Ncview under Windows

I do not support ncview under windows, but friendly ncview users will occasionally take the time to send instructions for how to get it running, or provide executable files. I present these below for your convenience, but I cannot personally vouch for the correctness of the information or safety of the executable files.

Use these files at your own risk.

Detailed comments courtesy of Rich Signell:

Here are the details of how to build NCVIEW on cygwin without building any other packages:

1. Install NetCDF, HDF5, Curl, libXaw, libICE, udunits, libexpat and libpng by using the Cygwin setup.exe, searching for "netcdf", "hdf5", "curl", "Xaw", "libICE", "udunits" "libexpat" and "libpng" and installing these packages:
NetCDF libnetcdf-devel, libnetcdf7, netcdf
HDF5 1.8.9-1: hdf5, libhdf5-devel, libhdf5_7
curl 7.27.0-1: libcurl4
libXaw 1.0.11-1: libXaw-devel, libXaw7
libICE 1.0.8-1: libICE-devel, libICE6
libpng 1.5.12-1: libpng-devel, libpng15, libpng
udunits 2.1.24-1: libudunits-devel, libudunits0, udunits
libexpat 2.1.0-1: libexpat1, libexpat1-devel

2. Build NCVIEW

tar xvfz ncview-2.1.1.tar.gz
cd ncview-2.1.1
./configure --prefix=/home/rsignell
make install

Success: /home/rsignell/bin/ncview works!

Message concerning ncview version 2.1:

Hi David,

Thanks for your awesome ncView package. I have just compiled it on 32-Bit Windows XP/Cygwin-X and thought you might want to share it with your users.

(I had to rename the file inside the zip to circumvent the attachment rules of intermediate mail servers after it bounced several times. The file should be called ncview.exe)

To run the attached ncview.exe file one requires CygWin-X (as described at and these further packages (selected using Cygwins setup.exe installer): libXaw7, libnetcdf7, libpng14

To compile ncView one needs the -devel versions of these packages and some extras (like gcc), but its not hard at all.

I simply followed the ./configure procedure and installed whatever package the script was asking for.

Thanks for making it easy and robust, even on Windows.


Fred Wobus
University of Plymouth, UK

Many thanks to Fred for sharing this information and file

Older message concerning ncview version 1.93:

For those of you trying to get ncview to work under cygwin on windows, I recieved the following useful information from an ncview user:

Just wanted to let you know that ncview1.92e even runs on a WindowsPC under Cygwin with Xfree86. I have used and learned to appreciate Ncview when working on Unix workstations, after I changed jobs I was equipped with a PC but soon installed Xfree86 as a Xwindows server to get some old X programs back. Last week I managed to get Ncview working in this environment.

It needed several attempts, though, and you may want to spread this information among the Ncview-for-WindowsPC community. Two weeks ago I have tried to get Ncview running for the first time, it compiled but crashed right at the start-up with segmentation fault. I tried all possible compiler switches, without success. Last week I upgraded the Cygwin.dll (v. 1.5.4) and then recompiled both the netcdf library and ncview1.92e, and worked. Lesson learned: you need the newest version of cygwin AND need to recompile both netcdf and ncview with the new library.

The configure utility works fine under cygwin, it finds my compilers and creates a proper Makefile. The only problem seems to be the order of X11 libraries. The linker is kind of kinky, it complains that some functions from the SM and ICE libraries cannot be found despite the fact that -lSM and -lICE are correctly stated in the ld line of the Makefile. Anyway, I simply modified the Makefile and added -lSM and -lICE to the XLIB variable, now the linker seems to read them twice but stops complaining. Furthermore, -lXpm seems to be required for Xfree86, so I added this as well. My XLIB definition form the Makefile looks like this:

XLIB = -lXpm -lSM -lICE -lX11

It may not look beautiful, but it works.

That's it, hope this information is useful for others. Take care,


Many thanks to Klaus Wyser of the Rossby Centre/SMHI for this information.