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Caluca January 11, 2012 15:56

I am at a loss here. I have recently switched to Linux and I am having a hard time adjusting to using command lines. I managed to install OpenFOAM 2.1.0. The tutorials as explained in the user guide seem to be command line only. But what I want is just to start OpenFOAM's graphical user interface. Could somebody tell me what the EXACT terminal command is to run the GUI :confused: (assuming no symbolic links have been made).

anon_a January 11, 2012 17:02

The answer you seek is here:
"The short answer is that there is no open-source GUI".

Other people mention some tools but I have not used them so I can not tell you the command or my opinion

Don't worry, the command-line becomes friendlier in time :-) You will get totally used within a week or so

andyj January 12, 2012 12:04


I would suggest working thru an hour of tutorials on the Linux command line at:
The tutorials are free.
There are tutorials for Paraview at:

You download the pdf to read the tutorial and also download the tutorial data filess for your version of Paraview. Save both in your documents. Paraview has a GUI.
Once your finish the Linux command line tutorial, you are ready to start on the OpenFoam tutorials. Note that your path to the location of the tutorials in OpenFoam includes your user name.
In Linux, you need to open your file directory Program (Nautalus ect..) to find the paths to various programs.

You really must do the Linux command line tutorial, otherwise you will be lost. Its actually very easy. Takes about an 1/2 hour to one hour (at get eneough experience to run the OpenFoam and Paraview tutorials.

andyj January 12, 2012 12:36

To start the openfoam tutorials that you have installed to your run directory per the user guide chap 2, lid cavity example, you first navigate to that directory with the cd command.
You may need to use the pwd command to find out where you are at before starting.

cd OpenFOAM/yourusername-2.1.0/run/tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity

note the /yourusername-2.1.0/

Once you are in the correct directory, you type blockMesh to run the tutorial. Then read the tutorial on Lid Cavity, you type paraFoam, this starts paraview. You then type icoFoam. Its all in the OpenFoam user guide tutorial. You should get the lid cavity example opened up first to take a look at the software working,
Then go back and analyze the blockMeshDict and control files afterwards. In the first example, the lid cavity, you do not edit any blockMeshDict files or control files. They just explain how it is running in the background.

Pay close attention to capitalization and typograpical instructions.. openFoam is not the same as openFOAM.

Linux is similar to windows, you will find having a book on whatever version of Linux you are using essential. Any book on linux available at your local library will have something on the command line. Command line entries for different versions of linux will be the same. Your command prompt might look different though.
You need to be able to move around in the file system with the change directory command ( cd ).

andyj January 12, 2012 12:45

yourusername is the user name you selected for yourself when you installed Linux.

Again you must start with a tutorial on the

klausb January 12, 2012 16:42

important commands

have a look at my comments in this thread:

I think these are the most important commands to get started.


elvis January 17, 2012 08:06


discretizer might be of interest for you
or engrid (pre-processing)

Bernhard Gschaider made a wonderful tool pyfoam to make life easier (but not with a GUI). Learn how to use it! (PDF-file)

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