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blueCFD 2.0-1 Release Notes PDF Print E-mail

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blueCFD is both a product and a service that provides of a high quality cross-compiled build version of OpenFOAM® for Windows XP, Vista and Seven (32 and 64bit), with some additional tweaks, executables and scripts, in order to maintain usability under a Windows environment. It provides a near Linux experience through MSys. It also includes the official Paraview 3.12.0, 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, MS-MPI and Open-MPI are the possible MPI packages used by blueCFD for running OpenFOAM with a multi-core and multi-machine environment in Windows. Paraview uses it's own Open-MPI build for parallel processing, but it can also read multi-processor runs with a single core.
Other Third Party software is and will be integrated as part of the blueCFD service and will be further described in the respective installation package.


Features of blueCFD 2.0-1:

  • OpenFOAM 2.0 is running on Windows XP/Vista/7, both 32 and 64bit versions. Almost all of the features listed on the release notes of OpenFOAM 2.0 are available (www.openfoam.com/features or see on your installation of blueCFD at Start-> Programs->blueCFD->Documentation->OpenFOAM 2.0 Release Notes).

  • Compiling solvers, utilities and libraries for OpenFOAM directly in Windows is now possible, although some modifications are required to the #include lines in the codes that are not provided in blueCFD. This new functionality also includes the #codeStream directive in OpenFOAM: www.openfoam.com/version2.0.0/runtime-control.php

  • The modified OpenFOAM code used in blueCFD is now available online at code.google.com/p/bluecfd-singlecore. A snapshot is also available in the DVD, referent to the binaries distributed in it. Compiling the OpenFOAM code should only be done in platforms with support for sensitive case file names, such as Linux or Cygwin 1.7 (and above). More specifically, this is a limitation only due to Windows not having a fully case sensitive file system by default. The modified code includes the modifications that allow building OpenFOAM 2.0 with gcc 4.4.x, 4.5.x or 4.6.x for mingw32, mingw-w32 and mingw-w64.

  • ccm26ToFoam is an optional utility in OpenFOAM for mesh conversion, which relies on a third-party library that can only be provided with the permission by cd-Adapco. It can be compiled directly on Windows or cross-compiled in Linux (or Cygwin). Nonetheless, it'll be up to the user to request permission from cd-Adapco.

  • The utility foamToTecplot360 is available for use, since Tecplot has released the TecIO library for free use, as long as it is not modified: www.tecplot.com/Downloads/TecIOLibrary.aspx

  • The only features currently unavailable are: fully case-sensitive file names; native compiling of all OpenFOAM libraries and applications on Windows; directly handling compressed files with the Scotch library, which is a feature not used by OpenFOAM.

  • 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 compact Qt help file, thus providing over 950MB of HTML files and images, in one single 410MB easy to use file, using Qt's Assistant application for the help. The original documentation for OpenFOAM is provided by the official online documentation at www.openfoam.com/docs/cpp.

  • Paraview 3.12.0 available in 32 and 64bit Windows versions provided with blueCFD is the official version from www.paraview.org. It includes the plugin vtkPOpenFOAMReader, a native FOAM file reader, which has proven so far to be more reliable (in most cases) than the original plug-in that comes with OpenFOAM. This version of ParaView for Windows comes by default built with Open-MPI and Python.

  • The OpenFOAM build provided with blueCFD was built with capabilities to work with the following MPI libraries (all optional):

    • MPICH2 1.4.1p1;

    • Open-MPI 1.5.3;

    • MS-MPI for 2008 R2.

  • 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. This also means that tutorials can be more easily executed by running the script Allrun on the available folders.

  • Batch files are also included, to provide a "Windows Command Line" environment to run OpenFOAM. In this particular environment, the OpenFOAM usability is a bit more limited, since the OpenFOAM scripts aren't usable on this environment by default. Nonetheless, if MSys is installed, then the OpenFOAM scripts can be still launched by running with the pre-prepended sh command.

  • Tutorials from OpenFOAM's 2.0.x git repository have been slightly tweaked for running in Windows.

  • The tutorial cases that need specific applications to be built are already available in blueCFD, but you can also rebuilding can be done directly, as long as the user installs the development package provided with blueCFD.

  • Additional Third Party applications are distributed with blueCFD in a separate installation package, namely in blueCFD ThirdParty 2.0-1.

Changes since the previous release

Changes since blueCFD 1.7-2:

  • OpenFOAM related executables no longer have a loading lag. This was done thanks to the mingw-w64 team and Symscape's efforts for Symscape's variant of OpenFOAM for Windows.

  • coalChemistryFoam and other chemistry solvers should now all work. There was a glitch in the random number generation class.

  • All binary executables and libraries have improved file information indicating OpenFOAM version and build.

  • Instead of only providing the patches occasionally, the service has been extended to provided git repositories for both our modifications to the OpenFOAM code and ThirdParty folder: http://code.google.com/p/bluecfd-singlecore/

  • Some broken tutorials that weren't identified in 1.7-2 are now working as intended. The respective list is available here.

  • Compiling independent solvers, utilities and libraries for OpenFOAM directly in Windows is now possible, including the #codeStream directive introduced in OpenFOAM 2.0. Nonetheless, the core code of OpenFOAM still has to be cross-compiled.

  • When running on the Windows Command Line, it now uses the long file names and allows spaces in file paths. This makes life easier for when using more than one machine in parallel.

Know limitations


  • 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, new solvers/applications, be aware of this restriction. See the chtMultiRegionFoam solver for more about the necessary modifications.

  • Tutorial cases inside heatTransfer\chtMultiRegion* provided with blueCFD work without any further changes. Note that every reference to the file "K" has been changed to "K_".

  • Running Open-MPI from MSys is currently off limits due to a bug with system resource sharing between Open-MPI and MSys. A script is provided for diverting the launch of the parallel run onto a Windows Command Line.

Non working functionalities:

  • wmake's helper binaries wmkdep* have some difficulties working in Windows. They aren't able to fully gather information about files in the hierarchy of dependencies. Nonetheless, the #codeStream/dynamicCode functionality is still operational.

  • Building the core OpenFOAM source code in a normal Windows installation is currently off limits. Nonetheless, we at blueCAPE know how to make it possible to do it, by either:

    • cross-compiling in Cygwin 1.7 (instructions available at this wiki page)

    • extending our current capability of compiling code that links with OpenFOAM.

  • If you wish to use foamToVTK with the original tutorial case motorBike, then please run the script fixForWindows before running the case, on MSys. This is has already been fixed in the version provided with blueCFD.

  • OpenFOAM's official plugins for ParaView. These are still off-limits because ParaView.org hasn't released the development builds for Windows for the ParaView version provided with blueCFD.

  • 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. Nonetheless, this feature in Scotch is not being used by OpenFOAM at this time.

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 are yet to be 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, the patches made available in the wiki page or the code provided at http://code.google.com/p/bluecfd-singlecore. It should run under Windows XP, Vista and 7, both 32 and 64bit versions. There might still be some undocumented issues with OpenFOAM 2.0 supplied with blueCFD.

System data

Since blueCFD 1.6-2 version, mingw32 was dropped. Nonetheless, if you need mingw32 - because mingw-w32 isn't working or it is a project restriction on your part - we can build OpenFOAM 2.0 with it and provide it to you upon request.

The versions of the software used to create this package:

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