Getting Started

If you are working with a new installation of Rose you should look at the Site And User Configuration.

Rose combines the settings in the site configuration and the user configuration at run time. You can view the resultant configuration by issuing the command:

rose config

Rose should work out of the box if it is configured correctly at your site.

Text Editor

  • The default external text editor used by GUIs is gedit.
  • The default external text editor used by CLI commands is the value of the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variable, or vi if neither environment variable is set.

To change the default editor change the following settings in the user configuration file ~/.metomi/rose.conf:

The external text editor used by GUIs
The external text editor used by CLI commands

For emacs and most text editors, you can do something like:


For any text editor command that normally forks and detaches from the shell it is started in, you should use an option to ensure that the text editor runs in the foreground to allow Rose to wait for the edit session to finish. E.g. for gvim, you will do:

editor=gvim -f
geditor=gvim -f

Editor Syntax Highlighting

There are gedit, kate, vim, and emacs plugins for syntax highlighting of Rose configuration files, located within the Rose installation:

  • etc/rose-conf.lang
  • etc/rose-conf.xml
  • etc/rose-conf.vim
  • etc/rose-conf-mode.el

The plugins contain setup instructions within.

Additionally there is a Pygments lexer located in sphinx/ext/


You can locate your Rose installation using:

rose version --long

Bash Auto-Completion

There is a Rose bash completion script that you can source to enhance the Rose command line interface within an interactive Bash shell.

The script allows you to tab-complete Rose commands, options, and arguments.

You can find the script in the Rose installation etc/rose-bash-completion. The file contains the instructions for using it.

Configuring Cylc

See the “Installation” and “User Config File” sections of the Cylc User Guide.


Do not modify the default values of the following cylc settings:

  • [hosts][HOST]run directory
  • [hosts][HOST]work directory

Equivalent functionalities are provided by the rose.conf[rose-suite-run]root-dir settings in the Rose site/user configuration.