Getting Started


Python 3.9 is recommended for running RTC-Tools.

For most users, the easiest way to install RTC-Tools using the pip package manager.

Using the Pip Package Manager

Although not required, it is recommended to install RTC-Tools in a virtual environment. See the official Python tutorial for more information on how to set up and activate a virtual environment.

RTC-Tools, including its dependencies, can be installed using the pip package manager:

# Install RTC-Tools using pip package manager
pip install rtc-tools

From Source

The latest RTC-Tools source can be downloaded using git:

# Get RTC-Tools source
git clone

Then you can install this latest version as follows:

pip install ./rtc-tools

Or if you would like to have an editable installation (e.g. as developer):

pip install -e ./rtc-tools

Note that rtc-tools-channel-flow is a dependency of rtc-tools which is included in the above installations.

Downloading and running examples

To check whether the installation was succesful, the basic example can be used. If RTC-Tools was not installed from source, the examples need to be downloaded first:

# Download the examples to the current folder (.)
rtc-tools-download-examples .

# Navigate to the basic example
cd rtc-tools-examples/basic/src

# Run the example

If the installation was succesful, you should see that the solver succeeds:


Elsewhere in this documentation we refer to the folder containing the examples as <examples directory>. Depending on the method of installation this can then either be:

  • \path\to\rtc-tools-examples, when having downloaded the examples

  • \path\to\source\of\rtc-tools\examples, when having installed RTC-Tools from source

Copying Modelica libraries

Because the Modelica libraries are distributed as pip packages, their location inside Python’s site-packages can be somewhat inconvient. To copy the Modelica libraries to a more convenient location, you can use the rtc-tools-copy-libraries command:

# Copy all Modelica libraries of RTC-Tools to the current folder (.)
rtc-tools-copy-libraries .

You should now have a folder Deltares, containing amongst others a file, a ChannelFlow folder and folders of any other RTC- Tools extensions you installed.

Elsewhere in this documentation we refer to the library folder containing the Deltares folder as <library directory>.

Getting OMEdit

RTC-Tools uses the Modelica language to describe the mathematics of the system we wish to optimize. There are several editors for Modelica models, but the OpenModelica Connection Editor, or OMEdit, is a free and open-source graphical connection editor that can be used to construct RTC-Tools models. We recommend to use the 12.1 release. To download it for windows, click here:

Once installed, you can start OMEdit by clicking:

Start -> All Programs -> OpenModelica -> OpenModelica Connection Editor

With OMEdit installed, you can start using it by following along with the basic example, Filling a Reservoir.

Running RTC-Tools

RTC-Tools is run from a command line shell. On Windows, both PowerShell and cmd can be used. On Linux/MacOS you could use the terminal application with a shell of your liking.

Once you have started the shell and loaded the correct virtual environment (if applicable), navigate to the src directory of the case you wish to optimize, e.g.:

cd \path\to\rtc-tools-examples\basic\src

Then, to run the case with RTC-Tools, run the src python script, e.g.:


You will see the progress of RTC-Tools in your shell. All your standard shell commands can be used in the RTC-Tools shell. For example, you can use:

python > log.txt

to pipe RTC-Tools output to a log file.