This page describes how to download and compile the very latest source code of OpenFOAM that includes fixes for all submitted bugs. Installing OpenFOAM by compiling source code requires some experience in administration on the Linux operating system, so is not recommended for all. The simpler approach is to install one of the pre-packaged installations.
The sources can be obtained using the Git open source version control system that is commonly available on Linux distributions. Those with administrator permission can install the git software, e.g. by first switching to root user with sudo by typing in a terminal
Also it can be installed on RHEL by the following command.
The user should choose a directory location to download and unpack the 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) download and unpack OpenFOAM-3.0.x and ThirdParty-3.0.1 as follows.
The OpenFOAM-3.0.x repository is available at https://github.com/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-3.0.x. From the OpenFOAM installation root directory the repository can be obtained using
- the git protocol (git://), which is very efficient:
- git clone git://github.com/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-3.0.x.git
Note: the git protocol will not work if your computer is behind a firewall which blocks the relevant TCP port (9418).
- the https protocol (https://), which is fairly inefficient:
- git clone https://github.com/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-3.0.x.git
Note: while the TCP port for https is rarely blocked by a firewall, download hangs have been experienced; upgrading to git version 1.7 seems to overcome this problem.
Either of the commands above will create an OpenFOAM-3.0.x directory that the user can subsequently be updated to the latest published copy using
- cd OpenFOAM-3.0.x
- git pull
The source-pack containing additional software required to build and run OpenFOAM-3.0.x is available from SourceForge: Click to download ThirdParty-3.0.1.tgz now. In the OpenFOAM installation root directory unpack the ThirdParty-3.0.x.gtgz file and rename the unpacked directory ThirdParty-3.0.x:
- tar xzf ThirdParty-3.0.1.tgz
- mv ThirdParty-3.0.1 ThirdParty-3.0.x
OpenFOAM is developed and tested on Linux, but should work with other POSIX systems. OpenFOAM-3.0.x and ThirdParty-3.0.x have been tested on the following Linux distributions:
- Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty), 15.10 (wily)
- OpenSuSE Tumbleweed (October 2015)
- SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12.0
In the following instructions, log in as the root user or switch to root user with sudo by typing in a terminal
Dependent packages required for Ubuntu can be installed by executing the following command in a terminal (line 1 is for OpenFOAM, line 2 for ParaView):
apt-get install qt4-dev-tools libqt4-dev libqt4-opengl-dev freeglut3-dev libqtwebkit-dev
System versions of the OpenMPI, Scotch and GCAL libraries can also be installed for Ubuntu, rather than having to compile them from sources:
Dependent packages required for OpenSuSE can be installed by executing the following commands in a terminal (lines 1-2 are for OpenFOAM, line 3 for ParaView):
zypper install cmake boost-devel gnuplot mpfr-devel openmpi-devel glu-devel
zypper install libQtWebKit-devel libqt4-devel qt4-assistant-adp-devel qt4-x11-tools
Dependent packages required for RHEL 6.5 need updating to newer versions, e.g. Gcc needs upgrading from v4.4 to v4.5+. These upgrades may be available under a RHEL support subscription. If not, then upgrades can be obtained from unofficial repositories using the following instructions:
- Programming tools can be installed by executing the following commands in
a terminal:yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'
yum install openmpi openmpi-devel
yum-config-manager --nogpgcheck --add-repo http://dl.atrpms.net/el6-x86_64/atrpms/stable
yum install --nogpgcheck qtwebkit qtwebkit-devel
yum install --nogpgcheck CGAL CGAL-devel
The Boost C++ library is installed automatically for GCAL under the name libboost_thread-mt.so, but it requires the library to be named libboost_thread.so. To work around this inconsistency, a soft link should be created as follows:ln -s /usr/lib64/libboost_thread-mt.so /usr/lib64/libboost_thread.so
- In order to activate OpenMPI, add the path entries below, for example by
including the following within the users .bashrc file: export PATH=/usr/lib64/openmpi/bin/:$PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib64/openmpi/lib/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATHmpirun --version
- The GCC compiler may need to be upgraded to version 4.5 or higher, a
requirement for OpenFOAM. The compiler can be upgraded by adding the
following repositories and installing as follows: yum-config-manager --nogpgcheck --add-repo http://springdale.princeton.edu/data/puias/6.5/x86_64/os
yum-config-manager --nogpgcheck --add-repo http://springdale.princeton.edu/data/puias/DevToolset/6.5/x86_64
yum install --nogpgcheck devtoolset-1.1-runtime devtoolset-1.1-gcc.x86_64 devtoolset-1.1-gcc-c++.x86_64
source /opt/rh/devtoolset-1.1/enablegcc --version
OpenFOAM-3.0.x also builds on many other and older Linux distributions but the ParaView-4.4.0 version supplied in ThirdParty requires cmake-2.8.8 or higher and Qt-4.7.2 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).
The environment variable settings are contained in files in an OpenFOAM-3.0.x/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-3.0.x/etc/bashrc
- 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-3.0.x/etc/cshrc
then type “source $HOME/.cshrc” in the current terminal window
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:
[ -f $foamDotFile ] && . $foamDotFile
if ( -f $foamDotFile ) source $foamDotFile
To check your system is ready to build the sources, execute the foamSystemCheck script (in the OpenFOAM-3.0.x/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 a C++ compiler. Compilation has been tested with the following compilers and versions:
- GCC: 4.5.0 and above
- LLVM Clang: 3.6 and above
- Intel ICC: 15.0.3
The default compiler for OpenFOAM is GCC. Since v2.2, OpenFOAM will only compile with versions of GCC above 4.5.0. Administrators and users can check the version of GCC running on their system by typing
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.
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:
- all invocations can have an optional directory:
wmake libso $FOAM_SRC/finiteVolume
- recursively build all applications in current or specified directory:
wmake all <dir>
- build any single object or executable:
- build any single shared library:
wmake libso <lib dir>
wmake comes with a parallel compilation scheduler, wmakeScheduler, which spawns compilation jobs on free machines. These machines need password-less network access, e.g. using SSH, and a network mounted installation, e.g. using NFS.
wmakeScheduler is set up with environment variables:
- WM_SCHEDULER : the name of the scheduler to use
- WM_HOSTS : the list of cores to use
- WM_NCOMPPROCS : the number of parallel builds (usually the size of WM_HOSTS)
- WM_COLOURS : Optional list of colours for the compilation output from the cores.
For example to build on 1 processor of machine aaa and 4 processors of bbb:
export WM_HOSTS="aaa:1 bbb:4"
export WM_NCOMPPROCS=$($WM_SCHEDULER -count)
export WM_COLOURS="black blue green cyan red magenta yellow"
Paraview is the third-party software that we provide for graphical post-processing in OpenFOAM. Its compilation is automated using a script called makeParaView in the ThirdParty-3.0.x directory.
Before installing Paraview, check the version of cmake that is installed on the system. This can be done by typing
To install Paraview, execute the following (except for RHEL)
For RHEL, the system QT version is 4.6.2, which allows us to compile Paraview v3.12.0 only (rather than v4.1.0). The user is therefore required to change the default Paraview version setting in $WM_PROJECT_DIR/etc/config/paraview.sh (or paraview.csh for CSH users), which should subsequently be sourced:
./makeParaView -qmake $(which qmake-qt4)
for all systems, the PV4blockMeshReader and the PV4FoamReader ParaView plugins are compiled as usual for OpenFOAM utilities. For RHEL, substitute “PV4Readers” with “PV3Readers” in the following command.
To check your installation setup, execute the foamInstallationTest script (in the OpenFOAM-3.0.x/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.
Create a project directory within the $HOME/OpenFOAM directory named <USER>-3.0.x (e.g. chris-3.0.x for user chris and OpenFOAM version 3.0.x) and create a directory named run within it, e.g. by typing:
We appreciate that bugs in OpenFOAM are reported so we can fix them. Please refer to the OpenFOAM bugs pages to report bugs.