Chapter 5. Ekos

Ekos is an advanced cross-platform (Windows®, Mac® OS, Linux®) observatory control and automation tool with a particular focus on Astrophotography. It is based on a modular extensible framework to perform common astrophotography tasks. This includes highly accurate GOTOs using astrometry solver, ability to measure and correct polar alignment errors, auto-focus & auto-guide capabilities, and capture of single or stack of images with filter wheel support. Ekos is shipped with KStars.

Ekos introductory video


  • Control your telescope, Camera (& DSLRs), filter wheel, focuser, guider, adaptive optics unit, and any INDI-compatible auxiliary device from Ekos.

  • Built-in native autoguiding with support for automatic dithering between exposures and support for Adaptive Optics devices in addition to traditional guiders.

  • Extremely accurate GOTOs using solver (both Online and Offline solvers supported).

  • Load & Slew: Load a FITS image, slew to solved coordinates, and center the mount on the exact image coordinates in order to get the same desired frame.

  • Measure & Correct Polar Alignment errors using solver.

  • Easy to use Polar Alignment Assistant tool. A very quick and reliable tool to polar align your German Equatorial Mount!

  • Capture and record video streams in SER format.

  • Completely automated scheduler to control all your observatory equipment, select the best targets for imaging given current conditions and constraints, monitor weather conditions, and capture your data while you are away!

  • Smart Dark Library: All your dark frames with different binning/temperature/frame settings are saved for future use. Ekos re-uses dark frames intelligently without taking unnecessary captures. You can configure how long you want to reuse all the dark frames.

  • Define multiple driver profiles for local and remote setups. Switch among them easily.

  • Auto and manual focus modes using Half-Flux-Radius (HFR) method.

  • Automated unattended meridian flip. Ekos performs post meridian flip alignment, calibration, focusing, and guiding to resume the capture session.

  • Automatic focus between exposures when a user-configurable HFR limit is exceeded.

  • Powerful sequence queue for batch capture of images with optional prefixes, timestamps, filter wheel selection, and much more!

  • Export and import sequence queue sets as Ekos Sequence Queue (.esq) files.

  • Center the telescope anywhere in a captured FITS image or any FITS with World Coordinate System (WCS) header.

  • Automatic flat field capture, just set the desired ADU and let Ekos does the rest!

  • Automatic abort and resumption of exposure tasks if guiding errors exceed a user-configurable value.

  • Support for dome slaving.

  • Complete integration with KStars Observation Planner and SkyMap.

  • Fully scriptable via D-Bus.

  • Integrate with all INDI native devices.

Ekos Setup

Ekos Summary

Ekos is a part of KStars. KStars/Ekos is already included with your StellarMate gadget. It is also available for Linux®, Mac® OS, and Windows® if you want to install on your primary machine. After you run KStars on your PC or on StellarMate (Either directly via HDMI or via VNC), Ekos can be accessed from the Tools menu or via the Ekos on the main toolbar, or by a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+K). In addition to the Ekos window, KStars provides a more detailed INDI Control Panel where you can directly set and control the device parameters.

When running Ekos, it is not necessary to start INDI Server via StellarMate Web Manager as Ekos manages that transparently.

KStars Main Window