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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  22 May 2018 10:00 - 10:30 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

Table of contents


Software stack ready for next operational IFS cycle

With the upcoming Implementation of IFS cycle 45r1, this set of defaults is ready to handle the data produced, including all the new parameters introduced  in this cycle

Magics 3 and Metview 5

Both Magics and Metview see their major version updated.

Magics comes with some improvements on the visualisation of NetCDF-CF and colour setting gradients, and support for Python 3.

Metview 5 will benefit from the new features of Magics 3,  plus interesting features such as a new interactive layer management, per-colour transparency and FLEXPART support, among others. 

See the Magics and Metview latest news for a more detailed list of changes.

CodesUI first stable release

CodesUI is an interactive graphical application built on ecCodes to inspect GRIB and BUFR messages, that has now reached the first public release.

Consolidation of main third-party software package defaults across all platforms

The default versions for other third party software and libraries have historically diverged in the different platforms at the centre. We will take this opportunity to converge our defaults to the same versions across all those platforms, so we can offer a more consistent environment and user experience. Amongst the affected packages we can find popular tools and libraries like Python, R,  cdo or netCDF 4. See below for the complete list.

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 may18 tag in modules. For example:

module swap metview/may18
module load Magics/may18
module swap eccodes/may18 
module swap python/may18

How to revert to the old versions in case of problems AFTER the updateUsers that experience problems with the new default software packages after the update of 10 May 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 python/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.

PackageDefault versionRelease notesDownload page
EMOSLIB4. of EMOSLIB changesEMOSLIB Releases

Latest news

GRIB-API Releases

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.

PackageNext defaultNotes

With Grib, netcdf 4, hdf5 and Magics support


A number of  a number of routines in the "G05 – 
Random Number Generators" chapter have been withdrawn.


More up-to-date extra python modules

MKL used for linear algebra in numpy and scipy


More up-to-date extra R packages

MKL used for all linear algebra operations


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