Installing PCRaster 4.1

PCRaster runs on Linux distributions that are compatible with the Linux Standard Base (LSB) version 4. PCRaster is known to work on the following distributions:

  • Ubuntu 12.10
  • Ubuntu 12.04
  • bullx Linux, which is compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

PCRaster is also known to work on the Dutch national supercomputer, Cartesius.


To run PCRaster models you need Python 2.7, Numpy, and the Linux Standard Base support. Use your package management system to install these packages. For example, on Debian-based systems use:

apt-get install python python-numpy lsb

One user reported that libjpeg wasn’t installed by default on his system. This command solved it:

apt-get install libjpeg62


Installing PCRaster on Linux involves these steps:

  • Unzip the zip file containing the software
  • Update the PATH and PYTHONPATH environment variables.

PCRaster can be installed anywhere you want. Typical locations are $HOME, /opt and /usr/local.

$ cd /opt
$ tar zxf /tmp/pcraster-lsbcc-4_x86-64.tar.gz

In order for the PCRaster executables and the Python package to be found, the PATH and PYTHONPATH environment variables must be updated with the paths to the executables and Python package, respectively. Assuming the use of the bash shell:

$ export PATH=/opt/pcraster-lsbcc-4_86-64/bin:$PATH
$ export PYTHONPATH=/opt/pcraster-lsbcc-4_86-64/python:$PYTHONPATH

These lines can be put in $HOME/.bash_profile to have them executed each time you login.

PCRaster is now installed and ready to be used:
$ pcrcalc
pcrcalc Nov 18 2013 (linux/x86_64)
USAGE: pcrcalc [options] "expression"
or pcrcalc [options] -f scriptFile
( or #!: pcrcalc -F [options]+)
other flags:
s # : set seed (integer > 0) for random generator
default is based on current time
b f : overrule script bindings
1 : update timeseries files at end of each timestep
r f : set run directory
d f : debug mode, check MV creation on assignment
comparing against clone or areamap boolean mask
c : strict Case significant filename check (Unix portability)
p : print profile information
m : optimize with areamap MV compression
l : use less memory but more temporary disk storage
t : test argument substitution

Note: In case the software doesn’t work, verify that the Linux Standard Base (LSB) 4 package is installed.