OpenFOAM 9 is a major new release of OpenFOAM provided by the
openfoam9 pack. It is accompanied by ParaView 5.6.3, compiled with the official OpenFOAM reader module, provided by the
paraviewopenfoam56 pack. Both packs are available for the following versions of Ubuntu:
- 18.04 LTS, codename
- 20.04 LTS, codename
- 21.10, codename
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
- Copy and paste the following in a terminal prompt (Applications → Accessories → Terminal) to add
dl.openfoam.orgto the list of software repositories for
aptto 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 use
http://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 - https://dl.openfoam.org/gpg.key | apt-key add -" sudo add-apt-repository http://dl.openfoam.org/ubuntu
**Note: This only needs to be done once for a given system
- Update the
aptpackage list to account for the new download repository location
sudo apt-get update
- Install OpenFOAM (9 in the name refers to version 9) which also installs
paraviewopenfoam56as a dependency.
sudo apt-get -y install openfoam9
OpenFOAM 9 and ParaView 5.6.3 are now installed in the /opt directory.
Patching OpenFOAM 9
OpenFOAM-9 is periodically recompiled into a new
openfoam9 pack. The package will be upgraded automatically whenever repository package files are updated and the software is upgraded, e.g. by typing
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
Users can also specifically upgrade
openfoam9 only by the following option:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade openfoam9
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. If ParaView shows a blank screen when Ubuntu is installed on a Virtual Machine, try using an alternative desktop such as Gnome Classic or MATE. To install Gnome Classic, type the following in a terminal window, then reboot and login using the Classic window manager:
sudo apt-get install gnome-panel gnome-flashback gnome-session-flashback indicator-applet-appmenu
3. 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: openfoam9 : Depends: csh but it is not installable...
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-get update
4. 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
/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
The .deb files for different versions of Ubuntu supplied can be downloaded directly from the OpenFOAM Download Repository.
In order to use the installed OpenFOAM package, complete the following:
- Open the
.bashrcfile in the user’s home directory in an editor, e.g. by typing in a terminal window (note the dot)
- At the bottom of that file, add the following line (see Note 1 below) and save the file
- Open a new terminal window (see Note 2 below) and test that the
simpleFoamapplication, from the OpenFOAM package, is working by typing
- 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
simpleFoam in the same terminal window, they must first register the change to the
.bashrc file by typing at the terminal prompt (note the dots):
Create a project directory within the
$HOME/OpenFOAM directory named
chris-9 for user
chris and OpenFOAM version 9) and create a directory named
run within it, e.g. by typing:
mkdir -p $FOAM_RUN
Copy across the backward facing step example, generate the mesh with blockMesh and run the steady flow, incompressible solver simpleFoam
cd $FOAM_RUN cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/incompressible/simpleFoam/pitzDaily . cd pitzDaily blockMesh simpleFoam paraFoam
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 Issue Tracking to report bugs.