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4/1/2020 Getting started with CAELinux

Getting started with CAELinux 2018

J. Cugnoni,, 12.2018


1. Welcome & License terms

2. Introduction tutorial

3. Softwares included in CAELinux 2018

4. Installing & upgrading CAELinux

1. Welcome & License terms:

First of all, we would like to thank you for your interest in CAELinux which we hope will fulfill your needs in Computer Aided Engineering. This Linux
distribution is based on Ubuntu 16.04 64bit OS and includes an always increasing number of open source modeling, simulation & design software.
Most of the content (~95%) of CAELinux is provided under the well known “free” / open-source licenses GPL or LGPL (Gnu Public Licenses) which
allows you to freely use (private & commercial applications) and redistribute these software packages. But as it is nearly impossible to check the
licenses of all included packages and libraries, it is left to your responsibility to verify the licensing terms of the software that you are using. The
authors of the distribution are not responsible for these licensing aspects and this distribution and all the included softwares are provided without any
warranty. CAELinux is developed by passionate open-source loving engineers and scientists with the goal of popularizing the use of free / open-
source codes in basic and applied research.

2. Introduction and tutorials

The predefined login and passwords in CAELinux are:

Normal user account:

user: caelinux password: caelinux

Admin / Root user account :

in Ubuntu, there is no 'root' account, to run administrative tasks, just use the "sudo" command and enter your own user password to validate

For a very quick introduction to CAELinux capabilities, you should follow the Installation instructions and the first Videos Tutorials.

Ubuntu Installation instructions :

As CAELinux is a customized Xubuntu 16.04 distribution, the installation instructions (and then administration) for Xubuntu/Ubuntu all apply to
For more instructions on how to install CAELinux on hard drive, please follow the Ubuntu instructions here:

Important Notes & recommendations:

Although all installation methods should work fine, if you master it, manual partitioning is usually recommended.

You will need at least 25Gb for root '/' partition but 40-70Gb is recommended.

A Swap partition of at least 2 to 8Gb is recommended

Video Tutorials

Linear static stress analysis of a piston (Salome_Meca / Code-Aster)

PDF tutorial (recommended): /opt/caelinux/docs/tutorials/piston/Piston_tutorial.pdf

Online video tutorial: (recent version of Salome)

Simple 3D fluid dynamics analysis of a Y-shaped pipe (Salome & OpenFOAM)

Files: /opt/caelinux/docs/tutorials/pipe/

Simple 3D fluid dynamics analysis of a Y-shaped pipe (Salome & Code-Saturne)

Files: /opt/caelinux/docs/tutorials/pipe/

Online tutorials and wiki wiki contains a large number of additionnal tutorials and documents to help you master all these simulation codes. Check out the
following pages for more information: 1/5
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3. Software included in CAELinux 2018

Here is a non exhaustive list of CAE software packages included in CAELinux as well as some key informations to get started. Some of the software
can be started from Desktop shortcuts or from the CAE start menu, but most of the console based tools will require that you use our special shell
called 'Command line tools' (in CAE start menu). 2/5
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Software Use How to start Documentation
3D CAD,Meshing - HTML doc accessible inside the applicat
Post Processing, SalomeMeca in Education menu /opt/SalomeMeca - Tutorials in /opt/caelinux/docs
Multiphysics FE analysis - many video tutorials on Youtube
Can be used from within
Salome_Meca (OpenMP/Intel OpenMP version: - documentation available from within Aste
compiler version) - English doc (automatic translations) are
online at
Code Aster v13.4 multiphysics FE analysis
or MPI version : - Tutorials in /opt/caelinux/docs and on the
with the Code-Aster wizard & - Many video tutorials on Youtube
the ASTK interface (MPI version)
use shortcut in CAELinux start - Documentation available from the interfa
Impact explicit FE dynamics /opt/Impact
menu - Examples in installation directory
use 'CAE terminal' from the - Examples & tutorials in /opt/openfoam4
Education start menu - Many tutorials on Youtube
v4.1.2 multipurpose CFD oriented
or use OpenFOAM Wizard or /opt/openfoam4 - Please note that other versions are also
HelyxOs GUI to setup your but this version was selected for its compa
Helyx OS GUI
simulation with Helyx OS GUI
- Documentation and Examples at
use the shortcut ElmerGUI from
Elmer FEM solver
multiphysics FE package Education menu or start /usr/bin
& ElmerGUI - CAELinux Wiki Tutorials :
'ElmerGUI' from CAE terminal
from CAE Terminal :
start 'ccx2.13' for Calculix solver
& 'cgx2.13' for pre-post GUI

pre-post & multiphysic FE - Examples & misc tools and Documentati
CalculiX 2.13 & solver, Abaqus-like Use CalculixLauncher from CalculixLauncher GUI
Education menu /opt/CLCX-
CalculiX Launcher syntax, - mesh converter from within Calculix Lau
0.32 standalone or used through using /opt/caelinux/ (from U
CLCX Launcher GUI Note: set variable INP)
number of CPU cores to use
multithreading, i.e export
from CAE Terminal in Education
menu use the command line
- Documentation in installation directory, u
utility 'code_saturne'
'code_saturne info --help' command to dis
Code-Saturne 5.0.4 3D CFD solver - tutorial in /opt/caelinux/docs
from the Education menu: 5.0.4
-Online tutorial :
use Code-Saturne wizard to
setup a study and run
Scriptable & general purpose use shortcut in Education menu
GMSH 3.0.6 geometry modelling, meshing /opt/gmsh - tutorials & demos on
and post processing or type 'gmsh' from CAE terminal
2D / 3D CFD solvers based
use from any terminal : Package from Gerris
Gerris flow solver on automatic octree mesh - examples & tests at http://gfs.sourceforg
gerris2D, gerris3D repository
- multibody dynamics
- comes with a Blender - Documentation & examples in installatio
use from 'MBDyn Terminal' :
MBDyn 1.7.3 interface /opt/mbdyn - use '' & 'EasyAnimm
start 'mbdyn'
- animation of results with visualization
MATLAB compatible from application menu, or type - Help available from within the octave she
Octave GUI System package
mathematical programming 'octave' in any console 'help' command
from application menu, or type - Help, examples, demos available from w
Scilab mathematical programming System package
'scilab' in any console Scilab GUI
from shortcuts on in application
Maple like symbolic - Help, examples, demos available from w
wxMaxima menu, or type 'wxmaxima' in any System package
computing environment wxMaxima GUI
from CAE softwares/Math start
Mathematical modelling &
R and RKWard menu System package - Help available from within the RKWard i
statistics (similar to S-Plus)
or from a console with 'rkward'
from CAELinux menu or
general purpose 3D
Paraview 3.10.2 /opt/paraview3102 - Basic help in OpenFOAM documentation
visualization software from 'OpenFOAM terminal':
start '' or 'paraFoam'
2D CAD programs:
CAD Applications:
SagCad & LibreCAD
from Application menu : in
LibreCAD, System packages Documentation available on the web
3D parametric CAD: graphics / education category.
SagCad Freecad (+embedded
CAM Applications: Pycam is a 2D/3D CNC From Application / Education or /opt/pycam Documention on respective websites
gcode generator from Graphics menu
PyCam , Camotics, DXF/SVG/STL files /opt/openscam
Dxf2Gcode, or from CAE terminal 3/5
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Inkscape Camotics is a CNC milling /opt/cam-tools
Gcodetools plugin, simulator for verification of the
GCAM, generated Gcode
FlatCAM, F-engrave GCAM is a 2.5D milling
Gcode generator

Dxf2code, Gcodetools, cadpy

are 2D milling / routing gcode
generators , also suitable for
PCD isolation milling.
3D printing:
Slic3r is a powerfull, open
From Education menu /opt/Slic3r Documentation on the web
source 3D printer slicer
- on the web
Tetgen 1.5 3D mesh generator from CAE terminal: run 'tetgen' /usr/bin - free for non commercial use, else reques
permission to the authors
ITK-Snap 1.6 3D biomedical image
From Education menu /opt/itksnap - on the web
custom JC version processing and segmentation
Scientific image processing &
ImageJ From Education menu System package - on the web
Aero foil /opt/Aero
From terminal
simulation: Airfoil & Propeler & Airplane
- in installation directories
javaprop, javafoil, simulation / optimization tools system package for
or Education menu
Several usefull tools, documents and examples are provided in /opt/caelinux directory:

- : GUI to create a Code-Aster FE analysis from template & Salome MED mesh

- GUI to create a Code-Saturne CFD analysis from a Salome MED mesh
other useful tools
- Unv2X, unv2abaqus, unv2gmsh...: a set of python scripts to facilitate mesh conversion from UNV (Salome for example) to other
like Calculix, Elmer or OpenFOAM.

- a python script to generate an Ensight .case file from an Ensight ouput directory generated by Code-Aster.

- /opt/caelinux/docs/tutorials contains some old tutorials on Salome & other tools

Due to space limitations, many interesting software could not be included. Here is a short list of suggested packages that you can
installation of CAELinux to hard disk:

Mathematical modeling: Sage (get DEB from, OpenModelica (install from Synaptics)

CAD: Dassault DraftSight (free, closed source 2D drafting, see

recommended Acoustics: Agros2D (from Synaptics, but need to force install manually), Acousto (see
software that could
Lattice-Botlzman: Palabos ( or OpenLB (
not be included on
the DVD Molecular dynamics/Ab-initio: Gromacs (from Synaptics), LAMMPS (, Amber (, NA
( , Quantum Espresso (, Plumed

Phase field simulation & CALPHAD : OpenPhase ( & OpenCALPHAD (

And many other FEM, CFD and experimental data & image processing tools ...

Installing & upgrading CAELinux

Thanks to the Ubuntu LiveCD installer, you can very quickly turn your Live CAELinux environment to a full featured hard disk install which will let you
customize and update your system as you may want.

We will not detail the installation steps here, but we highly recommend that you read the documentation on Ubuntu website
( . To install CAELinux 2018 on hard disk, you will need at least 25Gb of free space on an ext4 (or
other) partition and preferably 4Gb on a Linux Swap partition (use Ubuntu disk partitioning tool to resize or create your partitions & don't forget to
BACKUP your important data FIRST).

After installation, you will be able to customize your OS, install new packages & update your system (kernel, 3D drivers etc...) with the very efficient
Ubuntu administrative tools (in Settings Menu). From there, you will be able to configure all the aspects of the system and directly install & update
softwares from Internet with the Software program or Synaptics package manager.

In any case, you can safely update the system packages but do not attempt to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 as it will probably break several custom
compiled software. If you need more recent kernel or drivers, try installing ‘backported’ packages for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Hardware support: 3D Drivers

Ubuntu includes open source 3D drivers for most of the recent graphic cards and thus should give you a decent 3D acceleration “out of the box”.
However, for a better hardware support / performance, you may need to install specific "proprietary" drivers (hardware 3D acceleration, Wifi). Specific
proprietary drivers are not preinstalled but may be proposed by Ubuntu after installation: go to Settings->Additionnal Drivers to activate proprietary
drivers for your card. If Ubuntu does not offer you specific drivers, you may find a solution on forums and wiki.

If you encounter problems with the liveDVD, you can try the following: 4/5
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Boot in an alternate mode: in the boot menu of the liveDVD, choose one of the alternate mode like ForceVesa graphic mode for example. If
you don’t seem to get a display during boot, try to add the option ‘nomodeset’ at the end of the boot options (press E to edit the boot options)

If the system hangs during installation or during a normal use in LiveDVD mode, try to check your DVD on another computer, DVD media are
very sensitive and have a lot of incompatibility problems

If you experience any OS related problem, you will certainly find a solution on forums or wiki; remember that there are millions of
Ubuntu users over the world, and that the community is very active and responsive !!

If after installation, the system does not boot to CAElinux or you don’t see the Grub boot menu, try to switch to / from UEFI boot in your bios
options. It happens that some PC boot from DVD or USB without UEFI enabled but then use UEFI for normal boot. Such condition tend to
confuse the boot loader installation.

For any other question regarding CAELinux or one of the included software, you can visit our forums at

Supporting the development of CAELinux

CAELinux is a collection of a large number of Open Source programs, so first of all, we should all be very grateful to the many developers that have
spent a lot of their time in the development of these great software packages. CAELinux is developed by passionate developers without any external
financial support. If you like CAELinux, we really encourage you to support the development of both CAELinux and Ubuntu / Debian packages with a
donation (even small). For more information about donation to the CAELinux developers, just visit our website:

Additionally, the documentation / translation / tutorials are essential to help beginners in their learning process. If you feel like contributing to
CAELinux Documentation or if you are developing a small utility that would be useful to all of us, you should participate and share your experience in
the CAELinux Wiki at :

And remember, making Open Source software grow and improve is a dynamic process, where the most critical point is probably to create an active
community of users and developers: in this sense any question / interaction is vital to the development of open source codes!!

The CAELinux websites are here to create this common "share point" where developers & users can interact.
So if you like CAELinux, the most important contribution that you could bring is probably to keep its community alive by posting/answering questions
on the forums or the wiki, and by spreading the distribution among your friends and colleagues. 5/5