Iris is available using conda for the following platforms:

  • Linux 64-bit,

  • Mac OSX 64-bit, and

  • Windows 64-bit.

Windows 10 now has support for Linux distributions via WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). This is a great option to get started with Iris for users and developers. Be aware that we do not currently test against any WSL distributions.


Iris is currently supported and tested against Python 3.10, 3.8 and 3.9 running on Linux. We do not currently actively test on other platforms such as Windows or macOS.


This documentation was built using Python 3.10.9.

Installing Using Conda (Users)#

To install Iris using conda, you must first download and install conda, for example from

Once conda is installed, you can install Iris using conda with the following command:

conda install -c conda-forge iris

If you wish to run any of the code in the gallery you will also need the Iris sample data. This can also be installed using conda:

conda install -c conda-forge iris-sample-data

Further documentation on using conda and the features it provides can be found at

Installing from Source Without Conda on Debian-Based Linux Distros (Developers)#

Iris can also be installed without a conda environment. The instructions in this section are valid for Debian-based Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.).

Iris and its dependencies need some shared libraries in order to work properly. These can be installed with apt:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip python3-tk libudunits2-dev libproj-dev proj-bin libgeos-dev libcunit1-dev

The rest can be done with pip:

pip3 install scitools-iris

This procedure was tested on a Ubuntu 20.04 system on the 26th of July, 2021. Be aware that through updates of the involved Debian packages, dependency conflicts might arise or the procedure might have to be modified.

Installing from Source with Conda (Developers)#

The latest Iris source release is available from SciTools/iris.

For instructions on how to obtain the Iris project source from GitHub see Making Your own Copy (fork) of Iris and Set up Your Fork for instructions.

Once conda is installed, you can install Iris using conda and then activate it. The example commands below assume you are in the root directory of your local copy of Iris:

conda env create --force --file=requirements/iris.yml
conda activate iris-dev


The --force option, used when creating the environment, first removes any previously existing iris-dev environment of the same name. This is particularly useful when rebuilding your environment due to a change in requirements.

The requirements/iris.yml file defines the Iris development conda environment name and all the relevant top level conda-forge package dependencies that you need to code, test, and build the documentation. If you wish to minimise the environment footprint, simply remove any unwanted packages from the requirements file e.g., if you don’t intend to run the Iris tests locally or build the documentation, then remove all the packages from the testing and documentation sections.


The requirements/iris.yml file will always use the latest Iris tested Python version available. For all Python versions that are supported and tested against by Iris, view the contents of the requirements directory.

Finally you need to run the command to configure your shell environment to find your local Iris code:

python develop

Running the Tests#

To ensure your setup is configured correctly you can run the test suite using the command:


For more information see Testing Iris in a Manually Created Environment.

Custom Site Configuration#

The default site configuration values can be overridden by creating the file iris/etc/site.cfg. For example, the following snippet can be used to specify a non-standard location for your dot executable:

dot_path = /usr/bin/dot

An example configuration file is available in iris/etc/site.cfg.template. See iris.config() for further configuration options.