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Python interface to the ecCodes GRIB and BUFR decoder/encoder

Project description

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


  • 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 can be installed without compiling, at the cost of being twice as slow as the original ecCodes module,

  • an optional compile step makes the code as fast as the original module but it needs a recent version of ecCodes >= 2.15.0.


  • Microsoft Windows support is untested.


The package is installed from PyPI with:

$ pip install eccodes-python

System dependencies

The Python module depends on the ECMWF ecCodes library that must be installed on the system and accessible as a shared library.

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

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

$ python -m eccodes selfcheck
Found: ecCodes v2.15.0.
Your system is ready.


Refer to the ecCodes documentation pages for usage.

Experimental features

Fast bindings

To test the much faster CFFI API level, out-of-line mode you need the ecCodes header files. Then you need to clone the repo in the same folder as your ecCodes source tree, make a pip development install and custom compile the binary bindings:

$ git clone
$ cd eccodes-python
$ pip install -e .
$ python

To revert back to ABI level, in-line more just remove the compiled bindings:

$ rm gribapi/_bindings.*

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.



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

0.9.4 (2019-11-27)

  • Added new function: codes_get_version_info

  • ECC-753: Expose the codes_grib_nearest_find_multiple function in Python

  • ECC-1007: Python3 interface for eccodes cannot write large arrays

0.9.3 (2019-10-04)

  • New exception added: FunctionalityNotEnabledError

  • BUFR decoding: support for multi-element constant arrays (ECC-428)

0.9.2 (2019-07-09)

  • All ecCodes tests now pass

  • Simplify the xx_new_from_file calls

  • Fix for grib_set_string_array

  • Use ECCODES_DIR to locate the library

  • Remove the new-style high-level interface. It is still available in cfgrib.

0.9.1 (2019-06-06)

  • codes_get_long_array and codes_get_double_array now return a np.ndarray. See: #3.

0.9.0 (2019-05-07)

  • Declare the project as Beta.

0.8.0 (2019-04-08)

  • First public release.

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