ecFlow's documentation is now on readthedocs!

Starting ecFlowUI

The command to start the application from ECMWF workstations and ecgate is:

module load ecflow/5new

This version should only be for testing the new user interface and not for running a server!

Starting ecFlowUI for the first time

When starting ecFlowUI for the first time, the application contains an empty tree view:

The first thing to do is to populate it with servers.

Go to the Servers menu; this should contain all the servers that you have configured for ecFlowview (these are copied over once, when you first start ecFlowUI; from then on, the two lists are not synchronised).

New servers can be added by selecting Manage servers. This dialogue is also where servers can be set as favourites for easy access.

Selecting a server will add it to the tree view. For large servers, a Loading indicator may appear, but the user interface is still responsive.

Once loaded, a server appears in the tree view. Server and suite nodes show, in brackets, the total number of children under them. Any number of servers can be added to the view.

Viewing the tree

The tree nodes are expanded and collapsed using the small icons to the left of each node (these may vary in appearance depending on your workstation setup). Alternatively, double-click on the node name.

At the top of the tree is a set of breadcrumbs, showing the hierarchy up to the currently-selected node. Clicking on a node in the breadcrumbs will select the node in the tree.


At the top-right of the panel are three icons which give access to:

  • Status filter (show only nodes with the selected statuses)
  • Show attributes
  • Show icons


When a node is selected, the toolbar at the top of the tree view has a button which reveals options to display various information for the selected node, such as Output and Script. Clicking one of these pops up a floating Info Panel displaying the selected information in a tab. Which attributes are shown by default can be changed from the Edit | Preferences menu.

Node Information

At the top-right of the window is a group of icons - click on one of these to obtain a floating information panel for the currently-selected node. The panel is "detached" by default, meaning that its contents will not change if a different node is selected.

The panel can be detached or frozen by using the configuration menu at the top-right of the panel:

It is also possible to have a permanently docked Info Panel: select Add info panel from the View menu.

The information panel appears at the bottom of the window.

This docked information panel is linked to the currently-selected node, but can also be detached and frozen using the configuration menu at the top-right of the panel.


Each panel in ecFlowUI is resizeable and moveable, following a dashboard approach. For example, drag the information panel to the right of the tree view to get an arrangement like this:

Interacting with the servers

In the tree view, the right-click context menu provides most of the standard commands. Hovering over a menu option shows, in the status bar, the command that will be sent to the server.

It is possible to select multiple nodes with the mouse and select a command which will be sent to them all. Also, using the Custom... menu entry, any command may be typed in.

Configuration and setup

The list of available servers can be managed through the Servers | Manage Servers menu.

Global server settings, notifications settings plus other settings such as colour setup and fonts, can be found in the Edit | Preferences menu.

Settings per server can be found in the Information panel, in the Settings tab (when a server node is selected in the tree).

Table view

From the toolbar at the top of the window, a new Table View panel can be added. This provides an alternative, flat, way to view the nodes, and allows sorting and filtering of nodes. This feature is still experimental and is known to be slow when acting on large servers.

Tabs and windows

ecFlowUI supports multiple windows and multiple tabs, available from the File menu. Each tab contains its own list of active servers, and the tab control itself shows the status of each server in that tab.

Likewise, each window is separate from the other windows, each containing their own set of tabs and therefore servers.

Current work

See ecFlowUI current priorities. This page lists the work in progress by priority and by subject.

Reporting issues

Issues can be reported directly to Sandor Kertesz or Iain Russell, or entered into JIRA as sub-issues of ECFLOW-92 - Getting issue details... STATUS .


  1. Cool! How do we kill a job which is running? Not quite the same as "aborted" right?

    1. Hi Joaquin,

      The next version (installed soon I hope) re-introduces the Special context sub-menu which has this option. In the meantime, you can send a custom command by right-clicking on a node (or multiple nodes, or the result of a node search), selecting Custom | New Command, find and double-click --kill from the list of commands and click the Run button.


    2. Hi Joaquin,

      Just to mention that we re-installed ecFlowUI last week and the Special menu has been re-instated, along with improvements to the custom commands.

      See ecFlowUI Release Notes.


  2. Hello. This is much more responsive than ecflowview. One question: is there a way yet to edit the limits for a suite (I can see them as an attribute but found no way to modify them)?


    1. Hi Mats, thanks for the nice comment! No, the facility to edit node attributes is high on the priority list but it's not there yet.


    2. Just checking up on the comments on this page - attribute editing is now working from the node tree.

  3. Does anyone know a way to see the "YMD" variable displayed next to certain tasks? It would be good to replicate this very useful aspect of ecflowview which displays the current cycle time (YMD) of analysis and obs jobs. At the moment the only way to do this is to activate the display of all "generated variables", which is really verbose and impossible to use.

    1. Alan,


      If you turn on the "repeats" attribute you will see YMD.

  4. Hello Iain.

    I recently tried to cut and paste some bits of the output of a job that has failed into a mail message but could not do it. In the end I reverted to ecflow_view where by opening my own pager (less) on the output I could easily do it. Is there a way to do this in ecflow_ui? Also it would be nice  (like in ecflow_view) to be able to open your favourite pager on the output.



    1. Hi Mats,

      This sounds strange - I just tried it, and I could copy and paste from the job output, both with the select-to-copy-and-middle-mouse-to-paste and also with CTRL-C to copy and CTRL-V to paste. However, I think someone else reported this and for them the solution was to restart ecFlowUI (if I remember correctly). They also could not copy and paste from other Qt-based applications, so it was not ecFlowUI itself that was the problem. However, I will try to see if there is a known cause of this behaviour.

      Thanks for the suggestion of allowing users to load text files into their own choice of editor. If the file is local, then you can copy & paste the file path onto a command line (if copy & paste is working!). For remote files, we've had a request to allow users to save a local copy of the file. But in either case, I can see the value in having a link to your preferred text editor. I'll enter it as a feature request from you. Apart from the problems with copy/paste, is there any particular feature missing from the built-in text editor, or is it more a matter of familiarity?



    2. Hi Mats, do you have this problem systematically? I face the same problem occasionally. See ECFLOW-520 - Getting issue details... STATUS When it happens, restarting ecflow_ui gets rid of the problem. Dominique