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OpenFOAM is an open-source toolbox for computational fluid dynamics. OpenFOAM consists of generic tools to simulate complex physics for a variety of fields of interest, from fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics, electromagnetism and the pricing of financial options.

The core technology of OpenFOAM is a flexible set of modules written in C++. These are used to build solvers and utilities to perform pre- and post-processing tasks ranging from simple data manipulation to visualisation and mesh processing.

Available Versions

OpenFOAM comes in a number of different flavours. The two main releases are from and from

You can query the versions of OpenFOAM are currently available on Cirrus from the command line with module avail openfoam.

Versions from are typically v8 etc, while versions from are typically v2006 (released June 2020).

Using OpenFOAM on Cirrus

Any batch script which intends to use OpenFOAM should first load the appropriate openfoam module. You then need to source the etc/bashrc file provided by OpenFOAM to set all the relevant environment variables. The relevant command is printed to screen when the module is loaded. For example, for OpenFOAM v8:

module add openfoam/v8.0
source ${FOAM_INSTALL_PATH}/etc/bashrc

You should then be able to use OpenFOAM in the usual way.

Example Batch Submisison

The following example batch submission script would run OpenFOAM on two nodes, with 36 MPI tasks per node.


#SBATCH --nodes=2
#SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=36
#SBATCH --exclusive
#SBATCH --time=00:10:00

#SBATCH --partition=standard
#SBATCH --qos=standard

# Load the openfoam module and source the bashrc file

module load openfoam/v8.0
source ${FOAM_INSTALL_PATH}/etc/bashrc

# Compose OpenFOAM work in the usual way, except that parallel
# executables are launched via srun. For example:

srun interFoam -parallel

A SLURM submission script would usually also contain an account token of the form

#SBATCH --account=your_account_here

where the your_account_here should be replaced by the relevant token for your account. This is available from SAFE with your budget details.