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kxk7607 January 20, 2012 23:43

.deb installation of OpenFOAM 2.1.0 on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot).
Hello all,

I have been trying all day to install OpenFOAM 2.1.0 on my computer. I followed the instructions posted here:

I am able to get to the icoFoam -help section. I believe I have OpenFOAM working because I get usage output. The terminal lists a bunch of options " -case<dir> , -noFunctionObjects ......-help" and then says "Using OpenFOAM-2.1.0 (see" at the bottom of the terminal.

I have also been able to install paraviewopenfoam3120. Both packages are located in /opt directory.

I then proceed to "mkdir -p $FOAM_RUN" and it makes the proper "home/users/<usr>/OpenFOAM/<usr>-2.1.0/run" directories. The capitalization is correct on "OpenFOAM".

I am then able to copy the "tutorials folder using the listed command of "cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS" the tutorials folder shows up in "home/users/<usr>/OpenFOAM/<usr>-2.1.0/run/tutorials"

However, when I go to run the test cases in "tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity" i get an error when trying the "blockmesh" command. The terminal says the command is not found.

I have no idea how to fix this and I do not wish to compile from source code. I want to make the .deb installation work.

I am using gcc 4.6.1 which is returned by "gcc --version"

Any advice would be helpful!

l_r_mcglashan January 21, 2012 06:50


Originally Posted by kxk7607 (Post 340391)
However, when I go to run the test cases in "tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity" i get an error when trying the "blockmesh" command. The terminal says the command is not found.

Did you try "blockmesh" or "blockMesh"?

kxk7607 January 21, 2012 10:45

I tried blockmesh. I did not even recognize that the "M" was capitalized! I think the majority of my problems during this install stemmed from capitalization errors. I will try the blockMesh command and see if it works.

l_r_mcglashan January 21, 2012 11:01

Tip: if you type block, then hit tab, you'll get a list of possible commands. Also, OF uses camel back style, so the first letter is lowercase and others that start new words are capitalised. E.g. blockMesh, rhoSimpleFoam etc.

andyj January 21, 2012 12:04

The tutorials from the user guide were installed into a local run directory you created per the user guide tutorials.

To start them type:
cd OpenFOAM/yourusername-2.1.0/run/tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity

The " yourusername-2.1.0 " would be the user name you selected when you installed Ubuntu. The 2.1.0 is the version of openfoam you are using.

after you cd to the tutorial you want to run, in this case the first one, cavity

Then while still in the terminal window:

you type blockMesh

You then type paraFoam.

You then type icoFoam.

This gets the first tutorial started. You never do anything with blockMeshdict or control, they just give a long description of it.

You leave the terminal window command prompt running all the time, you minimize it and switch back to paraview.

If you are a Windows user or seldom use Linux, go to
and spend a half hour reviewing the linux command line tutorial.
You must know a little bit about the command line or Linux is impossible...but its easy to learn.

Also, see the Paraview tutorial:
and the Paraview tutorial files:

andyj January 21, 2012 12:19

after you type blockMesh
you hit "enter"
after you type paraFoam
you hit "emter"
wait a secord or two and paraview opens up. You now are at the paraview GUI.

then go back to the terminal window you minimized:
you type icoFoam
you then hit "enter"
and go back to paraview which was minimized.

then follow the tutorial to enter in some data into the properties and display window in paraview and the cavity appears. You hit "apply" after entering in the changes per the tutorial.

Its a little tedious at first. You run the cavity tutorial a few times without paying a whole lot of attention to the description of blockMeshdict and the math. You will get a feel for loading and starting a tutorial. You then spend a little bit of time on the Paraview tutorial to see how the Paraview GUI works, then go back and study the control and blockMeshdict and math in the openfoam tutorial.

kxk7607 January 21, 2012 12:26

Thanks for the help everyone. It was as simple as typing "blockMesh" instead of "blockmesh".

I am not following the online directions to get the Lid-Driven Cavity flow simulation running! You can bet that I will be back with more questions once things start to hit the fan!

andyj January 21, 2012 12:57

If you installed from the Ubuntu deb packs from Openfoam, you very likely have it installed correctly.

You need to learn to navigate around Linux with the cd command.
Practice navigating with the cd command to a tutorial directory. One in that directory, you then type blockMesh to start that particular tutorial.
Then type paraFoam to start paraview and bring up the paraview GUI.

Close and reopen the terminal window if you encounter any problems.

You may need to omit the "/" at the beginning of the cd command in ubuntu.
in other words cd OpenFOAM/user-2.1.0/run/ect...
not cd /OpenFOAM/ect...

Use the command pwd (prints working directory to screen) to find out where you are at when you open the terminal window.

When you first star a terminal in Ubuntu, it usually starts in your home directory, so you would not need to add home to the path, since you are already in home.
The command pwd tell where the terminal path is currently located at.

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