ECMWF is updating the default versions of its software packages and libraries used across all user platforms at the centre as part of the regular update cycle.


The changes will take place on  Wednesday 3 June 2020 10:00 UTC

What platforms are affected?

All user platforms at the centre will see their default additional software stack updated:

  • All clusters in our High Performance Computing Facility, mainly CCA and CCB
  • Linux Clusters
  • Linux Desktops

Do I need to do anything?

We strongly recommend you test that your programs, scripts and suites work with the new versions of any software or library affected before the change happens.

Table of contents


Software stack ready for next operational IFS cycle

With the upcoming Implementation of IFS Cycle 47r1, this set of defaults is ready to handle the data produced, including all the new parameters introduced in this cycle.

No Python 2 upgrade

As Python 2 reached its end of life on 1st January 2020, no newer versions of the Python 2 installations and their associated subpackages such as numpy and others. Older versions remain available for those who haven't migrated to Python 3. If you haven't done so yet, please see Migration to Python 3 for some guidance on where to start.

Metview improvements

Metview, ECMWF's interactive and batch software for manipulation and plotting of data, brings a number of new features and improvements, such as:

  • easier access to the layer metadata in the interactive plot window
  • a new set of pre-defined areas in the Geographical View icon
  • improvements to the GRIB and BUFR examiners (and hence also in CodesUI)
  • improvements to the existing thermodynamic functions
  • plus a new function to compute relative humidity from temperature and dewpoint, a new way to control the font sizes in the user interface

Codes UI efficiency improvements

CodesUI, the standalone combination of Metview's GRIB and BUFR examiners, provides a highly improved initial BUFR message scan (about 50-100 times faster than before), a filter bar for the GRIB namespace list and extra information about BUFR elements.

A lot of other bugfixes and improvements

All the new versions, both ECMWF and 3rd Party, come with a number of bug fixes and improvements. You may see the Change logs for any individual package or library in the list below if you want to have all the details.

How to use the new versions for testing BEFORE the update

Users are strongly encouraged to test their software applications and data processing chain with the new versions of the various software packages before the date of the change to the default versions.

The new versions of the software packages can be selected by using the jun20 tag in modules. For example:

module swap metview/jun20
module load Magics/jun20
module swap eccodes/jun20
module swap python3/jun20

How to revert to the old versions in case of problems AFTER the update

Users that experience problems with the new default software packages after the update will be able to revert to the old default versions. These can be selected with the commands:

module swap metview/old
module load Magics/old
module swap eccodes/old
module swap python3/old

Please let ECMWF know if you need to revert to the old version of any of the packages after the update of the defaults has taken place. 

Change list

ECMWF Software

This table summarises the changes in the version of the different packages:

ecCodes is now the official ECMWF encoder and decoder for GRIB and BUFR formats. It supersedes GRIB-API, for the GRIB format, and EMOSLIB, for the BUFR. If you still use any of those, we encourage you to migrate to ecCodes.

Please see the Release notes for full details of the changes implemented in each package.

Third-party software

Some of the versions in this list may already be the default for a specific package on a certain platform, so no changes will be made in those cases. After the update, all platforms will have the same defaults for all these packages.

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