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mirko June 24, 2010 10:52

OF installation for multiple users

I want to share how I installed OF1.6 for multiple users on my 64-bit RHEL5. Because I could not get paraview3.6 going, I installed separately paraview 3.8. That is discussed separately.

Comments or suggestions on how others have done it are welcome.

I have a user account from which I do system & software management, $SM. All software is compiled there, and either stays there or is deployed into standard system locations.

For OpenFOAM, I have the $SM/OpenFOAM directory with the standard OF directory structure. The goal is for other users to execute a startup script that will allow them access to OF's environment (including aliases), sources, libraries & executables.

Note: The following is from memory

OpenFOAM 1.6
  • Create openfoam group
  • Assign all OF users to the openfoam group. Make $SM member of the openfoam group (not sure if that is necessary).
  • Install OF into $SM/OpenFoam.
  • Using access control lists, give read & execute privileges to OF files to openfoam group: setfacl -R -m group:openfoam:rx $SM/OpenFOAM (you may need to modify fstab for your partition to allow for acls).
  • All system users have read&execute rights to $SM and its subdirectories (will be needed for paraview)
  • Modify OpenFoam/bin/bashrc to explicitly point to $SM/OpenFoam/OpenFoam-1.6/etc/bashrc (do not use the $HOME variable)
  • Give copies of the bashrc to openfoam users to place into their bin directory (name it OF.bashrc or some other thing)
I could have done the above without ACL's by giving other's rx priviledges. I am really not sure if going the ACL route is worth it.


I could not install PV systemwide. I did not have the patience to study the instructions (Actually, I don't know how to build rpms for systemwide installation). Instead I installed PV into $SM.

Enabling OF to use PV

  • Modify OpenFOAM-1.6/bin/paraFoam as follows:
  1. Change all `OpenFOAM' extensions to `foam' (I believe this is due to a new feature of PV3.8)
  2. point to the paraview executable with the absolute path, and no variables such as $HOME
  • Each user should prepend the paraview library directory to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH (i.e. it should have .../ParaView-3.8.0-Linux.../lib/paraview-3.8/)


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