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The OpenFOAM (Open Field Operation and Manipulation) is an open source CFD toolbox produced by OpenCFD Ltd from UK. It can simulate anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics, electromagnetics and the pricing of financial options.

The core technology of OpenFOAM is a flexible set of efficient C++ modules. These are used to build a wealth of: solvers, to simulate specific problems in engineering mechanics; utilities, to perform pre- and post-processing tasks ranging from simple data manipulations to visualisation and mesh processing; libraries, to create toolboxes that are accessible to the solvers/utilities, such as libraries of physical models.

An extensive set of OpenFOAM solvers has evolved (and is forever growing) that are available to users. Below is the list of solvers available:

  • Basic CFD
  • Incompressible, compressible, and multiphase flows
  • Direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large eddy simulation (LES)
  • Combustion
  • Heat transfer and buoyancy-driven flows
  • Particle-tracking flows
  • Molecular dynamics methods
  • Electromagnetics
  • Stress analysis of solids
  • Finance

OpenCFD develops OpenFOAM in the Linux/UNIX operating system because they believe it is the best platform for this kind of high end simulation code development and operation. However OpenFOAM is open source software so people can freely compile it on any operating system they choose. Most users are running Linux, so officially it is offered the download of binaries for selected Linux systems (32/64bits).

If you are a Windows user and you have never used Linux before I have a personal tip. You should test OpenFOAM by means of a Linux LiveDVD. A liveDVD is DVD containing a bootable computer operating system. Specifically there is a special distribution of Linux dedicated to computer aided engineering: CAELinux. So that you can download the image file (.ISO) of last release to your system (32/64bits) and burn it in a DVD. After you must boot your computer starting from the DVD rather than from the hard drive. CAELinux comes with OpenFOAM installed by default (see Features section). Once liveDVD has many video tutorials to instruction it becomes easy getting start OpenFOAM.

Project website:



ParaView interface

Video sample:

  • High Reynolds number flow over circular cylinder

  • Slosh6DOF: OpenFoam-1.5 tutorial

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  • Admin posted: Aug 21 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Searching for details in I’ve found a release for MS Windows so I updated the post. However, it’s worth remembering that OpenFOAM was developed to Linux/UNIX systems and Win release couldn’t have the best performance.

  • Vinay posted: Aug 21 2009 at 11:54 pm

    unable to get the link to dwnload OpenFOAM…pls help

  • Admin posted: Aug 22 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Go to, select your platform (32 or 64 bits), download all .GTGZ packages. Installation instrutions you’ll find at README file.

    Go to and download/install the package OpenFOAM-1.5.00b-wininst.exe.

  • Admin posted: Aug 22 2009 at 12:16 pm

    What’s version that you’re trying to download? Linux or Windows?

  • Cantera | ChENGINEER SPACE posted: Aug 10 2011 at 11:31 pm

    […] of source terms for CFD sim­u­la­tions, for instead, in alter­nateRe­act­ing­Foam solver for Open­FOAM. There is not an offi­cial man­ual but old ref­er­ence files avail­able here and online […]