Met.3D installation with cmake

This page provides installation guidelines for installing Met.3D on openSUSE and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS systems using the cmake build system. Met.3D requires a number of libraries to be installed and a few external data packages to be downloaded. Most of these packages can be installed via the respective system package managers (YaST or aptitude), however, a few have to be downloaded and compiled manually.


The installation guidelines have been tested with openSUSE 13.X systems but should be directly applicable to the current openSUSE 42. Under Ubuntu, we have tested with version 16.04 LTS.

System requirements: You need an OpenGL 4.3 capable graphics card and an appropriate Linux driver to run Met.3D. The driver will most likely be a proprietary driver; open-source drivers for Linux currently do not provide the required capabilities. Before you continue with the installation, make sure that graphics card and driver are installed. If everything is installed correctly, the glxinfo command should output something similar to (the important thing is the OpenGL version > 4.3):

glxinfo | grep OpenGL

OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: GeForce GTX TITAN/PCIe/SSE2
OpenGL core profile version string: 4.4.0 NVIDIA 340.96
OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 4.40 NVIDIA via Cg compiler

A) Install available packages via your package manager (YaST, aptitude, ...)

For openSUSE 13.X, these repositories are required (similar for other openSUSE versions):

Packages that need to be installed via YaST (or the system’s repository manager):

  • libqt4 and libqt4-devel
  • liblog4cplus and log4cplus-devel
  • gdal, libgdal and libgdal-devel
  • netcdf, netcdf-devel
  • hdf5, libhdf5 and hdf5-devel
  • glew and glew-devel
  • libfreetype and freetype-devel
  • grib_api and grib_api-devel
  • libGLU
  • gsl and gsl_devel
  • ... and we may have forgotten some. Please tell us!

For Ubutuntu 16.04, packages that need to be installed via aptitude:

  • qt4-default, qt4-qmlviewer and libqt4-dev
  • liblog4cplus-1.1-9 and liblog4cplus-dev
  • gdal-bin, libgdal1i and libgdal-dev (deprecated, recommend to download latest version)
  • libhdf5-10 and libhdf5-dev (in case it does not support GEOS, install the package manually)
  • glew-utils and libglew-dev
  • libfreetype6 and libfreetype6-dev
  • libgrib-api0, libgrib-api-dev and libgrib-api-tools
  • libglu1-mesa and libglu1-mesa-dev
  • libgsl2 and libgsl-dev

B) Install required libraries from their sources

Some libraries in this section may not be available as rpm/apt packages and need to be complied manually.

1) glfx

Get the glfx sources from:

cd glfx
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=/your/target/dir CMakeLists.txt
make -j 12
make install

To make it easier for cmake to automatically find the libraries, choose one directory from cmake/common_settings.cmake as /your/target/dir. Test

2) qcustomplot

Get the qcustomplot sources from:

You will need the archives QCustomPlot.tar.gz and QCustomPlot-sharedlib.tar.gz.

Extract the QCustomPlot.tar.gz archive (the /qcustomplot directory) and put the contents of QCustomPlot-sharedlib.tar.gz inside the /qcustomplot directory. Go to


and run:


Next, copy the resulting libraries and the qcustomplot.h header to directories where cmake can find them automatically (look at cmake/common_settings.cmake). These files are required:


./lib64: ->* ->* ->** ->* ->* ->**

3) netcdf-cxx4

Get the sources of the CURRENT (not the old!) NetCDF C++ interface from (choose the latest stable distribution). The C++ library requires the regular C library to be installed (see rpm packages above).

./configure --prefix=/your/target/dir
make -j 12
make check
make install

To make it easier for cmake to automatically find the libraries, choose one directory from cmake/common_settings.cmake as /your/target/dir.

4) gdal-2.x (only Ubuntu)

Get the sources of the current GDAL version from and compile the source code:

./configure --prefix=/your/target/dir
make -j 12
make check
make install

To make it easier for cmake to automatically find the libraries, choose one directory from cmake/common_settings.cmake as /your/target/dir.

5) hdf5-1.x (only Ubuntu)

Before compiling HDF5, install the package libgeos-dev to enable GEOS support. Get the sources of the current HDF5 version from and compile the source code:

./configure --prefix=/your/target/dir
make -j 12
make check
make install

To make it easier for cmake to automatically find the libraries, choose one directory from cmake/common_settings.cmake as /your/target/dir.

C) Download source and data packages

We recommend to place the following packages along with the Met.3D sources into a specific directory structure.

Create a base directory met.3d-base and a subdirectory third-party:


Change into third-party to execute the following commands.

1) qtpropertybrowser

Met.3D requires the qtpropertybrowser framework from the “qt-solutions” repository. The qtpropertybrowser sources are directly compiled into the Met.3D executable and hence do not have to be build beforehand. They can be downloaded with git:

[in met.3d-base/third-party]
git clone

2) Fonts

Met.3D requires a TrueType font file. We recommend the “FreeSans” font from the GNU FreeFont package. It can be downloaded from At the time of writing, the most recent version is 20120503:

[in met.3d-base/third-party]

3) Vector and raster map, coastline and country borderline data

Met.3D requires a base map image in GeoTIFF format, as well as coastline and country borderline vector data in shapefile format. we recommend to use the free data from The medium resolution files (50m) work fine (they require roughly 300 MB of disk space).

For coastline data, we use the “Coastline” dataset (

[in met.3d-base/third-party]
mkdir naturalearth
cd naturalearth

For country boundaries, we use the “Admin 0 – Boundary Lines” dataset (

[in met.3d-base/third-party/naturalearth]

For the raster basemap, we use the “Cross Blended Hypso with Shaded Relief and Water” dataset (

[in met.3d-base/third-party/naturalearth]

You should now have the following directory structure (... denotes other files):


D) Checkout Met.3D from the GIT repository

The latest version of Met.3D can be checked out from

Place the repository into the met.3d-base base directory:

[in met.3d-base]
git clone -b release_1.1

E) Configure cmake for Met.3D

We provide cmake scripts for Makefile creation and compilation of Met.3D. You can either build Met.3D from the command line, or use a cmake GUI (e.g., cmake-curses-gui, cmake-gui) to configure cmake. We recommend to use a cmake GUI, or, alternatively, start the build process within C++ IDEs like QtCreator, CLion, or Visual Studio Code (these typically provide functionality to open CMakeLists.txt and to run the build process).

From the command line:

First, in met.3d-base/, create a subdirectory build into which the executable can be built and change into this directory:

[in met.3d-base]
mkdir build
cd build

Create a Makefile by:

[in met.3d-base/build]

Met.3D can also be built in debug mode; change -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RELEASE to -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=DEBUG to achieve this.

If some libraries are not located within the default header/library folders (given in common_settings.cmake), it is likely that you have to manually set the include directory and used libraries for a certain package. For example, if cmake could not find the include directory of GDAL, it will output something like missing GDAL_INCLUDE_DIR. In that case, add -DGDAL_INCLUDE_DIR=/real/path/to/gdal/includes to the makefile command and run cmake again. Or use the GUI to set the missing directories and libraries and restart the configuring and generation process.

F) Compile Met.3D

After cmake has created the Makefile, run make (the “-j 12” option for make starts 12 parallel compilation threads, modify this number to match the number of CPU cores in your system).

[in met.3d-base/build]
make -j 12

Compilation may take a few minutes. If no errors are reported, an executable named met3D should be created in the build directory.

G) Configure Met.3D

Modify the software configuration to match your system.

  • In met.3d-base/met.3d/config/, copy the files default_frontend.cfg.template and default_pipeline.cfg.template to local configuration files, e.g. to met.3d-base/config/frontend.cfg and met.3d-base/config/pipeline.cfg (these filenames are used in the following but you can choose other names as well). Modify the paths in pipeline.cfg to match the paths at which the forecast data is stored on your system. Modify frontend.cfg to specify the configuration of Met.3D after start-up. If you have followed the suggested directory structure, you should not need to modify frontend.cfg for first experiments with Met.3D. Note that you can use environement variables in the paths defined in the configuration files. In the example installation described in this document, two envrionment variables (MET3D_HOME and MET3D_BASE) are used (see below).

H) Start Met.3D

Before Met.3D is started, the environment variable MET3D_HOME needs to be set to the Met.3D source directory (alternatively, at least the subdirectories /src/glsl and /config need to be accessible):

export MET3D_HOME=/your/path/to/met.3d-base/met.3d

For the example configuration described in this document, an additional environment variable MET3D_BASE is used in the configuration files to refer to the paths with third-party data (see default_frontend.cfg.template; feel free to change this if you like):

export MET3D_BASE=/your/path/to/met.3d-base

To start Met.3D, type (change the paths to the configuration files if they are stored in a different location):

[e.g. in met.3d-base/build]
./Met3D --pipeline=$MET3D_HOME/config/pipeline.cfg --frontend=$MET3D_HOME/config/frontend.cfg


Depending on the amount of available forecast data, the software may take a while to start. Also, on first startup the compilation of the OpenGL shader programs may take a while.


On first start-up, you should only see an empty window. Please follow the user guide to learn how to create visualizations.