Installing NCARG and NCL on a 64-bit AMD Opteron Cluster running CentOS 5 Linux

NCAR is the (US) National Centre for Atmospheric Research, NCARG is a graphics library, maps database and applications for the same, and NCAR Command Language (NCL) is interpreted language for the above. Installing the software from source is not recommended: "We highly recommend that you use a precompiled NCL binary rather than attempting a build from source code.... If you decide to go forth with building from source code, good luck!", so sayeth the INSTALL.txt. Despite these warnings it seems the bark is much worse the bite.

After acquire an account at the Earth System Grid, login and download the tarball, extract into a sensible place (tar xvf /usr/local/src/NCARG/ncl_ncarg_src-5.2.1.tar.gz). Extensive installation notes are provided. After doing the recommended tests, the actual install was surprisingly simple; run the ./Configure, which goes through a set of step-by-step questions. In almost all cases the default is sufficient. The install directory should be as required (e.g., /usr/local/ncarg/5.2.1/.

For the question on using /usr/X11R6/lib use /usr/lib instead. When the questions are complete the text recommends the slightly odd combination of:

make Everything >& make-output & for make


tail -f make-output

to visualise the `make` command.

After this simply set the environment modules in the usual way for the new version of NCARG/NCL