Compiling PCRaster from source


The following build instructions apply to PCRaster version 4.3 (or later). You don’t want to build earlier versions yourself. Really, you don’t.


Building PCRaster depends on various software tools, development packages and libraries, at least:

  • Compiler supporting C11 and C++17 (gcc 7 or higher)

  • CMake >=3.14

  • git

  • Python > 3.5

  • Boost > 1.66

  • NumPy

  • GDAL >= 2.0

  • Qt > 5.7

  • XercesC 3.2

You will need to build libraries yourself in case they are not available on your system or those versions are too old.

Obtaining the sources

Preferably you should use a versioned software release to build PCRaster. This is recommended in case you want to use PCRaster in production. You can obtain a source package as follows:

$ # sha256: 17904dbd0e5d9b6b0e27358779c6b05c219bcb41d9b7691a238e8db357f69ed5
$ wget

It is also possible to obtain the PCRaster sources from our code repository, e.g. in case you want to test the latest developments:

$ mkdir pcraster_build
$ cd pcraster_build
$ git clone --recursive

Configuring and building

CMake requires an out of source build. Make sure that you check and adapt the install location and Python version:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build

$ cmake -G"Unix Makefiles" ../pcraster -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/pcraster-4.3.3 -DPython3_EXECUTABLE:FILEPATH=/usr/bin/python3.10

In case some of the 3rd party libraries are not installed in default locations, you need to provide hints before you call CMake. For example, on CentOS 7 you may need to use:

$ export BOOST_INCLUDEDIR=/usr/include/boost169/
$ export BOOST_LIBRARYDIR=/usr/lib64/boost169/
$ export GDAL_ROOT=/tmp/gdal-2.4.1
$ export Qt5_DIR=/tmp/qt5.12.4

# CMake command as above
$ cmake -G"Unix Makefiles" ....

Before you build check the CMake output to ensure that correct library versions are used.

After a successful configure run, build and install PCRaster:

$ cmake --build . --target all -- -j$NR_CPUS
$ cmake --build . --target install


After a successful build you will need to add $HOME/pcraster-4.3.3/bin to your PATH environment variable and $HOME/pcraster-4.3.3/python to your PYTHONPATH environment variable to run the PCRaster applications.

Build options

Some build options can be changed. In the build directory type:

$ ccmake .

Toggle and browse to the PCRASTER entries. Modify entries with great care.