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For acute installation issues, please post on the corresponding cfd-online forum.

The current maintainer of this page is Dchrist (talk).

This page explains how to install the foam-extend project OF Version 31ext.png on various Linux distributions and Apple Mac OS X. If you have installed foam-extend on a platform that is not mentioned here or had to take other/additional steps for successful installation, please contribute and edit this page or send a message to the maintainer.

To quote[1] from the release notes of the project:

The foam-extend project is a fork of the OpenFOAM® open source library for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It is an open project welcoming and integrating contributions from all users and developers. Previously known as OpenFOAM®-dev and OpenFOAM®-extend, it contains bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as extensions and additional features provided by community contributors (see list below), such as dynamic mesh and topological change support, turbomachinery extensions including general grid interpolation (GGI), cyclic GGI and mixing place, block-coupled matrix support, finite area method, comprehensive mesh motion capability and GPU support. For a full list, see below and previous release notes at:
Version 3.1, nicknamed "Zagreb", is the current version of foam-extend. The release continues the tradition and spirit of the original FOAM code developed by prof. Jasak and Mr. Weller during their time at Imperial College and released as the general purpose CFD/CCM package by Nabla Ltd. in 2000. In this spirit, we reverted 18 December 2013 to the original numbering scheme (foam-2.3.2, 13 December 2004) as release number 3.0. Visit for more information.
OPENFOAM® is a registered trademark of ESI Group. OpenFOAM-extend and foam-extend are a community effort not endorsed by ESI Group.

In the following chapters and sections is explained how to generally install foam-extend-3.1 and related dependencies, such as ParaView, although you should first refer to the folder doc/buildInstructions/ on the official repository for dedicated instructions for each supported Operating System.

1 Installing from binary package

Binary packages are available for Ubuntu 14.04 as well as Fedora 20.


Packages can be downloaded on SourceForge: Download foam-extend files on SourceForge

Install packages

  • For Ubuntu (and similar), download .deb package and run:
     software-center foam-extend_3.1_amd64.precise.deb
  • For Fedora (and similar), download .rpm package and run:
    sudo yum localinstall foam-extend-3.1-3.1-1.fc20.x86_64.rpm

Setup user directory

See section First steps.

2 Installing from source code

System preparations

The preparations depend on the Linux Distribution being used, therefore please go to the following sub-pages for the respective details:

Installation/Linux/foam-extend-3.1/Arch LinuxInstallation/Linux/foam-extend-3.1/CentOS SL RHELInstallation/Linux/foam-extend-3.1/Debian

If you installed on a system that is not mentioned on the pages above, please contribute and add it to the respective page.

Get the source code

  • The recommended way is to get the source code through git source code management system. This way, you can get updates and bugfixes easily by running "git pull". To install into the default location run:
    cd ~
    mkdir foam
    cd foam
    git clone git:// foam-extend-3.1
  • Alternatively, you can download a snapshot (.tgz) of the source code at SourceForce: Download foam-extend files on SourceForge Then create installation directory and unpack:
    cd ~
    mkdir -p foam/foam-extend-3.1
    cd foam/foam-extend-3.1/
    tar zxvf foam-extend-VERSION_NUMBER__COMMIT_NUMBER.tgz
  • If for some reason, neither the official Git repository is working nor the snapshot is available, you can try using one of the following mirrors:
    • Extend's official repository (https mode, if you're behind a firewall):
      git clone foam-extend-3.1
    • Mirror at repository:
      git clone git:// foam-extend-3.1
    • Mirror at repository (http mode, if you're behind a firewall):
      git clone foam-extend-3.1
    • Mirror Unofficial-Extend-Project-Mirror@github repository:
      git clone foam-extend-3.1


  1. Set the environment variables and add them to your initial shell settings, simply by running the following commands:
    • On bash (if unsure whether you are using bash, run "echo $SHELL"):
      cd ~/foam/foam-extend-3.1
      source etc/bashrc
      echo "alias fe31='source \$HOME/foam/foam-extend-3.1/etc/bashrc'" >> $HOME/.bashrc
    • On csh:
      cd ~/foam/foam-extend-3.1
      source etc/cshrc
      echo "alias fe31 'source $HOME/foam/foam-extend-3.1/etc/cshrc'" >> $HOME/.cshrc
    Note: This last line means that whenever you start a new terminal window or tab, you should run the alias command associated to the foam-extend 3.1 shell environment. In other words, whenever you start a new terminal, you should run:
    For more information on this topic, read section Using aliases to help manage multiple OpenFOAM versions in the page Installation/Working with the Shell.
  2. Optionally, set environment variable for Qt to compile ParaView and add it to the respective preferences shell file:
    • On bash (if unsure whether you are using bash, run "echo $SHELL"):
      export QT_BIN_DIR=/path/to/qmake
      echo "export QT_BIN_DIR=/path/to/qmake" >> etc/
    • On csh:
      setenv QT_BIN_DIR=/path/to/qmake
      echo "setenv QT_BIN_DIR=/path/to/qmake" >> etc/prefs.csh
  3. Optionally, set environment variable for compiling Cuda solvers:
    • On bash, for example (replace "sm_30" with value according to your GPU architecture):
      export CUDA_ARCH=sm_30
      echo "export CUDA_ARCH=sm_30" >> etc/
    • On csh:
      setenv CUDA_ARCH=sm_30
      echo "setenv CUDA_ARCH=sm_30" >> etc/prefs.csh
  4. Start compiling:

Setup user directory

See section First steps.

3 Installing on Apple with sparse image

  1. Download the sparse image from SourceForge: Download foam-extend files on SourceForge
  2. Unpack and mount the image by clicking on the file
  3. Open a terminal and run:
    mkdir foam
    cd foam
    ln -s /Volumes/foam-extend-3.1 .
    . foam-extend-3.1/etc/bashrc

4 First steps

After installing the foam-extend core, the first step should be to create the directory, where simulation cases will be held (this assumes that you have sourced etc/bashrc or etc/cshrc as described above):

mkdir -p $FOAM_RUN

When you have sourced etc/bashrc or etc/cshrc, you can use a shortcut to change to your run directory by typing:


You can now explore the tutorial cases, type:


to change to the corresponding directory. To run a case, copy it to $FOAM_RUN and execute the solver application there.

The User Guide can be found inside the folder "doc/Guides-a4/". To know where this is located, run:

echo $WM_PROJECT_DIR/doc/Guides-a4

It can also be downloaded from here: UserGuide.pdf from foam-extend-3.1

For questions, please refer to the following forums: