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tchavdarov March 17, 2005 02:00

Hi Averyone, I decided to o
Hi Averyone,

I decided to open the above discussion topic because I think it is a serious problem to install Linux at middle and large size companies in North America. When I open this issue, the IT Administrators said "No way!" - You cannot install Linux because you cannot be granted the responsibility. It is only the IT Administrator who have the rights to administrate the Operating Systems in the Company and it is the Company policy to support MS Windows.

According to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act they are absolutely right and nothing can be done to install Linux at Company's platforms. Changing the Company policy to support more than one Operatings system is a difficult issue which will need years to resolve.

I would like to know what others think about this issue.


hjasak March 17, 2005 03:59

Haha, Try this - pack your

Try this - pack your bags and move somewhere more sensible.

Actually, this is simply a problem of company policy and if the company does not have enough vision to benefit from free software it should be left to suffer for it. Try suggesting to your IT managers that the company pays for a Micros**t port of OpenFOAM. :-)


conry March 17, 2005 04:26

I think Hrv has a good point.
I think Hrv has a good point.

A (very limited) work-around is the use of Live-CDs like Knoppix, Kanotix, Ubuntu, etc.,.

If anyone's interested, I'm nearly finished working on a Knoppix Live-CD remaster that runs the FOAM 1.0.2 binary distribution (it already works, but there are a couple of small irritations I'm ironing out). The only reason it's FOAM 1.0.2 rather than 1.1 is because when I started I hadn't downloaded a copy of 1.1 yet.

This isn't a solution for large-scale long-term use, but it does offer the possibility to try-out/demonstrate FOAM (or another GNU/Linux app) while side-stepping the need to do anything as "drastic" as actually installing GNU/Linux.


hjasak March 17, 2005 04:29

Actually, I think I was quite
Actually, I think I was quite rude - sorry. Does not make the problem go away, though...

As for 1.1, it should port with no trouble and there is still testing etc going on. If you need a hand with porting, fire away on my private E-mail address.

Thanks for the effort,


alberto March 17, 2005 04:50

I would like to add some consi
I would like to add some consideration on the adoption of Linux in a company.
It's not true you can't adopt linux in a large company because of responsibility reasons.
Many Linux distributors provide indemnification programs (see, for example, Novell/SuSE - and Red Hat - ) with a licensing cost lower than Microsoft licenses.
There are many company which are migrating to linux to reduce costs and they are doing it successfully with the support of such Linux distributors.

In many cases companyes don't migrate to linux just because their system administrators don't have the needed know-how or think that Microsoft is the best.

Another question: if you carefully read Microsoft EULA, you would understand that Microsoft doesn't take any responsibility for anything, even if you pay! ;-)


hsieh March 17, 2005 08:50

Hi, I have to say that it i

I have to say that it is not easy to put Linux in a large corporation. I was interested in FOAM, what stopped was because it only runs on Linux. Now that OpenFOAM is open source, it certainly is much easier to convice our Admin.

I also was thinking about running OpenFOAM on Knoppix, but, decided that most likely it will not be a permanant solution and stopped. I tried to experiment TopologiLinux with coLinux installed on a Windows XP box. But, I could not get X windows to start (yet). I also have doubt about the reduction in CPU speed even if I can get it to work. It is not clear to me whether running in parallel will be possible if I have more than two computers running TopologiLinux.

Los Alamos has a CFD code that was written in Java. They claimed that although the speed is not as good as C/C++, but it is close. I am wondering if it is even possible to re-write OpenFOAM in Java.

Hi, Michael, is it really necessary to put OpenFOAM on the Knoppix CD? It might be possible to create a permanant folder on the hard drive, copy OpenFOAM to the hard drive, boot up the computer using Knoppix, then, mount the OpenFOAM folder, export OpenFOAM/bashrc. I have not try this yet, but, if this works, then, the OpenFOAM version will not be an issue.


conry March 17, 2005 10:01

The OpenFOAM version isn't rea
The OpenFOAM version isn't really an issue at all.

What you propose would probably work. Don't know if there'd be a problem depending on the filesystem, but even if there was one could just create a loopback filesystem and format that as ext3 or whatever. In fact, you can copy the compressed FS from the Knoppix disk to a hard-drive, and boot it from there (you still use the bootloader from the CDRom, but with the boot-option fromhd=/dev/hdc5 (or whatever). I think it works with vfat as well as ext2/3... don't know about NTFS (always a bit of an irritation with GNU/Linux). One could create a FOAM filesystem-in-a-file, and mount this from within knoppix in the same way (either from HDD, another CDRom, or wherever).

I personally thought the FOAM/Knoppix combination would be convenient for introducing people to the tool. FOAM installation isn't really tricky, but there is a lot of scope for problems (especially if people don't have access to a Linux system!). The LiveCD removes all of that difficulty and means someone can easily run through a few tutorials and get a feel for the software. It works for me to this extent already (boot knoppix, go to tutorials dir, blockMesh, icoFoam, paraFoam, and so on... also I've tried the interFoam case and it too works fine).

I hope to have a version finished during this weekend, and I'll put it up for download if anyone's interested.


hsieh March 17, 2005 10:09

Hi, Michael, I am certainly
Hi, Michael,

I am certainly interested. Please let me know when it is done. Thanks!


alberto March 17, 2005 16:04

Have you ever considered emula
Have you ever considered emulation?
If you're just using it for calculation which can be done on a single workstation, you could consider VM-WARE, which might reduce computational performance, but which allows you to run a complete linux installation under Microsoft Windows.

If you're using a cluster for parallel computation, there's no point, you should switch to linux as soon as possible. Computational efficiency and lower resources request are only two advantages of linux against Windows, in such a kind of application.


mattijs April 19, 2005 12:58

Hi Michael, did you ever ge
Hi Michael,

did you ever get to finish your live-CD with OpenFoam? Is it possible to get the image or CD (preferably with 1.1). It would be really nice to be able to demonstrate OpenFOAM to Windows users.


conry April 20, 2005 04:01

I have a working version, thou
I have a working version, though there are some rough edges.

I'll upload it tonight or tomorrow morning, can I email you a link for it? The file's rather large so I don't want to clobber the machine I'll host it on by putting the link up in public straight away!

My email address is


gschaider March 29, 2006 09:10

Hi Michael! We have a copy
Hi Michael!

We have a copy of your Knoppix-OpenFOAM-CD floating around here and it has been a really nice tool to spread the OpenFOAM-Gospel (especially at places where the operating systems don't end with a X). Only problem is that the OF version is not fully up to date (1.1, works fine and for the tutorials it's OK) and I havn't heard of that project anymore.

So my questions are: are you still working on this?
If not: did you experience any special problems while doing it? (I guess it works like this: *start the usual Koppix-remastering process, *chroot into the 'image' *untar OpenFOAM into that and edit script files *burn the image on CD)


mbeaudoin March 29, 2006 14:20

Hello Bernhard, I have been
Hello Bernhard,

I have been developping with OpenFOAM 1.2 over Knoppix 4.0 since last December.

Since I wanted to bring my laptop along for the OpenFOAM Workshop in Zabreb, Knoppix was an obvious and non invasive solution for my MS XP based laptop.

Using a local installation of Knoppix 4.0 over a simple FAT32 partition, I successfully recompiled OpenFOAM 1.2 entirely without any problems.

So far, the combo Knoppix 4.0/OpenFOAM 1.2 is very stable, but of course, I cannot say I have tested every aspects of OF on that platform.

I am however satisfied enough to keep on developping with it.

For your information my current hardware is a Compaq NC8230 laptop with a 2.0 GHz Pentium M processor, 1.0GB RAM, and a 10GB FAT32 partition for the local Knoppix installation and for my Knoppix home directory. The 3D graphic performance using paraFoam is not fantastic, but still very usable.

I have been wanting to generate an OpenFOAM/Knoppix for a while, but I have decided to wait a bit since I knew that Knoppix 5.0 was due real soon, and that OpenFOAM 1.3 was beeing tested.

So far, my experience with Knoppix 5.0 is not so great. I have downloaded the German DVD released at CeBIT 2006 last week using BitTorrent. I still cannot install it over a FAT32 partition, some cheat codes like noaudio does not seems to work with my hardware, etc. So I will wait a bit to see if other users are experiencing problems with version 5.0 also, and see if some fixes are necessary for this brand new release.

As for OpenFOAM 1.3, it is still beeing tested.

I could try to wrap up a CD version of OpenFOAM 1.2/Knoppix 4.0 and make the ISO image available if you like.

Like you, I also think it would be a very nice "pollenation vector" for OpenFOAM.

It's just a matter of cleaning my installation a bit, and of course, reading the HOWTO guide for regenerating a new live version with OpenFOAM pre-installed.

I could use the 1.2 version of OF distributed by Hrvoje at the Zagreb workshop if you want.

For now, I prefer to generate a live CD version, not a DVD version because, of course, of the size of the ISO.

What do you think?


hsieh March 29, 2006 20:36

Hi, I am interested in Open

I am interested in OpenFOAM on a liveCD/liveDVD also. If you visit, the website host is building a new caelinux liveDVD with OpenFOAM/Salome/Code_Aster/Elmer/... etc included. The current version only include Salome and Code_Aster. I am hoping the new version is coming out soon.


gschaider March 30, 2006 09:14

(the main reason why I was ask
(the main reason why I was asking in the first place was that I didn't want to duplicate any efforts that are going on)

@martin: OpenFOAM1.2+Knoppix4.0 sounds great. I agree with you that a CD is better because there still is a lot of machines around that don't have DVD-drives (and stripping the distribution shouldn't be such a problem: who needs games on the CD when he's got OpenFOAM ;) )

@pei: that caeLinux-thing sounds very interesting.

mbeaudoin March 30, 2006 11:49

All right then. OpenFOAM 1.
All right then.

OpenFOAM 1.3 has just been released, so we are moving to this new version right now.

I will try to generate an OpenFOAM_1.3+Knoppix_4.0 live CD ASAP.

As for CAELinux, well, the distro is based on PCLinuxOS Live CD. Looks like it can be remastered as well :

I'll keep you posted.


hsieh March 30, 2006 14:25

Hi, Martin, I am curious ab
Hi, Martin,

I am curious about one thing. In our Engineering department, there are more than 100 PCs (mostly Dell with P4 CPUs and MS Windows installed) networked together. If I pop the Knoppix/OpenFOAM CD in all of these machines, create some space on the hard drive of each machine. Use one workstation as the main server and start LAM. Do you think it will run parallel well?


mbeaudoin March 30, 2006 15:27

Hello Pei, Indeed, this is
Hello Pei,

Indeed, this is one of the thing I plan to test with the Knoppix/OpenFOAM CD.

One thing that I am not sure about is how my subnet DHCP server will attribute distinct hostnames to the different Knoppix machines...

I am pretty sure I will end up with distinct IP numbers, but for the hostnames I am not that sure.

Currently, with version 4.0, Knoppix is forcing the hostname to "Knoppix", and to my knowledge, there are no cheat codes to override this.

But I sure will look into it, because this is something I really want to use in my lab as well.

In the meantime, you might want to check this site about ParallelKnoppix :

I have never use it myself, I have access to a standard Beowulf cluster in my lab running NPACI Rocks.


hsieh April 1, 2006 20:31

Hi, Martin, The ParallelKno
Hi, Martin,

The ParallelKnoppix stuff looked very interesting. I just downloaded the iso image and will start playing with it. I am interested in your re-mastered knoppix with OpenFOAM included.



hsieh August 14, 2006 11:14

Hi, martin, I am wondering
Hi, martin,

I am wondering whether you tried out Parallel Knoppix. I have a couple of question regarding running OpenFOAM after booting up from PK.


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