Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Choose open-source CFD platform

Code_Saturne is general purpose CFD software developed by EDF R&D. It is an open-source code distributed under the GNU GPL licence and have been ported to Linux PCs and all UNIX platforms. For PCs, it is easy to install and use if a Linux operating system is already installed, while for those supercomputers or clusters, like Cray and Blue Gene, with help of MPI libraries, Code_Saturne can also utilise the potential of their parallel computing ability. You can find more introduction about Code_Saturne from its official website.

It is commonly known that an entire CFD solution procedure can be split into four sequential steps: geometry modelling, meshing, solving and post-processing. Code_Saturne is a CFD solver and as such it can only manage the solving step. Currently, on my Linux PCs, SALOME is chosen to cope with the geometry modelling and meshing steps, while ParaView is used for the post-processing. Both SALOME and ParaView are also open-source software targeted at numerical simulation.

ParaView is a cross-platform software, whereas SALOME and Code_Saturne are mainly released for Linux. Regarding Linux systems, there are quite a lot of distributions to meet various personal demands and most of them can be freely downloaded from their official website. Among these distributions there are some which can be used to start with if one has no experience about Linux before, such as Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora etc. My posts focus on Ubuntu (or its variants) and actually the experiences would also be ported to other distributions.

With all software mentioned above, Ubuntu, SALOME, Code_Saturne and ParaView, a free/open-source platform can then be built to provide CFD solutions. Download sites of these software are listed here for convenience:


In the following posts I will try to introduce the detailed installation procedure for all of them.


  1. well done mate~~~~~

  2. hi, i leaned a lot from your remarks. thank you very much, i'll drop in very often