NCO(1) netCDF Operators


operator [ options] input-files output-file


The netCDF Operators, or NCO are a suite of programs known as operators. Each operator is a standalone, command line program which is executed at the UNIX shell-level like, e.g., ls or mkdir. The operators take netCDF (<>) files as input, then perform a set of operations (e.g., deriving new data, averaging, hyperslabbing, or metadata manipulation) and produce a netCDF file as output. The operators are primarily designed to aid manipulation and analysis of gridded scientific data. The single command style of NCO allows users to manipulate and analyze files interactively and with simple scripts, avoiding the overhead (and some of the power) of a higher level programming environment. The NCO User's Guide illustrates their use with examples from the field of climate modeling and analysis.

The available operators are:

ncap2, netCDF Arithmetic Processor
ncatted, netCDF Attribute Editor
ncbo, netCDF Binary Operator (includes ncadd, ncsubtract, ncmultiply, ncdivide)
nces, netCDF Ensemble Averager
ncecat, netCDF Ensemble Concatenator
ncflint, netCDF File Interpolator
ncks, netCDF Kitchen Sink
ncpdq, netCDF Permute Dimensions Quickly, Pack Data Quietly
ncra, netCDF Record Averager
ncrcat, netCDF Record Concatenator
ncrename, netCDF Renamer
ncwa, netCDF Weighted Averager.
(Note that the "averagers" are misnamed because they perform many non-linear operations as well, e.g., total, minimum, maximum, RMS).

The operators are as general as netCDF itself: there are no restrictions on the contents of the netCDF file(s) used as input. NCO's internal routines are completely dynamic and impose no limit on the number or sizes of dimensions, variables, and files. NCO is designed to be used both interactively and with large batch jobs. The default operator behavior is often sufficient for everyday needs, and there are numerous command line (i.e., run-time) options, for special cases. NCO works well on all modern operating systems.


NCO manual pages written by Charlie Zender and originally formatted by Brian Mays.


Report bugs to <>.


Copyright © 1995-2016 Charlie Zender
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


The NCO homepage at <> contains more information.