CrystFEL - Data processing for serial crystallography


CrystFEL is a suite of programs for processing data from serial crystallography experiments, performed at synchrotron and X-ray free-electron laser facilities, as well as in your home lab using an electron microscope.

Getting started

See INSTALL.md for installation instructions, including our container registry, installation via package manager and details of pre-existing installations at X-ray facilities around the world.

CrystFEL can be used from the command line or via a graphical user interface. To start the graphical user interface, run crystfel.

There is a video tutorial, as well as a text tutorial to get you started with processing via the GUI.

For command-line use, standard man pages are available. Start with man crystfel. The manual pages are also available on the web.


Journal articles and book chapters


In 2017, the development of CrystFEL was recognised with the Max von Laue Prize from the German Society for Crystallography (DGK).

Citing CrystFEL

Please see CONTRIBUTING.md for citation instructions.

Funding acknowledgements

Development of CrystFEL is primarily funded by the Helmholtz Association via DESY.

Partial funding for CrystFEL has been provided by:

  • The consortium DAPHNE4NFDI in the context of the work of the NFDI e.V. The consortium is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) - project number 460248799 (2022-).

  • European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857641 (ExPaNDS) (2019-2023).

  • X-Probe, a project of the European Union's 2020 Research and Innovation Program Under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement 637295 (2015-2018).

  • The BMBF German-Russian Cooperation SyncFELMed, grant 05K14CHA (2014-2017).

  • BioStruct-X, a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission (2011-2016).


Copyright © 2012-2024 Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, a research centre of the Helmholtz Association.

See AUTHORS as well as individual source code files for full details of contributors.

CrystFEL is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

CrystFEL is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with CrystFEL. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.