PlaSim is a climate model of intermediate complexity for Earth, Mars and other planets. It is written for a university environment, to be used to train the next GCM (general circulation model) developers, to support scientists in understanding climate processes, and to do fundamental research. In addition to an atmospheric GCM of medium complexity, PlaSim includes other compartments of the climate system such as, for example, an ocean with sea ice and a land surface with a biosphere. These other compartments are reduced to linear systems. In other words, PlaSim consists of a GCM with a linear ocean/sea-ice module formulated in terms of a mixed layer energy balance. The soil/biosphere module is introduced analoguously. Thus, working with PlaSim is like testing the performance of an atmospheric or oceanic GCM interacting with various linear processes, which parameterize the variability of the subsystems in terms of their energy (and mass) balances.