Install OpenFOAM v2006 on CentOS

11 minute read

This article is a memorandum of the procedure when installing version v2006 of OpenFOAM, which is open source software for fluid analysis, on CentOS 6.x.

Download OpenFOAM

The OpenFOAM binary package and source code can be obtained from the following site.

The first site is by the ESI group. On the other hand, the second site is from the OpenFOAM Foundation. The version with the release date, that is, v2006 (released in June 2020), can be obtained from the former ESI site.

Installation type

You can download Windows, Mac, and Linux binaries from the ESI site. On Windows, you can also install using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It has been officially confirmed that it can be installed on Ubuntu 16.04LTS, CentOS 7.4, and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed on how to build from source. This article attempts to build OpenFOAM from source on CentOS 6.x.

Installation policy

  • OpenFOAM has compiler and library requirements, and the version installed on the system may be old. Instead of updating the compiler library installed on the system, we will build it separately in the third party directory of OpenFOAM to build the environment (do not pollute the original system environment).
  • In normal desktop PC installation, it is often installed in $ Home, but this time, assuming installation on a calculation server used by other users, install it under / opt.

Overview of installation procedure

  1. Download and install the required rpm package with administrator privileges.
  2. Download and unzip the source packages required for OpenFOAM main body and third-party builds.
  3. Edit the environment setting file and build script.
  4. Build a third party (tool, library).
  5. Build the main body of OpenFOAM.
  6. Verify the operation of the built OpenFOAM main unit (solver).
  7. Build ParaView for visualization.
  8. Confirm that pre-processing (mesh generation), calculation execution, and post-processing (visualization), which are a series of fluid analysis flows, can be performed.

The ParaView build in step 7 often fails, and if it doesn’t work, give up. ParaView can be installed separately on other than the CentOS server, so you can download the calculation data to your environment and visualize it.

Installation of required rpm packages

The required packages are as follows.

  • git, gcc-c++, bison, flex, m4, glibc-devel, glibc-devel.i686, zlib-devel

Install the above packages using yum with administrator privileges.

$ yum install gcc gcc-c++ bison flex m4 glibc-devel glibc-devel.i686 zlib-devel

Download and deploy OpenFOAM source package

The OpenFOAM package consists of two types: the main source code and a third-party package. Here, create a directory called / opt / OpenFOAM so that different versions can be managed, and download and extract it with wget under it.

$ mkdir /opt/OpenFOAM
$ cd /opt/OpenFOAM
$ wget
$ tar zxvf OpenFOAM-v2006.tgz
$ wget
$ tar zxvf ThirdParty-v2006.tgz

If you cannot download HTTPS due to authentication, add the option --no-check-certificate or .wgetrc settings. Please avoid it.

The structure of the directory and file after extracting each package is as follows.

  • OpenFOAM-v2006/
Allwmake         COPYING     bin  etc      src        wmake  META-INFO  applications  doc  modules  tutorials
  • ThirdParty-v2006/
ADIOS2-2.4.0     etc             makeKAHIP            makeParaView
Allclean         fftw-3.3.7      makeLLVM             makeParaView.example
Allwmake         kahip-2.12      makeMETIS            makeQt         makeAdios2      makeMGridGen         makeSCOTCH
CGAL-4.12.2      makeCCMIO       makeMPICH            makeVTK
COPYING          makeCGAL        makeMVAPICH          makeVTK.example
ParaView-v5.6.3  makeCmake       makeMesa             minCmake        makeFFTW        makeMesa.example     openmpi-4.0.3  makeGcc         makeOPENMPI          scotch_6.0.9
SOURCES.txt      makeGperftools  makeOPENMPI.example
boost_1_66_0     makeHYPRE       makePETSC

How to build OpenFOAM is described in OpenFOAM® Quick Build Guide, but expanded ʻOpenFOAM-v2006 Carefully read,, and in and ThirdParty-v2006, and check SOURCES.txt`.

Minimal system requirements

Requirements specified on the official website are as follows.

  • gcc: 4.8.5
  • cmake: 3.8 (required for building ParaView and CGAL)
  • boost: 1.48 (required to build CGAL)
  • fftw: 3.3.7 (required when using FFT related functions)
  • paraview: 5.5.2 (for visualization)
  • Qt: 5.9 (required for ParaView build)

The version of Qt that is originally included in CentOS is old, and you need a new version of Qt to use the latest version of ParaView.

Download and deploy the sources required for third-party packages

The compiler libraries required under the above ThirdPart-v2006 are as follows:
(There is a description of the download destination in

  • gcc-4.8.5, gmp-6.2.0, mpfr-4.0.2, mpc-1.1.0, openmpi-1.10.7(or openmpi-4.0.3), scotch_6.0.9, boost_1_66_0, CGAL-4.12.2, cmake-3.8.2, qt-5.6.3(or qt-5.9.3), fftw-3.3.7, libccmio-2.6.1

The compiler can be an intel compiler other than GCC. It’s okay if the GCC version is newer than 4.8.5, but you’ll need to change the settings that come up later.


$ cd ThirdParty-v2006
$ wget
$ tar zxvf gcc-4.8.5.tar.gz

** GNU library (gmp, mpfr, mpc) **

$ wget
$ tar Jxvf gmp-6.2.0.tar.xz
$ wget
$ tar Jxvf mpfr-4.0.2.tar.xz
$ wget
$ tar zxvf mpc-1.1.0.tar.gz


It’s already in a third party dictator.


It’s already in a third party dictator.


It’s already in a third party dictator.


It’s already in a third party dictator.


$ wget
$ tar zxvf cmake-3.8.2.tar.gz

Qt (qmake)

$ wget
$ tar xvf qt-everywhere-opensource-src-5.6.3.tar.xz


It’s already in a third party dictator.


Build only if you need the STAR-CCM + mesh converter. The download destination is different from before.

$ wget
$ tar zxvf libccmio-2.6.1.tar.gz

Edit config file / build script

OpenFOAM main unit environment settings

Edit the environment settings of OpenFOAM with an appropriate editor such as vi or ʻemacs. The shell is explained using bash`.

$ vi ../OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc

Modification place

# [WM_COMPILER_TYPE] - Compiler location:
# = system | ThirdParty
export WM_COMPILER_TYPE=ThirdParty

If you want to change the label size of the mesh from 32 bits to 64 bits, change it as follows.

# [WM_LABEL_SIZE] - Label size in bits:
# = 32 | 64
export WM_LABEL_SIZE=64
# [WM_MPLIB] - MPI implementation:
# Also possible to use INTELMPI-xyz etc and define your own wmake rule
# [projectDir] - directory containing this OpenFOAM version.
# \- When this file is located as $WM_PROJECT_DIR/etc/bashrc, the next lines
#    should work when sourced by BASH or ZSH shells. If this however fails,
#    set one of the fallback values to an appropriate path.
#    This can be removed if an absolute path is provided for WM_PROJECT_DIR
#    later on in this file
# --
[ -n "$projectDir" ] && projectDir="$(\cd $(dirname $projectDir)/.. && \pwd -L)" ||\
# projectDir="/usr/local/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-$WM_PROJECT_VERSION"

Regarding the specification of the compiler / GNU library, change the specification of the GNU library.

$ vi ../OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/


    # Default versions of GMP, MPFR, MPC - override as necessary

GCC build settings

$ vi makeGcc

** Confirmation point **
The following is just a confirmation.

[ "${WM_COMPILER#Gcc}" = "$WM_COMPILER" ] && WM_COMPILER=Gcc        # Force gcc
WM_COMPILER_TYPE=ThirdParty                # Ensure we get the correct settings

# Default GCC, mpfr, gmp and mpc versions from OpenFOAM etc/ file:
_foamConfig compiler


CGAL build settings

Check the CGAL build script in the same way as above.

$ vi makeCGAL

** Confirmation point **

# CGAL, boost and gmp/mpfr versions from OpenFOAM etc/ files.
# Get compiler first and let CGAL config override GMP and MPFR
_foamConfig compiler
_foamConfig CGAL


Check the CGAL settings on the OpenFOAM main unit.

vi ../OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/

** Confirmation point **


FFTW build settings

Check the FFTW build script.

vi makeFFTW

** Confirmation point **

# FFTW version from OpenFOAM etc/ file:
_foamConfig FFTW


Check the FFTW settings on the OpenFOAM main unit.

vi ../OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/

** Confirmation point **

export FFTW_ARCH_PATH=$WM_THIRD_PARTY_DIR/platforms/$WM_ARCH$WM_COMPILER/$fftw_version

Third party build

GCC build

First, load the OpenFOAM environment settings.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc

At this time, the following message is output, but since GCC has not been built yet, it is a natural error and the GCC build will proceed.

Warning in /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/
Cannot find 'Gcc' compiler installation

    Either install this compiler version, or use the system compiler by setting
    WM_COMPILER_TYPE to 'system' in $WM_PROJECT_DIR/etc/bashrc.
$ ./makeGcc

Reload the OpenFOAM environment settings to enable the built Gcc.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc

Build cmake

Build Cmake. You need to specify the version as an option.

./makeCmake cmake-3.8.2

Build a third party package

After building Cmake, build the rest of the packages with ʻAllwmake`. Load the OpenFOAM environment settings again before executing.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc 
$ ./Allwmake

I get the following error when building ADIOS2.

no patch found for ADIOS2-2.4.0
Using cmake=/usr/bin/cmake
CMake Error at CMakeLists.txt:6 (cmake_minimum_required):
  CMake 3.6 or higher is required.  You are running version 2.6.4

-- Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!
Error building: ADIOS2-2.4.0
    Optional component (ADIOS2) had build issues
    OpenFOAM will nonetheless remain largely functional

It seems that you are not using CMake built under a third party, so set PATH explicitly and rebuild ADIOS2.

$ ./makeAdios2 -cmake $WM_THIRD_PARTY_DIR/platforms/linux64Gcc/cmake-3.8.2/bin/

After the above third-party build is completed, check whether the conditions for building the OpenFOAM main body are met with the following command.

$ foamSystemCheck
System check: PASS
Can continue OpenFOAM installation.

When PASS is displayed, move on to the build of OpenFOAM itself.

Build the main body of OpenFOAM

Load the OpenFOAM environment settings again and then build. ʻThe Allwmake script is used, but the number of cpu for parallel compilation can be specified with the -j option, so set it according to the environment. You can also use the alias command foam to move to the OpenFOAM project directory (installation directory) $ WM_PROJECT_DIR`.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc
$ foam
$ ./Allwmake –j4

If an error occurs and it does not end normally, check the error message to see if there are any missing libraries.

Build verification of OpenFOAM main body

When the build of OpenFOAM itself is completed normally, read the environment settings again and execute the test program.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006j/etc/bashrc 
$ foamInstallationTest

It is OK if the confirmation result such as the library path is output and the following summary is output at the end.

Base configuration ok.
Critical systems ok.


If Japanese is included in the version output of gcc -v, the above foamInstallationTest will result in an error, so before that

export LANG=C

Please do not use Japanese as such.

ParaView build

Build Qt

Check how to specify the version package in makeQt.

$ more makeQt

** Confirmation point **

# Description
#     Build script for QT (the qt-everywhere-opensource-src package)
# ----------------------------------------------
# Run from third-party directory only
cd ${0%/*} && wmakeCheckPwd "$WM_THIRD_PARTY_DIR" 2>/dev/null || {
    echo "Error (${0##*/}) : not located in \$WM_THIRD_PARTY_DIR"
    echo "    Check your OpenFOAM environment and installation"
    exit 1
. etc/tools/ThirdPartyFunctions
. etc/tools/QtFunctions

In previous versions of OpenFOAM, the user could specify it in makeQt, but the setting cannot be changed here. For the time being, I will give you help for makeQt.

$ ./makeQt -h
usage: makeQt [OPTION] [qt-VERSION] [-- configure-options]
  -gcc              Force gcc/g++ instead of the values from $WM_CC, $WM_CXX

* build qt-everywhere-opensource-src, version undefined

It seems that you can specify the version and execute it, so let’s compile 5.9.3.

$ ./makeQt 5.6.3

It takes a little time to compile, and it fails with the following error.

/opt/OpenFOAM/ThirdParty-v2006/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-5.6.3/qtconnectivity/src/tools/sdpscanner/main.cpp:321:30: error: ‘htonl’ was not declared in this scope

If you search for the error message on Google, there is a workaround in stack overflow, so in the source as follows Make corrections.

$ vi qt-everwhere-opensource-src-5.6.3/qtconnectivity/src/tools/sdpscanner/main.cpp

** Additional part **

#include <arpa/inet.h>

If you compile it again and no error occurs, it is successful.

$ ./makeQt 5.6.3

ParaView build

Next, build ParaView.
Since the path of qmake (Qt) and Cmake is not set, specify it in the script option.
Also, execute it with the option of not using the functions of OpenGL library 2.x or higher (-no-gl2) (because the CentOS 6 driver does not support it).

$ ./makeParaView -no-gl2 -qmake platforms/linux64Gcc/qt-5.6.3/bin -cmake platforms/linux64Gcc/cmake-3.8.2/bin

The module paraview is created and the build is complete.

$ ls platforms/linux64Gcc/ParaView-5.6.0/bin/paraview

This completes the ParaView installation. In previous versions, it was necessary to build ParaView Reader to use the paraFoam command after this, but it seems that it is not necessary because the corresponding PVReader is not found.

Operation check of pre-processing, calculation execution, and post-processing in OpenFOAM

After all the above installation work is completed, the tutorial case pitzDaily will check whether OpenFOAM can normally perform the flow of fluid analysis, pre-processing (mesh creation), calculation execution, and post-processing (visualization). Check using.

$ . /opt/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2006/etc/bashrc
$ mkdir –p $FOAM_RUN
$ run
$ cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/incompressible/simpleFoam/pitzDaily ./
$ cd pitzDaily
$ blockMesh
$ simpleFoam
$ paraFoam

The meanings of the OpenFOAM commands that appear here are as follows.

  • run: Move to the user’s calculation execution directory $ FOAM_RUN.
  • blockMesh: Generate a basic mesh.
  • simpleFoam: Execution of the steady-state analysis solversimpleFoam for incompressible fluid calculation.
  • paraFoam: Converts the OpenFOAM calculation output to a format that can be read by ParaView, and starts ParaView to visualize it.

The operation check performed here does not confirm the parallel calculation. It is not easy to check the operation of all tutorial cases that perform parallel calculation because it takes a long time to calculate, but let’s execute pipeCyclic as a relatively light calculation (the number of parallels is 5 by default).

$ run
$ cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/incompressible/simpleFoam/pipeCyclic ./
$ cd pipeCyclic
$ ./Allrun

ʻAllrun is a script that automatically sets analysis conditions and executes calculations from mesh generation. If pitzDaily and pipeCyclic` can execute the calculation without error, the installation is completed successfully.