9th July 2024

Download v12 | Ubuntu

Ubuntu Versions

OpenFOAM 12 is a major new release of OpenFOAM provided by the openfoam12 pack.  It is accompanied by ParaView using the standard paraview package with Ubuntu versions 24.04 and 22.04 and a customised paraviewopenfoam510 package for Ubuntu 20.04.  OpenFOAM 12 is available for the following versions of Ubuntu:

  • 20.04 LTS, codename focal
  • 22.04 LTS, codename jammy
  • 24.04 LTS, codename noble


OpenFOAM and ParaView can be simply installed for the first time using the apt package management tool. The user will need to provide superuser password authentication when executing the following commands with sudo

  1. Copy and paste the following in a terminal prompt (ApplicationsAccessoriesTerminal) to add to the list of software repositories for apt to search, and to add the public key (gpg.key) for the repository to enable package signatures to be verified.
    Note: use secure https:// for the public key to ensure secure transfer, but usehttp:// for the repository, since https:// may not be supported and is not required since the key provides secure authentication of the package files.

    sudo sh -c "wget -O - > /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/openfoam.asc"
    sudo add-apt-repository

    **Note: This only needs to be done once for a given system

  2. Update the apt package list to account for the new download repository location
    sudo apt update
  3. Install OpenFOAM 12 which also installs paraview (or paraviewopenfoam510 on Ubuntu 20.04) as a dependency if it is not already installed.
    sudo apt -y install openfoam12

OpenFOAM 12 and ParaView are now installed in the /opt directory.  If any problems are encountered during the installation, see the Installation Problems section below.

Patching OpenFOAM 12

OpenFOAM-12 is periodically recompiled into a new openfoam12 pack. The package will be upgraded automatically whenever repository package files are updated and the software is upgraded, e.g. by typing

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Users can also specifically upgrade openfoam12 only by the following option:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install --only-upgrade openfoam12

User Configuration

In order to use the installed OpenFOAM package, complete the following:

  1. Open the .bashrc file in the user’s home directory in an editor, e.g. by typing in a terminal window (note the dot):
    gedit ~/.bashrc
  2. At the bottom of that file, add the following line (see Note 1 below) and save the file (note the leading dot):
    . /opt/openfoam12/etc/bashrc
  3. Open a new terminal window (see Note 2 below) and test that the foamRun application, from the OpenFOAM package, is working by typing
    foamRun -help
  4. A “Usage” message should appear. Your installation and user configuration is complete.

Note 1: If a similar line has already been added to the user’s .bashrc file, e.g. for a previous version of OpenFOAM, then the line should be deleted or, alternatively, commented out by inserting a # at the beginning of the line.
Note 2: If a user wishes to execute foamRun imme the same terminal window, they must first register the change to the .bashrc file by typing at the terminal prompt (note the dots): . $HOME/.bashrc

Getting Started

Create a project directory within the $HOME/OpenFOAM directory named <USER>-12 (e.g. chris-12 for user chris and OpenFOAM version 12) and create a directory named run within it, e.g. by typing:

mkdir -p $FOAM_RUN

Copy across the steady-state backward facing step example, generate the mesh with blockMesh and run foamRun with the incompressibleFluid solver module

cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/incompressibleFluid/pitzDailySteady .
cd pitzDailySteady

Refer to the OpenFOAM User Guide to get started.

Installation Problems

1. Networking must be enabled in order to be able to install software packages in Ubuntu. Installation failure due to networking problems usually results in an error message that reports failures in fetching archives and ends with a line like the following:

E: Unable to fetch some archives...

2. A few users have encountered an error message similar to the following during installation (step 3):

Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you
have requested an impossible situation...

The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies: openfoam12...

The most likely cause of this error message is that the universe repositories are not enabled. To enable them, type the following in a terminal window:

sudo apt-add-repository universe
sudo apt update

3. If MPICH is installed on the system, then during user configuration (below), the following error message might occur when sourcing the etc/bashrc file in the OpenFOAM installation:

gcc: error: unrecognized command line option '--showme:link'

The user can check whether MPICH is installed by typing the following:

sudo update-alternatives --list mpi

which returns /usr/mpich/include if MPICH is installed. This error is caused when the default mpicc is MPICH, rather than OpenMPI. The simplest way to fix the problem is to set mpicc to OpenMPI is by running the following command in a terminal prompt:

sudo update-alternatives --set mpi /usr/lib/openmpi/include

Reporting Bugs in OpenFOAM

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