Kst (software)

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Kst is a plotting and data viewing program. Kst is a KDE application and is freely available for anyone to download and use under the terms of the GPL. It is noted for being able to graph real-time data aquisition.


Kst was initially developed by Barth Netterfield, an astrophysicist as a personal project. By 2004 it had begun to be used in various universities and the European Space Agency and development was funded by the Canadian Space Agency.[1]


kst is a fast real-time large-dataset plotting and viewing tool with basic data analysis functionality.[2][3][4]

Plot types

kst is able to plot histograms and 3-D with color and contour mapping for 3-D images.[5]

Real-time plotting capability

Kst has been chosen where there is a need to present plots in real-time.[6]


Real-time applications vary in size from simple graphing of a sensor from a microcontroller such as arduino that may be set up by a hobbyist to a simple sensor[2] to plotting of real time date from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope.[7]


Kst is able to accept a number input formats with Dirfiles being particularly suitable for streaming applications[7][8] and plug-in extension filters enabling other input stream types and file formats to be added.[5]

Scripting language

The tool offers a scripting language, termed KstScript based upon Javascript syntax which can help automate workflows.[5]


Some alternatives include MATLAB, Qtiplot, SciDAVis, Grace and LabPlot.[4] However, some of these are part of a numerical analysis package.[4]

Spin-off developments

Dirfile formatTemplate:Anchor

In the process of developing the kst application a spin-off was the emergence of the Dirfile file format standard for time-ordered binary data in an efficient manner.Template:Efn It was developed under the Getdata project into an independent standard with its own API.[8]

See also


External links

Notes and references




  1. "Interview with Barth Netterfield about kst". http://www.tomchance.org.uk/writing/kstinterview/. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite magazine
  3. Årzén, Karl-Erik; Faure, Pascal; Fohler, Gerhard; Mattavelli, Marco; Neundorf, Alexander; Romero, Vanessa; Schorr, Stefan (2011-01-29). "D1f - Interface Specification". pp. 41–42. Appendix B - The Kst Real-Time Plotting and Data Viewing Interface. http://rts.eit.uni-kl.de/fileadmin/publication_files/TR09actors_d1f_schorr.pdf. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Kst - Benchmarks". http://kst-plot.kde.org/benchmarks/. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "The Kst Handbook". p. 1. What is Kst?. https://kst-plot.kde.org/kst1/KstHandbook.pdf. 
  6. Nowak, Adam; Walkowiak, Przemysław; Szwabe, Andrzej; Misiorek, Pawel. wnPUT Testbed Experimentation Framework. Lecture notes in Computer Science. 7129. pp. 377,379,381. Template:Citation error. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Systems and control software for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. 79019. 1 August 2008. Template:Citation error. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffrey_Klein3/publication/234114252_Systems_and_control_software_for_the_Atacama_Cosmology_Telescope/links/02e7e52b865d3691ee000000.pdf. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The Dirfile Standards". http://getdata.sourceforge.net/dirfile.html.