Documentation for PISM, a parallel Ice Sheet Model

Getting the dev source code

The PISM source code is hosted at The default branch is set to the current stable version of PISM. To get the dev branch you can either clone the repository and then checkout the dev branch, or you can ask for the dev branch from the start:

git clone -b dev git:// pism-dev

Installing tools and libraries

See the Installation Manual for the list of tools and libraries necessary to build PISM.

For the development version you need a recent version of PETSc. Configuring and building PETSc might be as simple as

export PETSC_DIR=`pwd`
export PETSC_ARCH=linux-c-dbg
make all
make test

Building the dev version

See the file in the source. Basically you do:

cd pism-dev
mkdir 'your build directory'
cd 'your build directory'
ccmake ..      # type 'c' as soon as it runs, then set variables as needed,
               #   then 'g' to generate (you can toggle advanced mode with 't'
               #   to get lots of control)
make install

If you see configuration-related issues (missing libraries, etc.) at this stage then go back to

ccmake ..

and fix them.

After exiting “ccmake” (e.g. by re-generating the makefile), do

make install
pisms          # very minimal test; should run and produce NetCDF (.nc) file
make test      # will do thorough test if python tools and NCO are available

Tracking commits

The source code host site allows you to browse the source and see recent changes and to post issues, which you can tag as bugs, tasks or feature requests.

To get updates by e-mail, please go to and join the group. (This requires a Google Mail account.)

If you are using a different e-mail system, you can either

Here are the latest five commits (obtained using the RSS feed link above):

Staying up to date

Get the latest features, bugs, and perhaps their fixes:

cd pism-dev
git pull
cd 'your build directory'
make install

See the User's Manual to get the user-level view of PISM even if you think you know everything.

When working with the dev branch you should build documentation yourself by getting doxygen and LaTeX—if you don't have them installed already–and then making the appropriate target:

cd 'your build directory'
make manual              # builds manual.pdf
make installation        # builds installation.pdf
make forcing             # builds forcing.pdf
make browser             # doxygen docs; view doc/browser/html/index.html when built

There is additional documentation for the new PISM Python bindings and inversion tools. See the PDF Installation Manual (installation.pdf; built by make installation) for how to build the documentation for the Python bindings and inversion tools. You will need Sphinx to build these docs.

development_version.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/21 21:01 by Ed Bueler
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