The RT Retrieval Framework uses the standard autotools used by many open source software. While you can build the software in the same directory that you have the source, it is suggested that you use a separate build directory. This allows you to do different builds from the same source, e.g. an optimized and debug version.


There is some third party software included with the source code that need compiling along with our code. To build the framework’s code along with the third party software, execute the following:

$ mkdir build_optimized
$ cd build_optimized
$ /your/path/to/rtr_framework/configure THIRDPARTY=build
$ make all

In the above replace /your/path/to/rtr_framework with the location where you downloaded the software during the Setup instructions.

The configure command creates the Makefile to use. You only need to run this when you are creating a new build directory, after that you can just rerun make all to get any software updates. Configure will check a bunch of things on the system, and in the end print a report something like:

Level 2 Full Physics is now configured

 Installation directory:       /your/path/to/build_optimized/install
 Build debug version:          no
 Fortran compiler type:        ifort
 Fortran compiler:             /opt/local/depot/intel/11.1/064/bin/intel64/ifort -g -xSSE2 -O3 -Difort -heap-arrays 1024
 C compiler:                   gcc -g -O2
 LD Flags:                      -R /opt/local/depot/intel/11.1/064/lib/intel64:/opt/local/depot/intel/11.1/064/mkl/lib/em64t:/opt/local/depot/intel/11.1/064/lib/intel64:/opt/local/depot/intel/11.1/064/mkl/lib/em64t

 HDF5 support:                 yes
 Build own HDF5 library:       yes
 Build own LIDORT library:     yes
 Install documentation:        no

If you are building from within your source checkout you can just use the following script included with the source:

$ ./nonjpl_build.script

In order to run all of the unit tests, you’ll also need to have a copy of the ABSCO (Absoprtion Coefficient) tables. These files must be obtained separately from JPL.

For serious development it is recommended to compile the third party software once and then refer to it in subsequent builds:

$ mkdir build_third_party
$ cd build_third_party
$ /your/path/to/rtr_framework/configure THIRDPARTY=build --prefix=/install/path/for/third_party
$ make thirdparty

Now subsequent builds can use this directory instead of recompiling the third party packages:

$ /your/path/to/rtr_framework/configure THIRDPARTY=/install/path/for/third_party
$ make all

Build Results

The executable is l2_fp, and will be placed in the top of the build directory.

Another useful target is install, which will build l2_fp and copy it and all associated libraries to a separate install directory. The default directory used is ./install unless you specify an alternative to configure. This is primarily of use for production to put the executable files in a separate location. For a developer, you generally don’t need to do this step.

Using Other Compilers

The configure script will search for one of the supported compilers – ifort, f90, f95, gfortran, g95, pathf90, pgf90 - in that order.

Note that we only test with the Intel compiler “ifort” and “gfortran”. We require a fairly new version of ifort (>= 11.1) and gfortran (>= 4.5).

If you want to use a different compiler than what configure automatically selects, you can specify it on the configure line as FC=<compiler>, e.g., FC=f90.

The thirdparty version of HDF-5 can only be built using ifort or gfortran. Other compilers will likely build if you don’t try to build hdf5 (i.e., you don’t have --with-hdf5=build).

Build Options

The third party libraries can be selectively compiled by specifying configure options such as --with-hdf5=build, or --with-lidort=build. This will build your own version of these libraries. This is particularly useful if you are actually modifying, for instance the LIDORT code (e.g., a bug fix), but still want to refer to a prebuilt directory of third party software. The full list of third party libraries can be seen by running configure with the --help option.

There are a few other options that can be passed to configure:

Option Description
–help Print out all the options for configure
–enable-debug Build a version of l2_fp for debugging, rather than an optimized version
–enable-maintainer-mode Automatically update configure, Useful if you are editing the various ”.am” files
–with-absco=<dir> Specify location of ABSCO data used by unit tests
–prefix=<dir> Specify directory to install to
FC=<compiler> Specify a compiler to use
THIRDPARTY=build Build a local copy of all the third party libraries
THIRDPARTY=<dir> Search in <dir> in addition to the normal locations for third party libraries


It has been discovered that gfortran works better with valgrind and debugging (although our “official” builds use ifort). Therefore if you need to use valgrind or gdb and have ifort installed in your path, you will need to directly specify the Fortran compiler as gfortran when creating debug builds:

$ /path/to/level_2/configure FC=gfortran --enable-debug <other config options>

Developer Information

For developers who need to understand autotools in more detail, an nice introduction is found at Autotools: a practitioner’s guide to Autoconf, Automake and Libtool, and detailed reference can be found at Autobook.