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SoFiA (from Greek σοφία = wisdom), the Source Finding Application, is a new H i source finding pipeline for finding and parametrising galaxies in three-dimensional H i data cubes. The software is still under development, and the latest version of SoFiA can be obtained from GitHub. The SoFiA website on GitHub also comes with a wiki for documentation as well as the latest list of bug reports and feature requests.

If you would like to stay informed about new stable releases of SoFiA and other important updates, you can sign up to the SoFiA mailing list. To do so, simply send an e-mail to sofia-request [at] with the word “subscribe” in the e-mail body (note that the e-mail subject will be ignored).


SoFiA screenshotSoFiA screenshot

SoFiA screenshot

Three screenshots of the SoFiA user interface, showing the main application window (top-left), the built-in user manual and help browser (top-right), and the built-in catalogue display window (bottom).


Current stable release

To download the current stable release, right-click on the link above and save the compressed archive to a folder of your choice. Then follow the instructions in the file to install and run SoFiA.

Most recent version

The most recent SoFiA version should be the most up-to-date one with additional functionality and the latest bug-fixes. However, as SoFiA is under active development, it may be unstable and contain undocumented features, so please use it with caution!

Previous releases:

A list of all stable releases of SoFiA can be found on GitHub. While we continue to provide older versions of SoFiA for download, we strongly recommended that you download and install the current stable release, as older versions of SoFiA may contain several bugs and errors.

Test data cube

You can also download a

that can be used to test the SoFiA installation. Simply download the archive, extract it into a directory of your choice, enter that directory in your terminal window, and then load the test parameter file into SoFiA by typing “SoFiA sofiatestpar.par”. Alternatively, you can launch the test run from the command line by typing “ sofiatestpar.par”.

The test suite comes with a small H i data cube containing several galaxies as well as a matching SoFiA parameter file. It also includes several sample output files that can be used as a comparison. Please ensure that a copy of these is stored in a separate location, as otherwise they will get overwritten by SoFiA.

User manual and tutorial

While SoFiA comes with its own, built-in user manual available through the graphical user interface, we also generated a printable PDF file for convenience:

Please note that most internal links in the PDF document will be broken, although hyperlinks to external documents and websites should be fully functional.

The official SoFiA tutorial is available online or for download as a printable PDF copy:


If you encounter problems when running the setup script, it is likely that you are either missing one of the required packages and libraries or that some of the packages are outdated. Please check that the required versions of all packages are installed and properly set up such that they can be found by Python and the GCC. On some systems it may be necessary to explicitly install the GNU C++ compiler (g++, should normally be part of the GCC) as well as the development packages (dev) of Qt 4 and the GNU Scientific Library. Please also see the

on the SoFiA wiki for more information on a few commonly encountered problems.

Credits and acknowledgement

SoFiA is a collaborative project involving people from several institutions across the world. The SoFiA pipeline was written by the following people (in alphabetical order):

If you find SoFiA useful and intend to use it for your own research, we would appreciate a reference to the original SoFiA paper in any publication resulting from that work:


© 2019 Tobias Westmeier
Contact | Last modified: 16 April 2019