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Hardware and Operating System Requirements

IDL System Requirements

IDL has the following system requirements:

  • Operating systems
    • Windows 10 (Intel/AMD 64-bit)
    • Macintosh 10.14 and 10.15 (Intel 64-bit)
    • Linux (Intel/AMD 64-bit, kernel 3.10.0 or higher, glibc 2.17 or higher)
  • Disk space: Approximately 4 GB for installation
  • Memory (RAM): Minimum of 8 GB
  • Web browser: HTML-5 compatible browser for viewing IDL Help


An X-Windows manager is required for Macintosh. IDL was tested using XQuartz 2.7.11.

The 64-bit Windows installer contains 32-bit binaries so that you can launch IDL in 32-bit mode on 64-bit Windows systems. You can find the 32-bit versions of IDL in the Windows Start menu under IDL x.x > Command Line 32-bit or > Virtual Machine 32-bit, or if ENVI is also installed, ENVI x.x > IDL x.x > 32-bit, where x.x is the software version.

Memory (RAM)

Most image display and processing capabilities in IDL have been designed to work with minimal amounts of system RAM. Having a lot of RAM can help to avoid occasional memory allocation problems, especially with large datasets. Tests have shown that 8 GB of RAM is adequate for most tasks run using the latest versions of IDL. However, if you anticipate working with very large datasets, or if you are building custom applications with ENVI+IDL code, then you may consider adding more RAM to your system.

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