NCL Website header
NCL > Download

Installing NCL with "conda"

You can you can download NCL versions 6.3.0 and 6.4.0 using conda, a package management system that enables you to easily install software from the UNIX command line via a command like:

  conda install package_name

Install miniconda to get "conda"

If you don't already have "conda" installed on your system, then go to:

and select the appropriate "Python 2.7 64-bit bash installer" for your MacOSX or Linux system. Do not download the Python 3.x version! (We do not have a Windows version.)

Follow the instructions for installing miniconda. When the installation is finished, you can test it quickly by typing the following from a UNIX terminal window:

  conda -V

This should echo something like "conda 4.3.13".

Note:: you can also use these conda instructions with an Anaconda distribution.

Create a conda environment and install NCL

We recommend that you install NCL under a conda "environment", which we'll call ncl_stable. You can call it whatever you want.

From a UNIX terminal window in sh/bash mode, type:

  conda create -n ncl_stable -c conda-forge ncl poppler=0.52 xerces-c=3.1
  source activate ncl_stable

You will need to run the "source activate ncl_stable" command every time you log out and log back in.

The inclusion of "poppler" and "xerces-c" is a temporary work-around for a dependency mismatch issue.

NOTE: There is a known issue with the NCL conda-forge package that causes an "UnsatisfiableError" in conda:

  UnsatisfiableError: The following specifications were found to be in conflict:
    - ncl
As of 2017-12-20, we have a workaround for this issue that forces a "broken" version of GDAL to be installed:

  conda create -n ncl_fix -c conda-forge -c conda-forge/label/broken ncl poppler=0.52 xerces-c=3.1 gsl

Test NCL

From a UNIX terminal window, type:

  ncl -V
  ng4ex xy05n -clean -W png
The first command should echo "6.4.0".
The second command should produce the following "xy05n.png" PNG image:

Send questions or problems to ncl-install email list

If you have any questions or problems with getting NCL installed using conda, subscribe to ncl-install and email your question to