Stellarium renders 3D photo-realistic skies in real time with OpenGL. It displays stars, constellations, planets and nebulae, and has many other features including multiple panoramic landscapes, fog, light pollution simulation and a built-in scripting engine.
Stellarium comes with a star catalogue of about 600 thousand stars and it is possible to download extra catalogues with up to 210 million stars.
Stellarium has multiple sky cultures - see the constellations from the traditions of Polynesian, Inuit, Navajo, Korean, Lakota, Egyptian and Chinese astronomers, as well as the traditional Western constellations.
It is also possible to visit other planets in the solar system - see what the sky looked like to the Apollo astronauts, or what the rings of Saturn looks like from Titan.
Stellarium is available as an AppImage which means "one app = one file", which you can download and run on your Linux system while you don't need a package manager and nothing gets changed in your system. Awesome!
AppImages are single-file applications that run on most Linux distributions. Download an application, make it executable, and run! No need to install. No system libraries or system preferences are altered. Most AppImages run on recent versions of Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and other common desktop distributions.
Running Stellarium on Linux without installationUnlike other applications, AppImages do not need to be installed before they can be used. However, they need to be marked as executable before they can be run. This is a Linux security feature.
Behold! AppImages are usually not verified by others. Follow these instructions only if you trust the developer of the software. Use at your own risk!
Download the Stellarium AppImage and make it executable using your file manager or by entering the following commands in a terminal:
chmod +x ./*.AppImage
Then double-click the AppImage in the file manager to open it.
If you want to restrict what Stellarium can do on your system, you can run the AppImage in a sandbox like Firejail. This is entirely optional and currently needs to be configured by the user.
If you would like to update to a new version, simply download the new Stellarium AppImage.
Integrating AppImages into the system
If you would like to have the executable bit set automatically, and would like to see Stellarium and other AppImages integrated into the system (menus, icons, file type associations, etc.), then you may want to check the optional appimaged daemon.
Note for application authors
Thanks for distributing Stellarium in the AppImage format for all common Linux distributions. Great! Here are some ideas how to make it even better.
Pro Tips for further enhancing the Stellarium AppImage
Please consider to add update information to the Stellarium AppImage and ship a
.zsync file so that it can be updated using AppImageUpdate. Tools like appimagetool and linuxdeployqt can do this for you easily.
Thanks for shipping AppStream metainfo inside your AppImage. Please open a pull request on https://github.com/AppImage/appimage.github.io/blob/master/data/Stellarium if you have changed it and would like to see this page updated accordingly.
If you would like to see a donation link for the application here, please include one in the AppStream data.