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OpenFOAM is an open-source toolbox for computational fluid dynamics. OpenFOAM consists of generic tools to simulate complex physics for a variety of fields of interest, from fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics, electromagnetism and the pricing of financial options.

The core technology of OpenFOAM is a flexible set of modules written in C++. These are used to build solvers and utilities to perform pre-processing and post-processing tasks ranging from simple data manipulation to visualisation and mesh processing.

There are a number of different flavours of the OpenFOAM package with slightly different histories, and slightly different features. The two most common are distributed by and

Using OpenFOAM on ARCHER2

OpenFOAM is released under a GPL v3 license and is freely available to all users on ARCHER2.

auser@uan01:> module avail openfoam
--------------- /work/y07/shared/archer2-modules/modulefiles-cse ----------
openfoam/com/v2006  openfoam/org/v8.20200901  

Versions from are typically v8.0 etc and there is typically one release per year (in June; with a patch release in September). Versions from are e.g., v2006 (to be read as 2020 June) and there are typically two releases a year (one in June, and one in December).

To use OpenFOAM on ARCHER2 you should first load the OpenFOAM module, e.g.,:

user@uan01:> module -s restore PrgEnv-gnu
user@uan01:> module load openfoam/com/v2006

The module defines only the base installation directory via the environment variable FOAM_INSTALL_DIR. After loading the module you need to source the etc/bashrc file provided by OpenFOAM, e.g.,:

user@uan01:> source ${FOAM_INSTALL_DIR}/etc/bashrc

You should then be able to use OpenFOAM. The above commands will also need to be added to any job/batch submission scripts you want to use to run OpenFOAM. Note that all the centrally installed versions of OpenFOAM are compiled under PrgEnv-gnu.

Running parallel OpenFOAM jobs

While it is possible to run limited OpenFOAM pre-processing and post-processing activities on the front end, we request all significant work is submitted to the queue system. Please remember that the front end is a shared resource.

A typical SLURM job submission script for OpenFOAM is given here. This would request 4 nodes to run with 128 MPI tasks per node (a total of 512 MPI tasks). Each MPI task is allocated one core (--cpus-per-task=1).


#SBATCH --nodes=4
#SBATCH --tasks-per-node=128
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=1
#SBATCH --time=00:10:00

# Replace [budget code] below with your project code (e.g. t01)
#SBATCH --account=[budget code] 
#SBATCH --partition=standard
#SBATCH --qos=standard

# Setup the job environment (this module needs to be loaded before any other modules)
module load epcc-job-env

# Load the appropriate modules and source the OpenFOAM bashrc file
# The first line makes PrgEnv-gnu available on the back end nodes.

module -s restore /etc/cray-pe.d/PrgEnv-gnu
module load openfoam/org/v8.20200901

source ${FOAM_INSTALL_DIR}/etc/bashrc

# Run OpenFOAM work

srun --distribution=block:block --hint=nomultithread interFoam -parallel

Compiling OpenFOAM

If you want to compile your own version of OpenFOAM, instructions are available for ARCHER2 at