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Python interface to the ecCodes BUFR and GRIB de/encoder.

Project description

Python 3 interface to encode and decode GRIB and BUFR files via the ECMWF ecCodes library.

Features with development status Pre-alpha:

  • reads and writes GRIB 1 and 2 files,

  • reads and writes BUFR 3 and 4 files,

  • supports all modern versions of Python 3.7, 3.6, 3.5 and PyPy3,

  • works on most Linux distributions and MacOS, the ecCodes C-library is the only system dependency,

  • PyPI package with no install time build (binds with CFFI ABI mode),

  • supports writing the index of a GRIB file to disk, to save a full-file scan on open.


  • PyPI binary packages do not include ecCodes,

  • incomplete documentation, for now,

  • no Windows support, for now.


The package is installed from PyPI with:

$ pip install git+

System dependencies

The Python module depends on the ECMWF ecCodes library that must be installed on the system and accessible as a shared library. Some Linux distributions ship a binary version that may be installed with the standard package manager. On Ubuntu 18.04 use the command:

$ sudo apt-get install libeccodes0

On a MacOS with HomeBrew use:

$ brew install eccodes

Or if you manage binary packages with Conda use:

$ conda install -c conda-forge eccodes

As an alternative you may install the official source distribution by following the instructions at

Note that ecCodes support for the Windows operating system is experimental.

You may run a simple selfcheck command to ensure that your system is set up correctly:

$ python -m eccodes selfcheck
Found: ecCodes v2.7.0.
Your system is ready.


First, you need a well-formed GRIB file, if you don’t have one at hand you can download our ERA5 on pressure levels sample:

$ wget

Lower level APIs

Lower level APIs are not stable and should not be considered public yet. In particular the internal Python 3 ecCodes bindings are not compatible with the standard ecCodes python module.

GRIB index file

By default eccodes-python saves the index of the GRIB file to disk appending .idx to the GRIB file name. Index files are an experimental and completely optional feature, feel free to remove them and try again in case of problems. Index files saving can be disable passing adding indexpath='' to the keyword argument.

Project resources



Code quality

Build Status on Travis CI Coverage Status on Coveralls


The main repository is hosted on GitHub, testing, bug reports and contributions are highly welcomed and appreciated:

Please see the CONTRIBUTING.rst document for the best way to help.

Lead developer:

See also the list of contributors who participated in this project.


Copyright 2017-2019 European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at: Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Changelog for eccodes-python

0.8.0 (2019-04-08)

  • First public release.

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