Source Pack Installation

Version 2.0.1, released 04/08/11


The following tar-zipped gtgz source packs are available for download.

Pack File md5sum
OpenFOAM OpenFOAM-2.0.1.gtgz  0a9dfa42282a5e629523b70e2544c773
Third-Party ThirdParty-2.0.1.gtgz  4b91af77bdbd3a87d91eeccb0f596f59

Unpacking the Sources

The user should choose a directory location to unpack these files, which will become the installation directory of OpenFOAM. If the installation is for a single user only, or if the user does not have root access to the machine, we would recommend the installation directory is $HOME/OpenFOAM (i.e. a directory OpenFOAM in the user’s home directory). If the installer has root permissions and the installation is for more than one user, one of the ‘standard’ locations can be used, e.g. /usr/local/OpenFOAM, /opt/OpenFOAM, or just /opt.

After the installation directory is chosen (and, if necessary, created), simply copy the 2 source pack files into the directory and unpack using tar xzf <filename>, e.g. from the installation directory:

tar xzf OpenFOAM-2.0.1.gtgz
tar xzf ThirdParty-2.0.1.gtgz
The files unpack to produce directories OpenFOAM-2.0.1 and ThirdParty-2.0.1.

System Requirements

OpenFOAM is developed and tested on Linux, but should work with other POSIX systems. OpenFOAM-2.0.1 and ThirdParty-2.0.1 have been tested on the following Linux distributions:

Dependent packages required for Ubuntu can be installed by executing the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential flex cmake zlib1g-dev qt4-dev-tools libqt4-dev gnuplot libreadline-dev libxt-dev

System versions of the OpenMPI and Scotch libraries can also be installed for Ubuntu, rather than having to compile them from sources:

sudo apt-get install libscotch-dev libopenmpi-dev

Dependent packages required for OpenSuSE can be installed by executing the following commands in a terminal:

zypper install -t pattern devel_C_C++
zypper install cmake libqt4-devel gnuplot

OpenFOAM-2.0.1 also builds on many other and older Linux distributions but the ParaView-3.10.1 version supplied in ThirdParty requires cmake-2.8.2 or higher and Qt-4.6.2 or higher which can be obtained from various repositories for many Linux distributions. To check your system setup, you can execute the foamSystemCheck script, described in “Checking the System” (below).

Setting Environment Variables

The environment variable settings are contained in files in an OpenFOAM-2.0.1/etc directory in the OpenFOAM release. e.g. for the case where the installation is in $HOME/OpenFOAM, in:

if running bash or ksh (if in doubt type echo $SHELL), source the etc/bashrc file by adding the following line to the end of your $HOME/.bashrc file:

source $HOME/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-2.0.1/etc/bashrc
then type “source $HOME/.bashrc” in the current terminal window
if running tcsh or csh, source the etc/cshrc file by adding the following line to the end of your $HOME/.cshrc file:

source $HOME/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-2.0.1/etc/cshrc

then type “source $HOME/.cshrc” in the current terminal window

Setting environment variables for alternative locations

OpenFOAM may also be installed in alternative locations. However, the installation directory should be network available (e.g. NFS) if parallel calculations are planned.

The environment variable FOAM_INST_DIR can be used to find and source the appropriate resource file. Here is a bash/ksh/sh example:

export FOAM_INST_DIR=/data/app/OpenFOAM
[ -f $foamDotFile ] && . $foamDotFile
and a csh/tcsh example:

setenv FOAM_INST_DIR /data/app/OpenFOAM
if ( -f $foamDotFile ) source $foamDotFile
The value set in $FOAM_INST_DIR will be used to locate the remaining parts of the OpenFOAM installation.

Checking the System

To check your system is ready to build the sources, execute the foamSystemCheck script (in the OpenFOAM-2.0.1/bin directory). If any critical software is missing, or needs updating to a newer version, please contact the system administrator to install the required software before proceeding to the build.

In particular your system will need to include a recent version of gcc (check with gcc --version, we recommend gcc-4.4.? but gcc-4.3.? is sufficient). If the installed version is not recent source pack for newer versions are available from

To build OpenFOAM you will also need the flex software installed on your system. If that is missing (type flex --version to check), then install it.

Building the Sources

Go to the top-level source directory $WM_PROJECT_DIR and execute the top-level build script ./Allwmake. In principle this will build everything, but if problems occur with the build order it may be necessary to update the environment variables and re-execute ./Allwmake.

If you experience difficulties with building the source-pack, or your platform is not currently supported, please contact software support to arrange a support contract and we will do the port and maintain it for future releases.


OpenFOAM uses wmake to perform compilation (building, linking) of its C++ source code into executable code. wmake is called from the Allwmake scripts during the initial build of the complete OpenFOAM project but can be executed directly to update the compilation of any of the OpenFOAM components:

wmakeScheduler for faster compilation

wmake comes with a parallel compilation scheduler, wmakeScheduler, which spawns compilation jobs on free machines. These machines need password-less network access, e.g. using SSH, and a network mounted installation, e.g. using NFS.

wmakeScheduler is set up with environment variables:

For example to build on 1 processor of machine aaa and 4 processors of bbb:

export WM_SCHEDULER=wmakeScheduler
export WM_HOSTS="aaa:1 bbb:4"
export WM_COLOURS="black blue green cyan red magenta yellow"
wmakeScheduler uses ssh to spawn jobs on the listed machines so needs passwordless access and a network mounted installation

Compiling Paraview 3.10.1 and the PV3FoamReader Module

Paraview is the third-party software that we provide for graphical post-processing in OpenFOAM. It’s compilation is automated using a script called makeParaView in the ThirdParty-2.0.1 directory. Installation of Paraview 3.10.1 requires a version of QT that is 3.6.2 or newer and cmake which is 2.8.2 or newer, so again make sure that this is on your system.

To install Paraview, execute the following:

The PV3blockMeshReader and the PV3FoamReader ParaView plugins are compiled as usual for OpenFOAM utilities:

cd $FOAM_UTILITIES/postProcessing/graphics/PV3Readers

Testing the Installation

To check your installation setup, execute the foamInstallationTest script (in the OpenFOAM-2.0.1/bin directory). If no problems are reported, proceed to getting started with OpenFOAM; otherwise, go back and check you have installed the software correctly and/or contact your system administrator.

Getting Started

Create a project directory within the $HOME/OpenFOAM directory named <USER>-2.0.1 (e.g. chris-2.0.1 for user chris and OpenFOAM version 2.0.1) and create a directory named run within it, e.g. by typing:

mkdir -p $FOAM_RUN
Copy the tutorial examples directory in the OpenFOAM distribution to the run directory. If the OpenFOAM environment variables are set correctly, then the following command will be correct:

Run the first example case of incompressible laminar flow in a cavity:

cd $FOAM_RUN/tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity
Refer to the OpenFOAM User Guide to get started.

Reporting Bugs in OpenFOAM

We appreciate that bugs in OpenFOAM are reported so we can fix them. Please refer to the OpenFOAM bugs pages to report bugs.