Getting started#


Quick installation via pip#


You should only install Veros this way if you want to get going as quickly as possible, and do not plan to access or modify the model source code. The recommended way to install Veros is by checking out the repository (see below).

If you already have Python installed, the quickest way to get a working Veros installation is to run

$ pip install veros

or, optionally:

$ pip install veros[jax]

to use Veros with JAX.

Using Conda (multi-platform)#

  1. Download and install Miniconda. If you are using Windows, you may use the Anaconda prompt to execute the following steps.

  2. Clone the Veros repository

    $ git clone -b main

    (or any other version of Veros).

    If you do not have git installed, you can do so via conda install git.

  3. Create a new conda environment for Veros, and install all relevant dependencies by running

    $ conda env create -f conda-environment.yml

    from the Veros root directory.

  4. To use Veros, just activate your new conda environment via

    $ conda activate veros

Using pip (Linux / OSX)#

  1. Ensure you have a working Python 3.x installation.

  2. Clone our repository:

    $ git clone -b main

    (or any other version of Veros), or use

    $ pip download veros

    to download a tarball of the latest version (needs to be unpacked).

  3. Install Veros (preferably in a virtual environment) via

    $ pip install -e ./veros

    You might have to add the --user flag to pip install if you are using your system interpreter. The -e flag ensures that changes to the code are immediately reflected without reinstalling.

  4. Optionally, install JAX via

    $ pip install -e ./veros[jax]

Setting up a model#

To run Veros, you need to set up a model - i.e., specify which settings and model domain you want to use. This is done by subclassing the Veros setup base class in a setup script that is written in Python. You should have a look at the pre-implemented model setups in the repository’s setup folder, or use the veros copy-setup command to copy one into your current folder. A good place to start is the ACC model:

$ veros copy-setup acc

By working through the existing models, you should quickly be able to figure out how to write your own simulation. Just keep in mind this general advice:

  • You can (and should) use any (external) Python tools you want in your model setup. Before implementing a certain functionality, you should check whether it is already provided by a common library. Especially the SciPy module family provides countless implementations of common scientific functions (and SciPy is installed along with Veros).

  • You have to decorate your methods with @veros_routine. Only Veros routines are able to modify the model state object, which is passed as the first argument. The current numerical backend is available from the veros.core.operators module:

    from veros import VerosSetup, veros_routine
    from veros.core.operators import numpy as npx
    class MyVerosSetup(VerosSetup):
        def my_function(self, state):
            arr = npx.array([1, 2, 3, 4]) # "npx" uses either NumPy or JAX
  • If you are curious about the general process how a model is set up and ran, you should read the source code of veros.VerosSetup (especially the setup() and run() methods). This is also the best way to find out about the order in which routines are called.

  • Out of all functions that need to be implemented by your subclass of veros.VerosSetup, the only one that is called in every time step is set_forcing() (at the beginning of each iteration). This implies that, to achieve optimal performance, you should consider moving calculations that are constant in time to other functions.

  • There is another type of decorator called @veros_kernel. A kernel is a pure function that may be compiled to machine code by JAX. Kernels typically execute much faster, but are more restrictive to implement, as they cannot interact with the model state directly.

    A common pattern in large setups is to implement set_forcing() as a kernel for optimal performance (see e.g. the global_1deg setup file).

Running Veros#

After adapting your setup script, you are ready to run your first simulation. Just execute the following:

$ veros run

See also

The Veros command line interface accepts a large number of options to configure your run; see Command line tools.


You are not required to use the command line, and you are welcome to include your simulation class into other Python files and call it dynamically or interactively (e.g. in an IPython session). All you need to do is to call the setup() and run() methods of your veros.VerosSetup object.

Reading Veros output#

All output is handled by the available diagnostics. The most basic diagnostic, snapshot, writes some model variables to netCDF files in regular intervals (and puts them into your current working directory).

NetCDF is a binary format that is widely adopted in the geophysical modeling community. There are various packages for reading, visualizing and processing netCDF files (such as ncview and ferret), and bindings for many programming languages (such as C, Fortran, MATLAB, and Python).

For post-processing in Python, we recommend that you use xarray:

import xarray as xr

ds = xr.open_dataset("", engine="h5netcdf")

# plot surface velocity at the last time step included in the file
u_surface = ds.u.isel(Time=-1, zt=-1)

Re-starting from a previous run#

Restart data (in HDF5 format) is written at the end of each simulation or after a regular time interval if the setting restart_frequency is set to a finite value. To use this restart file as initial conditions for another simulation, you will have to point restart_input_filename of the new simulation to the corresponding restart file. This can also be given via the command line (as all settings):

$ veros run -s restart_input_filename /path/to/restart_file.h5

Running Veros on multiple processes via MPI#


This assumes that you are familiar with running applications through MPI, and is most useful on large architectures like a compute cluster. For smaller architectures, it is usually easier to stick to the thread-based parallelism of JAX.

Running Veros through MPI requires some additional dependencies. For optimal performance, you will need to install mpi4py, h5py, petsc4py, and mpi4jax, linked to your MPI library.

After you have installed everything, you can start Veros on multiple processes like so::

$ mpirun -np 4 veros run -n 2 2

In this case, Veros would run on 4 processes, each process computing one-quarter of the domain. The arguments of the -n flag specify the number of domain partitions in x and y-direction, respectively.

See also

For more information, see Running Veros on a cluster.

Enhancing Veros#

Veros was written with extensibility in mind. If you already know some Python and have worked with NumPy, you are pretty much ready to write your own extension. The model code is located in the veros subfolder, while all of the numerical routines are located in veros/core.

We believe that the best way to learn how Veros works is to read its source code. Starting from the Veros base class, you should be able to work your way through the flow of the program, and figure out where to add your modifications. If you installed Veros through pip -e or develop, all changes you make will immediately be reflected when running the code.

In case you want to add additional output capabilities or compute additional quantities without changing the main solution of the simulation, you should consider adding a custom diagnostic.

A convenient way to implement your modifications is to create your own fork of Veros on GitHub, and submit a pull request if you think your modifications could be useful for the Veros community.

See also

More information is available in our developer guide.