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Easier Installation of OF

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Old   June 15, 2017, 08:00
Post Easier Installation of OF
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Stuart Buckingham
Join Date: May 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 267
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Hi all,

I have been working recently on updating the OpenFOAM installation framework to something much more advanced and user friendly. As everyone on here I'm sure knows, the "wmake" OpenFOAM installation method is clunky, error prone, and not at all user friendly.

In order to make OF easier for newbies to install, I have created a branch where the entire project is installed using cmake, an excellent product from Kitware (from Paraview fame!) that automates all the bash script nonsense that used to be needed.

(Some of) The advantages of using this installation method are:

  1. There are NO BASH SCRIPTS! Having users edit bash scripts is very error prone as the syntax is very easy to get wrong. Installation using proprietary bash scripts is a very archaic way of installing software anyway.
  2. No bash files need to be sourced. This was an extra unnecessary step in the installation/running of OF. After installing using this method, all linking paths are automatically coded into the libraries (google RPATHs for examples), therefore there is no need to source any variables, thus keeping the users shell free from all the WM variables.
  3. All dependencies are resolved by cmake. This is much safer than the previous method using wmake.
  4. OpenFOAM can be installed from and too anywhere. As RPATHs are used to resolve lib locations, OF can be installed on any disk and run fine.

There are heaps of other benefits, but those are the main ones I can think of right now.

Currently I have written instructions for installing dependencies for dnf based systems (Fedora), but that can also easily be done for deb (Ubuntu) based systems as well. I would really appreciate it if someone would contribute the instructions for installing on Ubuntu please!

The package is located here:

Feel free to raise any bugs on github and/or here, and if you have any recommendations/fixes I would also appreciate patches!

Look forward to hearing any feedback, hopefully if this is successful we can convert the whole OF project to cmake.

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