FITS Liberator News

18.03.2021 FITS Liberator v4.0 is released. Read the release here.

24.04.2019 MacOS 10.11 & Later

Compatibility with the most recent versions of MacOS (Sierra 10.11 through Mojave 10.14) can be achieved by bypassing the installer app used for older OS versions and performing a manual install. Visit the download page at the link below, scroll to the Mac OS X Installation section, download the stand-alone app and dynamic libraries (two separate .zip files), and follow the installation instructions.

More MacOS Compatibility Information:

The 10.11 release of MacOS enables by default a new malware protection feature, System Integrity Protection (SIP, also known as “rootless” mode), that prevents any user modification of certain system-critical directories. This unfortunately breaks the standard installation of the FITS Liberator which depends on two libraries that are normally installed in /usr/lib (one of the now-protected directories). Installing 10.11 will break any existing FITS Liberator installation by deleting these libraries, and it will prevent the installer from writing these files to the default location.


FITS Liberator functionality can be restored for a user by manually copying these libraries to the location the user can modify.

  • Download the ZIP file for libtbb.dylib & libtbbmalloc.dylib from the manual install link
  • Double-click the file to uncompress it
  • Rename the directory from “libtbb” to “lib”
  • Move the directory to the user’s home directory: /Users/{username}/lib

FITS Liberator should now run for that user.

If you would like to hide the lib folder from the Finder (to prevent accidental deletion), you can open the Terminal app and issue the following command:

  • chflags hidden lib


Note that this must be repeated for each user account on the computer that is using FITS Liberator, since the files can no longer reside at a supported system-level directory.

It is also possible to disable the “rootless” mode, allowing admin access to the /usr/lib directory and enabling FITS Liberator to run on any account on the computer, but this is a technically involved process and could compromise system security, so should only be attempted by experienced users.

21.02.2012: The ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator v3.0.1 has been released today. Download.

01.10.10 Release of version 3.0. Read the release here. Version 3.0 of the FITS Liberator include the following new features:

  • FITS Liberator is now a stand-alone application, which means that Photoshop is no longer required.
  • Processing medium-sized images is now up to 35% faster, thanks to significantly improved memory management.
  • Processing large images are also faster thanks to delayed application of stretch functions.
  • FITS Liberator saves TIFF files that open in virtually any image processing software.
  • Open-source code base available on

30.10.09 Release of version 2.3. Read the release here.

25.03.08 Release of version 2.2. Read the release here.

01.09.07 We had 75,000 FITS Liberator downloads

20.11.06 Release of version 2.1. Read the news release here.

08.08.05 Release of version 2.0. Read the news release here.

07.07.05 A call went out to the mailing list member offering the possibility to become Beta testers on the Public Beta version of version 2 of the Liberator. 

01.06.05 We are now at a staggering 50,000 users of the Liberator! This is a factor of 100 more than we expected when embarking on this project...

01.05.05 We have set the release date for version 2.0 of the Liberator to 1 July 2005. Look forward!

31.12.04 On the last day of the year the 1000th subscriber to the FITS Liberator mailing list signed up.

12.10.04 We now have nearly 35,000 users of the Liberator. Near-final specifications for the upcoming version 2 have been uploaded here.

19.08.04 Tomorrow 30,000 happy users will have downloaded the FITS Liberator! Plans for v. 2 is continuing. No bug fixes are currently planned. We thank the guys from Gemini for the 'fan-coffee' that was brought over to Germany with courier all the way from Hawai'i. We think about you every morning :-) The rest of you: get going with those presents ..;-)

14.07.04 The number of downloaded individual Liberators plug-ins reached a staggering 15,000. This number is an overwhelming proof of the need for a good FITS import plug-in.

13.07.04 An archive of User's images was added to the pages.

13.07.04 A Bug Form was added to the pages.

13.07.04 The number of subscribers to our FITS Lliberator mailing list reached 500.

12.07.04 Please note: this plug-in does not run on Photoshop Elements 1.0 (as specified in requirements).

11.07.04 The number of downloaded individual Liberators plug-ins reached 10,000.

10.07.04 An FAQ page was made.

10.07.04 The number of downloaded individual Liberators plug-ins reached 5,000.

08.07.04 Release of version 1.0. Read the news release here.

You can sign up here on a mailing list to receive occasional news about the release and coming versions.