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blueCFD 1.6-2 Release Notes PDF Print E-mail

blueCFD 1.6-2 is now available. Please visit the product page for more information on how to acquire this product/service.

blueCFD is a service package of a high quality cross-compiled build version of OpenFOAM(R) for Windows XP and Vista (32 and 64bit), with some additional tweaks, executables and scripts, in order to maintain usability under a Windows environment. It also provides a near Linux experience through MSys. It also includes Paraview compiled natively on Windows, also in 32 and 64bit versions. The vtkPOpenFOAMReader is the plug-in used in Paraview, for reading OpenFOAM simulation files, because it offers better support for large files and multi-platform. MPICH2 is used for running OpenFOAM and Paraview with a multi-core and multi-machine environment.


RELEASE NOTES FOR blueCFD 1.6-2

This document has the following chapters:

1 - Introduction

2 - Features

3 - Changes since 1.6-1

4 - Known limitations

5 - System data

Please visit the product page for more information on how to acquire this product/service and legal information.

1 - Introduction

blueCFD is a service package of a high quality cross-compiled build version of OpenFOAM(R) for Windows XP and Vista (32 and 64bit), with some additional tweaks, executables and scripts, in order to maintain usability under a Windows environment. It also provides a near Linux experience through MSys. It also includes Paraview compiled natively on Windows, also in 32 and 64bit versions. The vtkPOpenFOAMReader is the plug-in used in Paraview, for reading OpenFOAM simulation files, because it offers better support for large files and multi-platform. MPICH2 is used for running OpenFOAM and Paraview with a multi-core and multi-machine environment.

2 - Features

Features of blueCFD 1.6-2:

  • OpenFOAM 1.6 is running on Windows XP and Windows Vista, both 32 and 64bit versions. Almost all of the features listed on the release notes of OpenFOAM 1.6 are available here. The optional mesh converter "ccm26ToFoam" is also included, but not tested.

  • The only features currently unavailable are: fully case-sensitive file names; native compiling of OpenFOAM libraries and applications on Windows; directly handling compressed files with the Scotch library.

  • There are 3 flavors of OpenFOAM in this package:

    • mingw-w32 Single Precision;

    • mingw-w32 Double Precision;

    • mingw-w64 Double Precision;

  • The code documentation was rebuilt, to provide a Compiled HTML file dubbed "index.chm", thus providing over 400MB of HTML files and images, in one single 74MB easy to use file, with integrated indexing and search functions on a side bar.

  • Although the code documentation is available, the code itself is packaged independently, and should only be used in compatible platforms, such as Linux. More specifically, this is a limitation only due to Windows not having a fully case sensitive file system by default. The code packages include the modifications that allow building OpenFOAM 1.6 with gcc-4.4.2 and mingw32 and mingw-w64. Nonetheless, although scripts for building the mingw32 version are still available, the version has been starting from 1.6-2, due to incompatibilities with more recent Linux versions.

  • Paraview 3.6.1 was built for 32 and 64bit Windows versions, to include the plugin vtkPOpenFOAMReader (r173 20090920), a native FOAM file reader, which has proven so far to be more reliable than the original plug-in that comes with OpenFOAM.

  • MPICH2 1.1.1p1 is used for parallel processing with OpenFOAM and Paraview, on 32 and 64bit Windows versions. It should be easily updated to more recent versions. Installation is optional.

  • Python 2.6.3, on 32 and 64bit Windows versions, for usage with Paraview. Installation is optional.

  • MSys is also included and configured to provide a near Linux experience, thus enabling the original scripts of OpenFOAM to work, with some minor tweaks to improve the functionality. For example, the scripts "foamJob", "foamExec" and parallel job handling will work properly on Windows.

  • Batch files are also included, to provide a "Windows Command Line" environment to run OpenFOAM.

  • Tutorials included are the ones that already have some bug fixes, up to 2009/10/22.

3 - Changes since 1.6-1

  • The application chtMultiRegionFoam now works properly. The source code for the application chtMultiRegionFoam was slightly patched to allow building for both Linux and Windows. In Windows, the K field file is now KK, thus not crashing with the field k.

  • The new patches for the source codes no longer require the download of MPICH2, thus not requiring Wine for extraction. In the wiki page it is better explained on how to update the files, in case you wish to use a version different from 1.1.1p1.

  • Applications that rely in turbulence models based in RAS and LES, now all should work properly. The fix is based on the v9 patch for OpenFOAM 1.6.x by Symscape. Those applications are: buoyantPisoFoam, cavitatingFoam, coalChemistryFoam, coldEngineFoam, compressibleInterDyMFoam, compressibleInterFoam, dieselEngineFoam, dieselFoam, engineFoam, interDyMFoam, interFoam, interPhaseChangeFoam, multiphaseInterFoam, pimpleDyMFoam, pimpleFoam, pisoFoam, porousExplicitSourceReactingParcelFoam, reactingFoam, reactingParcelFoam, rhoPimpleFoam, rhoPisoFoam, rhoReactingFoam, sonicDyMFoam, sonicFoam, twoLiquidMixingFoam, uncoupledKinematicParcelFoam, XiFoam.

  • The application reconstructParMesh wasn't being built because it wasn't in one of the Allwmake scripts; now it is built and is included in blueCFD 1.6-2.

  • The number of known tutorials and applications that are tested to work as increased from just a couple to a bunch. The list is available here.

4- Know limitations

Limitations:

  • currently the 64bit version of OpenFOAM available with blueCFD has a minor glitch when starting the programs. More specifically, some solvers and utilities will take about 12 seconds to "boot" the program and associated libraries, while the 32bit version takes less than 3 seconds to do the same. This issue has been investigated, but the current analysis indicates that this is due to mingw-w64 still being in a beta stage.

  • due to Windows not being fully case sensitive (at least by default), all of the applications and functionalities that require files names that only differ in letter case and are on the same folder, will not work. So, when setting up your cases, be aware of this restriction. Additionally, your applications should be aware of the build type, like it was done for chtMultiRegionFoam, to avoid collision between K and KK:

          #if defined( WIN32 ) || defined( WIN64 )
               "KK",
          #else
               "K",
          #endif
  • since the tutorials have been copied from the 1.6.x version of OpenFOAM, then some tutorials will not work with blueCFD 1.6-1 and 1.6-2. Two tutorial cases have been detected so far, that will only work with OpenFOAM 1.6.x and not 1.6:

    • multiphase/interDyMFoam/ras/floatingObject
    • multiphase/interMixingFoam/laminar/damBreak
  • tutorial cases inside "heatTransfer\chtMultiRegionFoam" now work, as long as every reference to the file K is change to KK. Please see the wiki page for more information.

Non working functionalities:

  • libscotch is unable to use compression, due to a cross-compile limitation; more specifically, the Windows does not have native functions that are fully analogous to Un*x and Linux functions "fork" and "pipe". This can be taken care of if so requested, since implementations of these functions already exist in MSys and Cygwin.

  • blockMesh mingw-w64 isn't working properly under Windows Vista x64 and Seven x64. The 32bit versions of blockMesh will work properly under these Windows versions. There is the possibility of making a fully static build of blockMesh mingw-w64, which won't break down, but it isn't being distributed with blueCFD 1.6-2 for now.
    NOTE: If you need the blockMesh mingw-w64 to work in Vista x64 and Seven x64, please contact us and we will arrange to build the static version and make it available to you, at least until we are able to fix this problem. We don't make it available as standard, because it took several hours (over 4 hours) to just link all of the object files that blockMesh needs to run in static mode. In comparison, we currently build a full version of OpenFOAM in about 2 hours.

  • blueCFD's Paraview x64 isn't working properly under Windows Vista x64 and Seven x64. But it works fine under Windows XP x64. The 32bit version works well under any version. The 32bit version of the vtkPOpenFOAMReader plugin should work properly with large cases, even if they were run with our mingw-w64 build of OpenFOAM 1.6.

  • blueCFD's build of Paraview seems to have a strange glitch when opening cases: when opening the zero second snapshot, it crashes. In order for Paraview not to crash with the script paraFoam, is to:

    • launch paraFoam.

    • change the current time snapshot from 0 to 1 (or any other value greater than 0) before pressing Apply. The time snapshot is controlled from the toolbar "Current Time Controls".

    • press Apply. Then you can step back to the snapshot 0.

  • compiling source code under Windows is currently off limits. Therefore, tutorials that require compiling, will not be able to work properly. These are:

    • basic\potentialFoam\cylinder
    • compressible\rhoCentralFoam\biconic25-55Run35
    • heatTransfer\buoyantPisoFoam\hotRoom
    • incompressible\MRFSimpleFoam
    • incompressible\simpleSRFFoam
    • lagrangian\rhoPisoTwinParcelFoam
    • multiphase\interDyMFoam\ras\sloshingTank3D6DoF
    • multiphase\interFoam\MRFInterFoam
  • when using foamToVTK, you should always use the option "-ascii", due to a bug in the creation of binary VTK legacy files under Windows.

  • if you wish to use foamToVTK with the tutorial case motorBike, then please run the script fixForWindows before running the case, on MSys. This is due to some characters that don't work in the Windows file systems.

OpenFOAM® functionalities (scripts and executables) other than these mentioned above, should all be available, at least through the MSys terminal.
Most of the original functionalities of OpenFOAM were not fully tested, so there might be some solvers, utilities and scripts that may not work at all. Please contact blueCAPE in case you find any bugs related to blueCFD's packaged binaries and scripts or the patches made available in the wiki page.

It should run under Windows XP, Vista and 7, both 32 and 64bit versions. There might still be some issues with OpenFOAM 1.6 version mingw-w64, supplied with blueCFD, to run on Windows Vista x64 and Window 7 x64, since it was only tested on Windows XP x64 so far.

5 - System data

The only changes between blueCFD 1.6-1 and 1.6-2 versions is that mingw32 has been dropped, at least for now. We have only been able to build the mingw32 cross-compiler on a few 32 bit Linux versions, while mingw-w64/32 has worked on all Linux (and Cygwin) platforms. Mingw-w32 has proven so far to work as well as mingw32. Nonetheless, if you need mingw32 - because mingw-w32 isn't working or it is a project restriction on your part - we will invest some time on making it work, upon request.

The versions of the software used to create this package:

  • OpenFOAM 1.6, available here. Tweaks:

    • tutorial fixes from the 1.6.x git version (up to 2009-10-22);

    • uses ccm26ToFoam from the 1.6.x git version (up to 2009-10-22);

  • mingw-w32 and mingw-w64 versions were built with gcc-4.4.2, with Mingw-w64 CRT, official 1.0 stable branch.

  • MSys version "1.0.11(0.46/3/2) 2009-07-11 12:05 i686". You can update it, but you should backup first, and then check which files need changing (tip: search by date).

  • Paraview 3.6.1 with vtkPOpenFOAMReader-r173-20090920 and MPICH2

  • MPICH2 1.1.1p1

  • Microsoft(R) HTML Help Workshop 4.74.8702.0 for building the code documentation.



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