Starting UMUI

Runs in the Unified Model are configured using a program called UMUI, for Unified Model User Interface. This program is available on accessdev in two versions: umui - the default version provided by the Met Office and umuix - an improved version developed by CAWCR which provides features such as searching for variables.


In the UMUI a single configuration is termed a job, each job is contained in a folder, termed an experiment. Experiments are identified by a four letter key, normal runs begin with a v. Older jobs from accesscollab begin with a u for user jobs, or an s for standard jobs. The jobs can still be accessed by switching to Collab at the top of the window.


The display of experiments can be filtered both by identifier and the user who created them by using the Filter button on the main screen (under the Search menu in umui), by default only your own experiments will be shown. You can create your own experiments by pressing the New Folder button in umuix (or going to Experiment->New in umui) and entering a description for your new experiment.

To show the list of simulation jobs in an experiment click on the folder icon in the leftmost column. Each simulation has a single letter code, which gets combined with the experiment id to form a job id like uahla.


Setting up a simulation from scratch is complex and not recommended. Usually you should copy an existing job that is close to what you want and then modify that according to your needs. It is possible to change the resolution of jobs, create limited area models from larger regions, alter the source code of the UM and change what fields are output among other things, you can talk to the CMS team to discuss any requirements you have for simulations.

Standard N48 runs that the Met Office provides with each UM release are contained in experiment saaa (on Collab), these are a good place to start for your first run. Copy and paste the run into your own experiment using either the edit menu or right clicking and give it a new name. It's helpful to keep a record of which job the new one originated from, the name is a good place to do that.

In umui copying a job is more complicated than umuix, you have to select both the original job and the destination experiment and then click Job->Copy. Selections don't go away if you click on a new item, to deselect something you have to click it a second time. Make sure that you only have the job you want to copy selected to avoid confusion.

Running a job

Editing a job

There are a few things to check before running a new job. Open the job with the Edit button (File->Open Read Write in umui) and you can see a tree that holds all of the settings for the job. Go to User Information and Target Machine->General Details by clicking on the folder icons in the left panel and make sure the User-id is $USER. You should set the Tic/Project code to blank to use your default NCI project, or you can enter a specific project code to use.



We generally recommend that the UM be recompiled for each new experiment, as changing settings can change what code is required. To do this go to Compilation and Modifications->Compile Options for the UM Model and select the option Compile and Build the Named Executable then Stop. Press the Process button to create the scripts required to compile the job, then once that is done you can hit Submit to extract the source code and submit it to be compiled on Raijin. You should always hit Process after making any configuration changes to make sure the changes are put into the scripts.

If you're running an ACCESS-based job you'll also need to compile the reconfiguration. See the section on Building the UM for details on how to set this up.

Extracting the source code from subversion will take some time, after which you should get a message that the job was submitted and its PBS job id on Vayu. Compilation generally takes around 20 minutes, you can see the job running by logging onto Raijin and using the nqstat command to see your running jobs. Once this is finished you will find a .comp.leave file in the ~/um_output directory on Raijin with the compiler output, check at the bottom of the file that the compilation ran ok.


With the executable compiled you can change to the option Run from Existing Executable in Compilation and Modifications->Compile Options for the UM Model. Process the job again then hit submit to send the job to Raijin. Once the run is done you will be able to find the output in the folder $DATAOUTPUT/$USER/$JOBID.

Common Errors

There are a few common errors that pop up more often than they should.

Errors trying to extract

When compiling the UM, the first step is for the UMUI(x) to extract the source code. If an error occurs, check for these things:

Step 1: Did the error occur during the base, model, or reconfiguration extraction?
Step 2: Check for the extraction log, it is in ~/UM_OUTPUT/<JOBID>/<umbase or ummodel or umrecon>/ext.out
The final lines typically show at which command the error occurred.

SVN errors

If you get a permission denied error from an SVN, it might be because svn needed your password, and didn't get it. The solution is to run

$ svn ls

If you get asked for a password, you need to supply your NCI password. And then it will ask you whether it should store it in plain text.
As much as I hate to say it: you need to answer 'yes'.

And immediately afterwards, you have to run the command:

$ chmod -R go-rwx $HOME/.subversion

SCP and RSYNC errors

If you get an error like this:

mkdir: cannot create directory `/abc123': Permission denied

(where abc123 is your username), the most likely explanation is that you haven't set the DATAOUTPUT environment variable on accessdev.
If you are using bash, add this line to your $HOME/.bashrc file:


If you are using tcsh or csh, add this line to your $HOME/.login


Then log out of accessdev and log back in, open up umuix again, and check whether the error went away.