GEOS-Chem required hardware

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  1. Minimum system requirements for GEOS-Chem
  2. Installing required software
  3. Configuring your computational environment
  4. Downloading source code
  5. Downloading data directories
  6. Creating run directories
  7. Configuring runs
  8. Compiling
  9. Running
  10. Output files
  11. Python tools for use with GEOS-Chem
  12. Coding and debugging
  13. Further reading

System requirements for GEOS-Chem Classic

Computer system requirements

Before you can run GEOS-Chem, you will need to have the following items. Some of these will be already pre-installed on your computer system.

Item Description

A Unix-based computer system

You will need a Unix operating system environment in order to run GEOS-Chem. Any flavor of Unix (e.g. CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.) should work just fine.

An account on the Amazon Web Services cloud

If your institution has computational resources (e.g. a shared computer cluster with many cores, sufficient disk storage and memory), then you can run GEOS-Chem there. Contact your IT staff for assistance.

If your institution lacks computational resources (or if you need additional computational resources beyond what is available), then you should consider signing up for access to the Amazon Web Services cloud. Using the cloud has the following advantages:

  • You can run GEOS-Chem without having to invest in local hardware and maintenance personnel.
  • You won't have to download any meteorological fields or emissions data. All of the necessary data input for GEOS-Chem will be available on the cloud.
  • You can initialize your computational environment with all of the required software (e.g. compilers, libraries, utilities) that you need for GEOS-Chem.
  • Your GEOS-Chem runs will be 100% reproducible, because you will initialize your computational environment the same way every time.
  • You will avoid GEOS-Chem compilation errors due to library incompatibilities.
  • You will be charged for the computational time that you use, and if you download data off the cloud.

GEOS-Chem 12.0.0 and later versions can be used on the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform. You can learn more about how to use GEOS-Chem on the cloud by visiting this tutorial (

Memory requirements

If you plan to run GEOS-Chem on a local computer system, please make sure that your system has sufficient memory and disk space:

Item Description
Enough memory to run GEOS-Chem For the 4° x 5° "standard" simulation
  • 8-15 GB RAM

For the 2° x 2.5° "standard" simulation:

  • 30-40 GB RAM
  • Chris Holmes reported that a 2° x 2.5° "standard" simulation required:
    • 20 GB memory (MaxRSS)
    • 26 GB virtual memory (MaxVMSize)

Our standard GEOS-Chem Classic 1-month full-chemistry benchmark simulations (cf. GEOS-Chem 13.0.0-beta.0) use a little under 14 GB of system memory. This is mostly due to the fact that the benchmark simulations archive the "kitchen sink"—that is, most diagnostic outputs are requested so that the benchmark simulation can be properly evaluated. But a typical GEOS-Chem Classic production simulation would not require all of these diagnostic outputs, and thus would use much less memory than the benchmark simulations.

Extra memory for special simulations You may want to consider at least 30 GB RAM if you plan on doing any of the following:

--Bob Yantosca (talk) 15:50, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

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