Make sure you have installed or loaded a python version that is 3.7 or later but not newer than 3.10 (see also Before you continue). Use a pip version that is up-to-date (to update run pip install -U pip). Also make sure that the location to which the python binaries of ESM-Tools will be installed (which is ~/.local/bin by default) is in your PATH. For that purpose, add the following lines to one of your login or profile files, i.e. ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bashrc, ~/.profile, etc.:

$ export PATH=$PATH:~/.local/bin
$ export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
$ export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Installing in local environment

After downloading the ESM-Tools software (see Get ESM-Tools) you have a new folder named esm_tools. In this new folder you find the script to install ESM-Tools on the HPC your are running this install script on.

To change into the new folder and execute the instalation script, execute the following commands:

$ cd esm_tools
$ ./

This should install all necessary python packages of ESM-Tools. If you wonder where they end up, take a look at ~/.local/lib/python%versionnumber%/site-packages.

To see where ESM-Tools are installed, run the following command:

$ which esm_tools

A possible (default) output can be ~/.local/bin/esm_tools.

Installing in a conda environment

Work in progress. We are still testing it.

Installing in an encapsulated environment using direnv

Based on an alternative installation procedure, that provides an ESM-Tools installation employing direnv (, you can now install various encapsulated versions of ESM-Tools alongside each other. These different installations do not impact each other’s configuration. Consequently, they can coexist in peaceful harmony. In the suggested alternative installation method all configurations will reside within the base folder of a specific ESM-Tools version that you install. There is no dependency on configurations outside the installation directory of a specific ESM-Tools version, mitigating the potential for side effects if another version of ESM-Tools is installed in parallel. To install ESM-Tools as suggested here, just follow the procedure outlined below. The steps to create the installation involve preparation of direnv, including setting up an environment that encapsulates potentially version-specific settings, creating a dedicated directory to which a specific version of ESM-Tools will be installed.

To set up such an installation in an encapsulated environent, please do the followings steps:

  • Download and install direnv (if not yet done) with the following command:

    $ curl -sfL | bash

    This will install direnv binary locally under ~/.local/bin/direnv.

  • Create and enter a new folder that should hold the new encapsulated environment:

    $ mkdir esm_tools_v6.1.10 #adjust version number as appropriate
    $ cd esm_tools_v6.1.10/
  • Set up direnv hooks according to your used shell (see also For the bash shell add the following line at the end of your .bashrc and/or .bash_profile file:

    eval "$(direnv hook bash)"
  • Create .envrc file:

    $ direnv edit .

    This command will create the new file .envrc and opens it in the default editor. You can also create the file and open it in your favorate editor.

  • Add the following lines to the created .envrc file and save it:

    module load python3
    module load git
    layout python
    module load gcc

    Please also have a look at Before you continue for more details about necessary modules on the different HPCs. Make sure you keep the line layout python.

  • Allow this .envrc file to be used by direnv:

    $ direnv allow .

This environment setup will be automatically applied each time you enter this folder.

It enables us now to install ESM-Tools within this specific environment (see also Get ESM-Tools and Installing in local environment):

$ git clone
$ cd esm_tools
$ ./


Please note, that all calls of ESM-Tools commands for this particular installed version needs to be done within the folder that holds the direnv environment.

Update ESM-Tools

If you installed in editable mode as described above, you can update ESM-Tools by using git:

$ cd esm_tools
$ git pull origin release

Uninstall ESM-Tools

We are sorry to see you go! You can uninstall your current ESM-Tools installation in two different ways depending slightly on how you installed it.

Using pip

Make sure you have the most recent version of pip available for your system:

$ python3 -m pip install -U pip

If you are using ESM-Tools version 6.0.0 or higher you can use the following command to uninstall all ESM-Tools packages:

$ pip uninstall [--user] esm-tools

The --user flag may be required when using pip if you are not uninstalling in either a virtual environment or a global install (you would need to be root in that case).

If you are using a version of ESM-Tools that is older than 6.0.0 use pip to uninstall as follows:

$ pip freeze | grep esm | xargs pip uninstall -y


If you have installed ESM-Tools with the script or using pip with user mode, please follow the following steps to uninstall the software manually.

  • Delete the esm_* executables:

    $ rm -ri ~/.local/bin/esm*
  • Remove the installed Python packages:

    $ rm -ri ~/.local/lib/python3.<version>/site-packages/esm*

Note that you may have a different Python version, so the second command might need to be adapted.