If you are looking for our legacy version of Vapor 2.6, follow this link to the bottom of the page.

Current Release: Vapor 3.1.0

July 5, 2019

Download here

Release notes for VAPOR-3.1.0

New Features:

  • 3D Variable Support
  • Direct Volume Renderer
  • Isosurfaces
  • Slice Renderer
  • Wireframe Renderer
  • Python variable engine
  • Geotiff creation from Vapor renderings
  • Support for MPAS-A and MOM6 models

Installation Instructions

We encourage users of Vapor to install with the methods described here. If you’re a developer and would like to contribute, see the Building From Source section below.


Run the downloaded .sh script in a terminal window. It will prompt you as to where the binaries will be installed. For example:

% sh


Double click on the downloaded .dmg file. Once the Finder window pops up, drag the Vapor icon into the Applications folder.


Run the downloaded .exe file. A wizard will step you through the installer settings necessary for setup.

Building From Source

Warning: Building Vapor from source is a complex process. We highly encourage users to use our binary installers provided above.

Step 1 - Download the source code

Vapor’s current master branch source code can be downloaded from GitHub.

Step 2 - Install Vapor’s third party libraries


Untar the three files linked below into the root of your C:directory.

Linux and OSX

If building on Linux or OSX, third party libraries are unable to be written to arbitrary directory locations. If you choose do download the pre-built libraries, they must be unpacked in the following directories:

OSX: /glade/p/VAST/VAPOR/third-party/apps-2017/Darwin_x86_64/

Linux: /glade/p/VAST/VAPOR/third-party/apps-2017/Linux_x86_64/

Alternatively, you can build the libraries yourself and store them wherever you want. If you choose to do this, you must also configure CMake to point to your custom directory.

Vapor 3 was build with the following third party library configuration.
Library Version Configuration
assimp 3.3.1  
freetype 2.7.1  
ftgl 2.1.3-rc5  
glew 2.0.0  
grib_api 1.19.0 Built with unreleased memory leak patches
hdf5 1.10.0  
jpeg 9b  
libgeotiff 1.4.2 –with-libtiff
udunits 2.2.20  
netCDF –enable-shared –disable-dap
tiff 4.0.7 –enable-lzw –enable-jpeg –enable-old-jpeg
proj 4.9.2  
python 2.7.13 –enable-shared
Qt 4.8.7 -no-webkit -no-multimedia -no-script -no-qt3support -opensource (-cocoa on Mac)

Step 3 - Set up your compiler

The following compilers are required to build Vapor.

Ubuntu/CentOS - GCC 4.8.5 or higher Windows - Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, version 14

Step 4 - Configure CMake

CMake version 3.2 or higher is required on all platforms. If you chose to build the third party libraries manually, CMake must be configured to point to those libraries wither with the CMake GUI (Windows) or the ccmake command (OSX and Linux). Run either the GUI or ccmake on the directory where your source code resides to configure the build process.

Step 5 - Run CMake

On all operating systems, create a directory where the build will take place.

On Windows, enter this directory as the “Where to build the binaries” field in the GUI. Click Configure, Generate, and then Open Project in that order. Visual Studio will open, and you can build the target PACKAGE to compile the source code.

On OSX and Linux, navigate to your build directory and type cmake <build_directory> && make, where <build_directory> is where your build is taking place.

Step 6 - Build an installer

Edit the file CMakeLists.txt in the root of your source code directory, so that the field CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE Debug is changed to CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE Release. Also change the field DIST_INSTALLER OFF to be DIST_INSTALLER ON.

On Windows, make sure that the build is taking place in Release mode, not Debug, and build the target PACKAGE.

On OSX, run cmake <build_directory> && make && make installer from your build directory.

On Linux, run cmake <build_directory> && make linuxpreinstall && make installer from your build directory.

Sample Data

Coming soon

Dataset Model Grid Resolution File Size
DUKU WRF 181 x 166 x 35 734 MB
Kauffman ROMS 226 x 642 x 43 495 MB

Vapor 2

If you are interested in using Vapor 2, it can be downloaded after filling out a short survey.

Vapor 2 is deprecated, and we strongly encourage users to download the currently supported releases of Vapor 3.

Legacy documentation for Vapor 2 can be found here. Please note that this website is no longer supported, and some links may be broken. Use at your own discretion.