Download NCL binaries and/or source code

Version 6.3.0 is the current version --- [full list of available binaries]

We have a TEST conda version available as well. This may be simpler to install than the instructions below, but it gives you a development version of NCL that is newer than 6.3.0. We recommend only using this for test purposes.

NCL is available for free as precompiled binaries for various LINUX, MacOS, and Windows (running X/Cygwin) systems, or as source code on the Earth System Grid website. No registration is required.

NCL and NCAR Graphics are available as one package and collectively referred to as "NCL".

To download and install NCL on your system, you need to:

Download source code or the appropriate binaries for your system

All recent NCL binaries and source code are hosted on the Earth System Grid (ESG) system. No registration is required.

Here's the direct link: NCL 6.3.0 binaries

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "NCL: NCAR Command Language" (bottom middle of page).
  3. Click on "NCL Version 6.3.0" or the version you're interested in.
  4. Click on whether you want an OPeNDAP binary, a non-OPeNDAP binary, or source code. If you don't know what OPeNDAP is, then you probably don't need it. For Cygwin, the only binary we have is under the OPeNDAP link.
  5. Click on "Download Options".
  6. Click on the name of the file you want to download, and it should automatically download to your machine.

Depending on what you downloaded, read one or both of the following sections on installing NCL binaries or building NCL from source code.

You may want to look over these special notes regarding MacOS, LINUX, and Cygwin systems:

Install the NCL binaries on your system

--- See the full list of available binaries ---

If you downloaded one or more NCL binaries, see the install NCL document on installing your software.

Systems Supported

  • Linux (i686, x86_64, IA64 systems, gcc/gfortran v4.2.x or later (see Linux notes)
  • MacOSX (Intel, 32 and 64 bit) (see MacOSX notes)
  • Windows under Cygwin Unix emulator (see Cygwin notes)

Build and install NCL from source code

If you downloaded the NCL source code, see the build NCL from source code document.

We highly recommend that you use a precompiled binary if possible. Building from source code is not trivial.

Help on installation questions

For questions about installing, building, or porting NCL, post to the email list. You will need to subscribe first.

NCL binary and source licenses