of the software.

Acknowledging or citing ctools

If you use ctools for work/research presented in a publication we ask you to include the formal reference

in your paper as well as the identifiers ascl:1601.005 and ascl:1110.007 of the ctools and GammaLib packages in the Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL). You can also reference ctools via


and GammaLib via


In addition please add the following acknowledgment:

This research made use of ctools, a community-developed analysis package for Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescope data. ctools is based on GammaLib, a community-developed toolbox for the scientific analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data.

If the journal allows this, you can also include a link to http://cta.irap.omp.eu/ctools/ in addition to the above text.

And to see who published an article using ctools you may check the following link.


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