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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
  source activate ncl_stable

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

NCL development snapshot

If you are interested in using a "development snapshot" build of NCL that is newer than the stable release described above, we recommend creating a separate ncl_dev environment using the following commands:

  conda create -n ncl_dev -c ncar -c conda-forge ncl=dev
  source activate ncl_dev

Please note that "-c ncar" must be included in this command because the "dev" builds are hosted on the "ncar" conda channel; "-c conda-forge" is still included because the libraries that NCL depends on are provided by the "conda-forge" channel.

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