AWIPS Tips: Unidata AWIPS 20.3.2-0.2 Beta CAVE Software Release


Welcome back to AWIPS Tips!

AWIPS 20.3.2-0.2 is a beta release of CAVE. Great news, we've added installers for MacOS and Windows as well as made updates to the Linux and virtual machine option.

Not all functionality is available yet, but we wanted to get something out there for people to start playing with and testing. This release is a CAVE only release, with us at Unidata running a version 20.3.2 public EDEX ( that you can connect to.

NOTE: We will still have our version 18.* public EDEX up and available for the foreseeable future, but the version of CAVE you are running has to match the version of EDEX it's connected to (ex. version 18.* of CAVE will not connect to version 20.* of EDEX).

As a reminder 20.3.2 is running:
- Python 3.6
- JAVA openJDK 11

Minor Updates since previous beta release:

  • Updated GIS dialog so the default size fits on more screens, and it has the ability to be resized now
  • Updated postgres log naming convention
  • Updated HPC menu items to WPC
  • Updated Indiana forecast zone shapefile
  • Changed default resource color to be white (instead of green)
  • Increased max http connections from 10-->1000
  • Added Wave Wind 3 back to Models menu
  • Fixed GOES Clout Top Temperature product
  • Fixed Colorized Metar plots
  • Fixed issue with County Names map not loading
  • Fixed missing MRMS and SPC Outlook products
  • Removed some menus that we don't have data for (NCEP Upper Air, SPC Thunderstorm and Severe Thunderstorm Prob)
  • Reduced amount of logging printed out for better system performance
  • Improved performance when loading WWA's
  • Added new menu option HRRR-->Composite Reflectivity

- Changed for allowance of IPv6 connections (still an issue for windows)

- Removed Alertviz Bar
- Added "Alertview" option to menu

How to Install CAVE 20.3.2-0.2


  1. Download the latest
  2. In a terminal, go to the download directory
  3. Make the installer an executable:
    • chmod 755
  4. Run the installer as root
    • ./ --cave
  5. Remove caveData
    • rm -rf ~/caveData
  6. Start CAVE by opening a terminal
    • cave


  1. Remove old builds of CAVE.
  2. Download and Install: awips-cave.msi
  3. Add %APPDATA%\UCAR Unidata\AWIPS CAVE\Python to your Path and PYTHONHOME environment
  4. Start CAVE by clicking on the CAVE icon on your Desktop


  1. Download and install Python3.6 to the default directory (/Library/Framework/...)

    • Use all the default settings during installation.
    • After completing the installer, you must run the Install Certificates.command, do this by double-clicking on the file in the downloaded folder.
    • Finally, you need to change your environment with these latest changes, to do so, open a terminal and type source .zprofile
      • If this file does not exist, double click and run the Update Shell Profile.command in the downloaded folder.
    • Now you can confirm you have the correct version of python by running which python3 and the output should be:


  2. Download and install these supplemental python packages
  3. Download and install CAVE
  4. Start CAVE by selecting System Menu Go > Applications > CAVE

  Virtual Machine

This can be installed on Windows or Linux and requires VMWare Workstation Player (free software)

  1. Download the zipped file containing the virtual machine: CentOS7-Unidata-CAVE-20.3.2-0.2
  2. Unzip the folder.
  3. Open VMWare Player and go to Player > File... > Open and locate the folder that was created from the downloaded zipped file. Select the file called "CentOS 7 - Unidata CAVE 20.3.2-0.2.vmx".
  4. Run this new VM option. If it asks if it's been moved or copied, select "I Copied It".
    • There will be a user in the Linux machine named "awips" and the password is "awips"

EDEX Connection

Select the server in the Connectivity Preferences dialog, or enter


This is a beta release, so we are aware that not all functionality is working as expected. We ask you to please be aware of this and have similar expectations. One noteworthy deficiency we are aware of is the radar menu has not been updated yet to reflect what is in version 18. If you come across issues/bugs/missing functionality, we also encourage you to report it using this short form.

For notifications of the latest updates from the AWIPS team, sign up for the AWIPS mailing list. Questions or suggestions for the team, let us know at


Still having issues on MacOS displaying certain types of data (METAR data shows up as square blocks)

Posted by Robert G on April 10, 2023 at 08:29 AM MDT #

Hi Robert, Unfortunately, this is most likely because you do not have an NVIDIA graphics card and driver, which is currently a requirement for full AWIPS functionality. I believe Mac has more recently stopped supporting/allowing NVIDIA cards as options for their hardware. Because of this, we do have it on our list to see if we can change the way some rendering is done in CAVE on the mac to support additional graphics cards, but this may take a while. If you happen to have a machine with an NVIDIA card, that would solve your problem. Sorry I don't have better news for you at the moment.

Posted by Shay on April 10, 2023 at 11:05 AM MDT #

Hi Robert, Could you please send an email to our support: and attach a photo of your graphics card. Apple Menu > About this Mac (on the default "Overview" tab)? Thanks!

Posted by Shay on April 10, 2023 at 01:13 PM MDT #

Hi Robert, Good news! If you have an Intel graphics card (which is more common for Mac machines), then we may be able to fix the "blocks" drawing. Please see our new section on our Common Problems page: Thank you!

Posted by Shay on April 12, 2023 at 09:56 AM MDT #

EDEX Server is refusing my connection.

Posted by Patrick on April 15, 2023 at 01:32 PM MDT #

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