Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Q: My organization is not in the pull-down list I get when trying the Federated Login to

    A: Then maybe your institution just didn’t join the DFN-AAI. You can check that at

  2. Q: I am trying to use the Federated Login, and that seems to work fine. When I should be redirected to the gitlab server though, I get the error that my uid is missing.

    A: Even though your organization joined the DFN-AAI, needs your organization to deliver information about your institutional e-mail address as part of the identity provided. Please contact the person responsible for shibboleth in your organization.

ESM Runscripts

  1. Q: I get the error: load_all_functions: not found [No such file or directory] when calling my runscript like this:

    $ ./ -e some_expid

    A: You are trying to call your runscript the old-fashioned way that worked with the shell-script version, until revision 3. With the new python version, you get a new executable esm_runscripts that should be in your PATH already. Call your runscript like this:

    $ esm_runscripts -e some_expid

    All the command line options still apply. By the way, “load_all_function” doesn’t hurt to have in the runscript, but can savely be removed.

  2. Q: What should I put into the variable FUNCTION_PATH in my runscript, I can’t find the folder functions/all it should point to.

    A: You can safely forget about FUNCTION_PATH, which was only needed in the shell script version until revision 3. Either ignore it, or better remove it from the runscript.

  3. Q: When I try to branch-off from a spinup experiment using FESOM, I get the following runtime error:

    read ocean restart file
    NetCDF: Invalid dimension ID or name

    A: See How to branch-off FESOM from old spinup restart files.

ESM Master

  1. Q: How can I define different environments for different models / different versions of the same model?

    A: You can add a choose-block in the models yaml-file (esm_tools/configs/model_name.yaml), e.g.:

                                    - 'MY_VAR="something"'
                                    - load my_own_module
                                    - 'MY_VAR="something_else"'
  2. Q: How can I add a new model, setup, and coupling strategy to the esm_master tool?

    A: Add your configuration in the file configs/esm_master/setups2models.yaml

Frequent Errors

  1. Q: When I try to install ESM-Tools or use esm_versions I get the following error:

    RuntimeError: Click will abort further execution because Python 3 was configured to use ASCII as encoding for the environment. Consult for mitigation steps.

or something on the following lines:

 ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1:
 command: /sw/rhel6-x64/conda/anaconda3-bleeding_edge/bin/python -c 'import sys, setuptools, tokenize; sys.argv[0] = '"'"'/tmp/pip-install-0y687gmq/esm-master/'"'"'; _file__='"'"'/tmp/pip-install-0y687gmq/esm-master/'"'"';f=getattr(tokenize, '"'"'open'"'"', open)(__file__);'"'"'\r\n'"'"', '"'"'\n'"'"');f.close();exec(compile(code, _file__, '"'"'exec'"'"'))' egg_info --egg-base /tmp/pip-install-0y687gmq/esm-master/pip-egg-info
 cwd: /tmp/pip-install-0y687gmq/esm-master/
 Complete output (7 lines):
 Traceback (most recent call last):
   File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
   File "/tmp/pip-install-0y687gmq/esm-master/", line 8, in <module>
     readme =
   File "/sw/rhel6-x64/conda/anaconda3-bleeding_edge/lib/python3.6/encodings/", line 26, in decode
     return codecs.ascii_decode(input, self.errors)[0]
 UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xf0 in position 1468: ordinal not in range(128)
 ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1: python egg_info Check the logs for full command output.

**A**: Some systems have ``C.UTF-8`` as locale default (i.e. ``$LC_ALL``, ``$LANG``). This issue is solved by setting up the locales respectively to ``en_US.UTF-8`` and ``en_US.UTF-8``, either manually or adding them to the local bash configuration file (i.e. ``~/.bash_profile``)::

     $ export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
     $ export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
  1. Q: How can I add a new model, setup, and coupling strategy to the esm_master tool?

    A: Add your configuration in the file configs/esm_master/setups2models.yaml (see contributing:Implementing a New Model and Implement a New Coupled Setup)