The following notes refer to the Python 3 versions of cf-python and cf-plot which was released on 1st October 2019.

Is cf-plot already installed?

export PATH=/home/users/ajh/anaconda3/bin:$PATH
ln -s /home/users/ajh/cfplot_data ~
export PATH=/home/n02/n02/ajh/anaconda3/bin:$PATH
export QT_XCB_NO_XI2=true
ln -s /home/n02/n02/ajh/cfplot_data ~
Reading University RACC cluster
module load ncas_anaconda3
ln -s /share/apps/NCAS/cfplot_data ~
Monsoon postproc server
to be installed Contact for details.

To install cf-plot

Linux and Mac

To install cf-plot on your own Linux PC or Mac download and install miniconda. On the command line type:

conda install -c ncas -c conda-forge cf-python cf-plot udunits2
conda install -c conda-forge mpich esmpy

The first line installs cf-python and cf-plot. The second installs esmpy, together with the netcdf-fortran and mpich requirements, which cf-python uses for regriding data. Note that Matplotlib 3 was used in the development of cf-plot and it is advised to upgrade to this version if you are not using it already. Using Matplotlib 2 can give different plot spacings and results such as missing contour plots.


We have a small development team and Linux is our main working environment. Windows isn't an option for us at present given our target user base.

If you have a Windows operating system there are a couple of options for running Linux:

  1. Install the Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Once this is working install cf-python and cf-plot as per the Linux instructions above.

  2. Installing a Linux Virtual Machine is simple and works well. Installation instructions and a Mint Linux Virtual Machine are available at

Other install methods for Linux and Mac OSX

Using pip:

pip install cf-python
pip install cf-plot

If you are upgrading the version of cf-python or cf-plot to the latest ones then add the --upgrade after the install above. A specific version can be installed using pip install cf-plot==3.0.20 for example.

Using GitHub:

git clone git://
(or possibly git clone
cd cf-plot
python install

You will need to download and install cf-python to use cf-plot. Other cf-plot dependencies are: Numpy, Scipy, Matplotlib, NetCDF4 and Cartopy.

Sample data sets

These are available in the cfplot_data directory which can be linked using:

Jasmin: ln -s /home/users/ajh/cfplot_data ~
Reading Academic Computing Cluster (RACC): ln -s /share/apps/NCAS/cfplot_data ~

If you are on a different server then download the sample netCDF datasets