GEOS-Chem required software

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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

GEOS-Chem Classic software environment

Supported compilers for GEOS-Chem Classic

The table below lists the supported compilers for GEOS-Chem.

GEOS-Chem is written in the Fortran programming language. However, you will also need C and C++ compilers to install certain libraries (like netCDF) on your system.

Item Description Versions Best way to install
Intel Compiler Suite (icc, icpc, ifort) The Intel Compiler Suite is our recommended proprietary compiler collection.

Intel compilers produce well-optimized code that runs extremely efficiency on machines with Intel CPUs. Many universities and institutions will have an Intel site license that allows you to use these compilers.

The GCST has tested with these versions (but others may work as well):
  • 18.0.5
  • 17.0.4
  • 15.0.0
  • 13.0.079
  • 11.1.069
Install from Intel (requires purchase of a site license or a student license)
GNU Compiler Collection (gcc, g++, gfortran) The GNU Compiler Collection is our recommended open-source compiler collection.

Because the GNU Compiler Collection is free and open source, this is a good choice if your institution lacks an Intel site license, or if you are running GEOS-Chem on the Amazon EC2 cloud environment.

The GCST has tested with these versions (but others may work as well):
  • 10.2.0
  • 9.3.0
  • 9.2.0
  • 8.2.0
  • 7.4.0
  • 7.3.0
  • 7.1.0
  • 6.2.0
Install via Spack

Required software packages for GEOS-Chem Classic

Item Description Best way to install
Git (a source code management system) GEOS-Chem source code can be downloaded using the Git source code management system. GEOS-Chem software repositories are stored at the organization page. Please see our Guide to using Git with GEOS-Chem for more information about how to use Git with GEOS-Chem. Direct install from
CMake (version >= 3.13) CMake is software that directs how the GEOS-Chem source code is compiled into an executable.
  • CMake is optional for GEOS-Chem versions 12.6.0 through 12.9.3.
  • CMake is REQUIRED for GEOS-Chem versions 13.0.0 and later.
Install with Spack
GNU Make GNU Make is software that can build executables from source code.
  • NOTE: While GNU Make is not required for GEOS-Chem 13.0.0 and later, some external libraries that you might need to build will require GNU Make. Therefore it is best to download GNU Make along with CMake.
Install with Spack

netCDF and netCDF-Fortran
  • plus dependencies (e.g. HDF5, zlib, etc)
GEOS-Chem input and output data files use the netCDF file format. This is a self-describing file format that allows metadata (descriptive text) to be stored alongside data values. Please see our Guide to netCDF in GEOS-Chem for more information about the netCDF file format and software library. Install with Spack

Optional but recommended software packages

Item Description Best way to install
GCPy GCPy is our recommended python companion software to GEOS-Chem. While this is not a general-purpose plotting package, it does contain many useful functions for creating zonal mean and horizontal plots from GEOS-Chem output. It also contains scripts to generate plots and tables from GEOS-Chem benchmark simulations. Install from conda-forge
conda install geoschem-gcpy
gdb and cgdb The GNU debugger (gdb) and its graphical interface (cgdb) are very useful tools for tracking down the source of GEOS-Chem errors, such as segmentation faults, out-of-bounds errors, etc. Install with Spack
ncview ncview is a netCDF file viewer. While it does not produce publication-quality output, ncview can let you easily examine the contents of a netCDF data file (such as those which are input and output by GEOS-Chem). Ncview is very useful for debugging and development. Install with Spack
nco NCO are the netCDF operators. These are very powerful command-line tools for editing and manipulating data in netCDF format. Install with Spack
cdo CDO are the Climate Data Operators. These are very powerful command-line tools for editing and manipulating data in netCDF format. Install with Spack
The Kinetic PreProcessor (KPP) chemical solver KPP translates a chemical mechanism specification from user-configurable input files to Fortran-90 source code. Install with Git
flex Flex is the Fast Lexical Analyzer. This is a required library for the KPP chemical solver. Install with Spack

Required source code and data for GEOS-Chem Classic

Item Description Best way to install
A clone of the geoschem/GCClassic repository The GCClassic repository is the "Superproject" for GEOS-Chem Classic. It is a lightweight wrapper for the geoschem/GEOS-Chem and geoschem/HEMCO repositories, in which the GEOS-Chem science codebase and HEMCO (Harmonized Emissions Component) codebase are stored. Git clone from geoschem/GCClassic repository
The GEOS-Chem shared data directories This is the directory structure containing the meteorology and emissions data that GEOS-Chem reads as input. For more information, please see our Downloading GEOS-Chem data directories wiki page. Perform a GEOS-Chem dry run
Restart files for GEOS-Chem These are the files containing the initial conditions for a GEOS-Chem simulation. They can be downloaded from our data archive via FTP. Perform a GEOS-Chem dry-run

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