Using the Met Office's Virtual Machine to run the Single Column Model

The Single Column Model (SCM) can be easily run inside the Met Office's UM Virtual Machine (VM). For full details of the VM, please see and the associated github repository at

The VM should be run on a system where the user is able to install third party software. In can be run using a linux or windows host, but only the former is supported by CMS. In both cases, Virtualbox and Vagrant are required. Please see the github page for full details on these software packages. Access to MOSRS is required. The local directory where the VM was started is mounted as /vagrant inside the VM, so files cane be copied to it. It is also possible to ssh out of the VM.

Installation of the VM on linux

  • Install virtualbox and vagrant using local package manager.
  • Clone git repo
    git clone
    cd metomi-vms
  • Edit Vagrantfile.ubuntu-1804 and remove desktop from
    config.vm.provision :shell, path: "", args: "ubuntu 1804 desktop mosrs"

so it looks like

config.vm.provision :shell, path: "", args: "ubuntu 1804 mosrs"

and remove the line

v.gui = true
  • Start the VM with
    vagrant up
  • Have a coffee while it builds. When it completes, you should now be able to log onto the VM with
    vagrant ssh
    You will be asked for your MOSRS password and username (in the order).
  • While logged onto the VM, complete the installation with
    sudo apt-get install xauth
    and log out and back on again.
  • The VM is started with vagrant up, accessed by vagrant ssh, halted with vagrant halt and deleted with vagrant destroy

Installation of VM on Windows

  • Install Virtualbox and Vagrant
  • Download and install git for windows. Open a command window and
    git clone
    and cd in the metomi-vms directory
  • Build the VM with
    vagrant up
    A Virtualbox window will appear, but ignore this. Have a coffee while it builds.
  • Start the VM with
    vagrant up
    A window will appear with the VM and a terminal window open. You will be asked for your MOSRS password and username (in the order).

Preparation of the UM on the VM

Note: the following assumes that UM vn11.3 is required, if a different version is needed, replace 11.3 with that version number.

  • Install addition software packages.
    sudo install-um-extras -v 11.3
  • Install additional UM software.
    um-setup -s fcm:shumlib.x_tr@um11.3
  • Install UM data
  • Install UM Metadata
  • Install UM vn11.3
    fcm checkout fcm:um.x/trunk@vn11.3 UM11.3
    cd UM11.3
    rose stem --group=install -S CENTRAL_INSTALL=true

This will start a rose stem suite to install various input files. The UM installation is now complete.

Running the SCM

  • Start rosie
    rosie go &
  • Set uo the MOSRS repo by clicking on Edit->Data source and selecting the Met Office's repo.
  • Search for u-br462 and make a copy.
  • Load the job, and run the suite.
Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 07/02/20 15:08:49