System requirements

The DART software is intended to compile and run on many different Unix/Linux operating systems with little to no change. At this point we have no plans to port DART to Windows machines, although Windows 10 users may be interested in the free Windows Subsystem For Linux which allows developers to “run a GNU/Linux environment – including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications – directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a virtual machine” (see for more details)


We have tried to make the DART code as portable as possible, but we do not have access to all compilers on all platforms, so unfortunately we cannot guarantee that the code will work correctly on your particular system.

We are genuinely interested in your experience building the system, so we welcome you to send us an email with your experiences to

We will endeavor to incorporate your suggestions into future versions of this guide.

Minimally, you will need:

  1. a Fortran90 compiler,

  2. the netCDF libraries built with the F90 interface,

  3. perl (just about any version),

  4. an environment that understands csh, tcsh, sh, and ksh

  5. the long-lived Unix build tool make

  6. and up to 1 Gb of disk space for the DART distribution.

History has shown that it is a very good idea to remove the stack and heap limits in your run-time environment with the following terminal commands:

> limit stacksize unlimited
> limit datasize unlimited

Additionally, the following tools have proven to be nice (but are not required to run DART):

  1. ncview: a great visual browser for netCDF files.

  2. the netCDF Operators (NCO): tools to perform operations on netCDF files like concatenating, slicing, and dicing

  3. Some sort of MPI environment. In other words, DART does not come with MPICH, LAM-MPI, or OpenMPI, but many users of DART rely on these MPI distributions to run DART in a distributed-memory parallel setting. In order to use MPI with DART, please refer to the DART MPI introduction.

  4. If you want to use the DART diagnostic scripts, you will need a basic MATLAB® installation. No additional toolboxes are required, and no third-party toolboxes are required.