Documentation for PISM, the Parallel Ice Sheet Model

Getting the dev source code

The PISM source code is hosted at The default branch is master, which is 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

The dev manual

See, which follows the dev branch. Meanwhile the main documentation page corresponds to the most recent release.

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 (from 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 (dev) to get the user-level view of PISM even if you think you know everything. See also the Installation Manual (dev) for instructions on how build the documentation yourself.

development_version.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/02 22:35 by Ed Bueler
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