FAQ/General

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1 FAQ Section 1: General

General questions about OpenFOAM. Legal etc

1.1 What is OpenFOAM?

OpenFOAM is an open source library designed for development of parallel or serial multi-dimensional modeling codes. OpenFOAM includes numerous C++ classes for finite volume, finite element, and Lagrangian particle tracking. OpenFOAM also comes with numerous computational fluid dynamics, combustion, and heat transfer programs that demonstrate the capabilities and usage of OpenFOAM. These solvers are useful for a wide range of scientific and engineering applications and can be customized as needed. Read more...

1.2 Can I use OpenFOAM?

Yes. OpenFOAM has been released by OpenCFD under the terms of the GNU GPL 2 license.

According to this licence, you can freely download, install and use OpenFOAM. Moreover, you have full access to the source code of OpenFOAM and you can modify it to customize it on your needs.

1.3 How can I properly reference OpenFOAM?

You can cite the www.openfoam.org website, if web-referencing is allowed, otherwise, cite the OpenFOAM documentation.

1.4 Where can I find support or ask questions about openFOAM?

OpenFOAM is developed by OpenCFD, which also offer support packages for corporations, consultants and academic institutions.

You can ask questions on the OpenFOAM message board.

There also is an IRC channel at freenode. The configuration parameters are:

  • Server: irc.freenode.net
  • Channel: #openFOAM-IRC

For a direct access to the IRC channel click here, if you have a browser configured to start your IRC client.

1.5 How do the OpenFOAM versions, variants and forks differ?

The official version is OpenFOAM, provided by the OpenFOAM Foundation, where:

  • Version 4.0 is the current stable release, which the latest stable version to be released as binary. This should be the version of choice for most users.
  • OpenFOAM 4.x is the official bug fix branch and thus contains the newest bug-fixes and features, but comes at the price of being less tested.
  • If you're looking for an even more bleeding edge version, you can find the development repository here: OpenFOAM-dev @ GitHub


Known forks and variants of OpenFOAM are all listed at this page: Forks and Variants

1.6 Where is FoamX?

FoamX was only developed up to OpenFOAM 1.4.x and is obsolete as of version 1.5. For more information, read the section Appendix A: The FoamX case manager from the Main UserGuideAddendum, which has got annotations concerning the OpenFOAM User Guide.

If you are looking for a GUI for using OpenFOAM, check this page: GUI


Nonetheless, if you are willing to be stubborn enough to spend countless hours delving into the World of Java, feel free to get the original source code for FoamX from the official OpenFOAM project at SourceForge.net:

  1. The last known version of FoamX is part of the main source code package: OpenFOAM-1.4.1.General.gtgz
  2. Download the file and then unpack it with the following command:
    tar -xzf OpenFOAM-1.4.1.General.gtgz
  3. The source code for FoamX is inside the folder: applications/utilities/preProcessing/FoamX
  4. Since building FoamX is part of the OpenFOAM build structure, then the last known instructions related to building FoamX are part of these instructions: Installation/Outdated/Howto compile OpenFOAM

Warning: Estimated amount of time necessary to get FoamX (barely) working with any of the latest OpenFOAM versions: 40 to 80 hours of dedicated work in coding in Java, depending on your level of experience.

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