intake-xarray provides quick and easy access to n dimensional data suitable for reading by xarray.


To use this plugin for intake, install with the following command:

conda install -c conda-forge intake-xarray


Inline use

After installation, the functions intake.open_netcdf, intake.open_rasterio, intake.open_zarr, intake.open_xarray_image, and intake.open_opendap will become available. They can be used to open data files as xarray objects.

Creating Catalog Entries

Catalog entries must specify driver: netcdf, driver: rasterio, driver: zarr, driver: xarray_image, or driver: opendap as appropriate.

The zarr and image plugins allow access to remote data stores (s3 and gcs), settings relevant to those should be passed in using the parameter storage_options.

Choosing a Driver

While all the drivers in the intake-xarray plugin yield xarray objects, they do not all accept the same file formats.


Supports any local or downloadable file that can be passed to xarray.open_mfdataset. Works for:


Supports OPeNDAP URLs, optionally with esgf, urs or generic_http authentication.


Supports .zarr directories. See https://zarr.readthedocs.io/ for more information.


Supports any file format supported by rasterio.open - most commonly geotiffs.

Note: Consider installing rioxarray and using the netcdf driver with engine="rasterio".


Supports any file format that can be passed to scikit-image.io.imread which includes all the common image formats (jpg, png, tif, …)


Remote files can be cached locally by `fsspec<https://filesystem-spec.readthedocs.io/en/latest/features.html#url-chaining>`_. Note that opendap does not support caching as the URL does not back a downloadable file.