OpenFOAM is a free, open source CFD software package. OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics and electromagnetics.

Software Category: cae

For detailed information, visit the OpenFOAM website.

Available Versions

To find the available versions and learn how to load them, run:

module spider openfoam

The output of the command shows the available OpenFOAM module versions.

For detailed information about a particular OpenFOAM module, including how to load the module, run the module spider command with the module’s full version label. For example:

module spider openfoam/v1909
ModuleVersion Module Load Command
openfoamv1909 module load intel/18.0 intelmpi/18.0 openfoam/v1909


OpenFOAM is an open-source, free software package for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). It is powerful, and is an alternative to ANSYS Fluent, but it may have a steeper learning curve than Fluent’s. OpenFOAM does not provide a graphical user interface for setting up problems.


Tutorials are available online. OpenFOAM itself is distributed with a number of tutorials. To find them, run


Generally there are several tutorials for each topic. Once you have chosen one, you will need to copy all its files to one of your directories, since you cannot write into the general OpenFOAM directories; for example

mkdir foam_test
cd foam_test
cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/compressible/rhoSimpleFoam/aerofoilNACA0012

Documentation for the tutorials is available at the OpenFOAM site.

Parallel Processing

OpenFOAM has been compiled on Rivanna to run with MPI. Please see our SLURM documentation for information about running MPI programs.


OpenFOAM uses ParaView for visualization of results. You must use the version of Paraview that has been compiled to be compatible with OpenFOAM. It will be loaded automatically when you load the openfoam module. It is invoked through the paraFoam command. You must use our FastX Web access on Rivanna in order to run Paraview. To invoke paraFoam, start a terminal on the MATE desktop and run

vglrun -c proxy paraFoam