Install SURFEX

SURFEX V8 is now available as open-source.
Below is given an extract of the install procedure with the necessary information to get started with SURFEX in particular if snow on the ground is a target.


(!) For a first install, check the SURFEX requirements and the basics:

Get the code

Rather than installing from an « export » archive, it is better to immediately get started from the most recent version of the git repository. Crocus users should in the general case install the cen branch. This is the most recent stable release of Crocus snowpack model which often includes new developments not already merged in the master SURFEX branch. Specific instructions on how to use git for SURFEX are provided in :
While following this procedure, you will need to provide your ssh keys to . Someone is going to read your e-mail, so please explain briefly why you are sending your key and put the key in attached file rather than directly in the text. Then, you have to wait until you receive a reply to your request. In working days, it usually takes less than 48 hours.

(!) Caution: the directory where you are going to install SURFEX and all parent directories MUST NOT contain dots (.) in their names.
Intead of dowloading the whole project, you can download the cen branch with the following command:

git clone -b cen --single-branch ssh:// cen

Note that some git versions do not support the --single-branch option.

If you are a developer and have your own branch, it is better to download the whole project (in case of futur merge events) and to associate your local copy to your branch:

git clone -b yourbranch ssh:// yourbranch

If a password is requested, it means that your ssh keys have not been registered, please contact

This will download a number of folder and files. The SURFEX sources are in the src directory.

Compile the code

Then you need to compile the code following these instructions:

Normal compilation on a Linux PC: Compile SURFEX
Complilation on Belenos / Taranis : Compile SURFEX on Belenos