IDL: Interactive Data Language

IDL is a commercial software for scientific data visualization. The GNU Data Language GDL is an open-source alternative.


The IDL software is available on ides.

ETH License

ETH provides a license server with a fully functional evaluation license. The detailed information is obtained when ordering IDL on ides.

D-PHYS License

ISG D-PHYS operates their own IDL license server, mostly used by the Institute for Astronomy.

Any host that wishes to use our licenses needs to be explicitely allowed on our license server and has to adapt his license.dat file to:

SERVER any 1700

When starting IDL on the host you should get the message similar to:

Licensed for use by: ETH - Hoenggerberg

The current state of available and used licenses can be seen here. Note that we have a total of ~260 license points ( ~200 for IDL 7, ~60 for IDL 8) and each client typically needs 6 points.


Failure to acquire window rendering context / Unable to acquire device context

If IDL crashes with this error message when drawing using certain image routines, you may try to disable hardware rendering: