Chapter 9. Astronomical Device Control with INDI

KStars provides an interface to configure and control astronomical instruments via the INDI protocol.

The INDI protocol supports a variety of astronomical instruments such as CCD cameras and focusers. For an up to date list of supported devices, please visit INDI supported devices page.

INDI Setup

KStars can control local and remote devices seamlessly via the INDI server/client architecture. INDI devices may be run in three different modes:

  1. Local: The local mode is the most common and is used to control local device (i.e. a device attached to your machine).

  2. Server: The server mode establishes an INDI server for a particular device and waits for connections from remote clients. You cannot operate server devices, you can only start and shut them down.

  3. Client: The client mode is used to connect to remote INDI servers running INDI devices. You can control remote devices seamlessly like local devices.

You can run local device, establish INDI servers, and connect to remote clients from the ToolsDevicesDevice Manager... menu item.

Here is a screenshot of the Device Manager window:

Start device drivers

You can run devices by browsing the device tree, selecting a specific device, and then clicking on the Run Service button. You can select the operation mode, either local or server as defined above. The port number is randomly generated between the range from 7624 to 10,000. To specify a port, click on the port column next to the desired driver. KStars allows multiple drivers to run under one INDI server, and hence one port. Select multiple drivers then press Run Service button.

To control remote devices, refer to the remote device control section.