NCTOOLBOX A Matlab toolbox for working with common data model datasets
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Latest commit fa2e922 Jan 24, 2018


Download the latest release: You can download the latest stable release at by clicking here.

Brief summary:

nctoolbox is a Matlab toolbox that provides read-only access to common data model datasets. Under the hood, nctoolbox uses NetCDF-Java as the data access layer. This allows nctoolbox to access NetCDF, OPeNDAP, HDF5, GRIB, GRIB2, HDF4 and many (15+) other file formats and services using the same API. It works with Matlab 2008a and later.


Matlab R2008a+. You can verify the version of Matlab by typing:


Java 6+. You can verify the version of Java used by Matlab by typing:


The version returned should start with 'Java 1.6'. If it starts with 'Java 1.5' you can try updating the Matlab JVM: or use the older nctoolbox-20091112 version of this toolbox.


In Matlab, change to the nctoolbox directory. For example,

cd ~/Documents/MATLAB/nctoolbox

Run the setup_nctoolbox.m function


This sets up nctoolbox for the current Matlab session only. You will need to add the follwing lines to your startup.m file if you would like nctoolbox automatically when you start Matlab:

% Edit '/Path/to/nctoolbox' to correct nctoolbox directory


  • Demos that display basic functionality are in the 'demos' subdirectory. These demos can fail if the machines serving the remote data access URLs are unavailable. A gallery of these demos is visible on github.
  • Contributed demos that display additional or specialized functionality are in the demos/contrib directory. Some of these depend on accessing remote sites for data that can be less reliable than the data URLs in the 'demos' directory.



If you use nctoolbox for your research please kindly consider adding a reference for it to your work/paper/etc. The formal citation for this project varies depending on your publisher, but it will be something like:

B. Schlining, R. Signell, A. Crosby, nctoolbox (2009), Github repository,