Revision : $Id: README_aster.txt 3883 2009-05-20 12:25:25Z courtois $

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  • Licence

  • For really impatient !
    • note about gcc / gfortran
    • linux 64 bits
  • Distribution

  • Required products

  • Preferences

  • Full installation

  • Installation with products selection

  • Examples

  • If an error occurs...

  • Log output

  • Test your installation

For further informations visit Please report installation problems using Installation forum at

Read carefully this README or at least help message given by

python --help


Code_Aster is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The text is available at :

For really impatient

If you have a recent Linux distribution you may try direclty (just modify ASTER_ROOT in setup.cfg if you don't have write access to /opt/aster or use --aster_root option)

python install --aster_root=/opt/aster

Jump to FULL INSTALLATION step for more details.

  • Note about compilers !!! NEW !!! tries now to find automatically your compilers. By default it searches GNU compilers. After searching it writes found values. Check them before continue. You can always set them using the setup.cfg configuration file. You can also use PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to help to find the compiler you prefer.

  • Note about gcc / gfortran

    If your distribution comes with gfortran instead of g77 you should install g77 (only on 32 bits platforms). Performance is also about twice better with g77 than gfortran. So we recommend to use g77 on 32 bits platforms.

  • Note about Intel Compilers

    Its recommended to use Intel compilers for aster, mumps and metis and to let GNU compilers for the other products. To do that just edit setup.cfg and uncomment these lines

    PREFER_COMPILER_aster = 'Intel'

    You can "source" the compiler environment script,, and to set environment variables for Intel Compilers to help to find your compilers. For example

    source /opt/intel/cc/*/bin/
    source /opt/intel/fc/*/bin/
    source /opt/intel/mkl/*/tools/environment/
    python install


The package "aster-xxx.tar" contains (and others .py)     setup scripts
setup.cfg                     configuration file to adjust according to your configuration.
SRC/                          archives of Code_Aster and its prerequisites :
    Code_Aster 10.0.3,
    astk 1.7.4 (Code_Aster study manager),
    eficas 1.16.0 (Code_Aster commands file editor),
    med 2.3.5 (Data Exchange Model),
    hdf5 1.6.5 (platform independent file format),
    Numeric 24.2 (Python module for numerical computation),
    metis-edf 4.1 (reordering tools),
    homard 9.5 (refine/unrefine meshes),           [Linux 32/64]
    gmsh 2.2.6 (mesh generator, med support),      [Linux]
    gibi 2000 (mesh generator),                    [Linux]
    scotch 4.0 (partitioning tool),
    tcl 8.4.5 and tk 8.4.5 (X11 toolkit).

Important note :

homard, gmsh and gibi are provided here as precompiled for Linux. When installing this product on another platform type they must be disabled (see INSTALLATION WITH PRODUCTS SELECTION section). Binaries for some other platforms may be available from, or directly from their editor.

Note :

Numeric will be installed only if your Python distribution does not contained already this module. It is recommended to install the Numeric package of your Linux distribution.

Required products

All you need is a recent Python installation (>=2.4) with Python headers (provided in python-dev package or similar).

If you haven't write access into PYTHONHOME/lib/python2.x/site-packages to install python modules (see also 'FULL INSTALLATION' section), they will be installed en ASTER_ROOT/public/lib/python...

Note :
To use eficas Python must have been installed with Tkinter or Qt support. After installation, you will have eficasTk and eficasQt. Note that next release will only come with Qt interface.
Note :
tcl/tk are not installed by default if you don't have them you must install them (see setup.cfg).
Note :
Python shared libraries are sometimes required ("--enable-shared" option in configure of Python setup).


The setup will automatically search for basic components in standard directories (in this order)

/usr/local/bin, /usr/bin, /bin, /usr/X11R6/bin,
/usr/bin/X11 (Tru64 specific),
/usr/openwin/bin (Solaris specific).

(analog paths are used to search for libraries and includes)

You can set BINDIR (or LIBDIR, INCLUDEDIR) to force the script to search also in your own directories. Edit setup.cfg and for example

BINDIR=['/home/aster/public/bin', '/opt/bin']

Note :

Following common tools are automatically searched during the setup : shell interpreter (one choosen between bash, ksh or zsh), xterm, text editor (one choosen between nedit, gedit, kwrite, xemacs, emacs, xedit or vi).

Note for developpers :

You can install this Code_Aster version to make development and follow weekly updates. Just edit setup.cfg file and add a line as


Full installation

Using this mode you wish install all products included in the package (see EXAMPLES section if you need root access for installing python modules).

Note :
Read carefully setup.cfg comments to customize your installation.
  1. Complete setup.cfg file to adjust it regarding your configuration. Following parameters MUST be defined

    ASTER_ROOT           toplevel directory of Code_Aster installation,
    CC, F77 and LD       compilers and linker to build Code_Aster.

    (comments in setup.cfg give more details)

    Note :

    you can also use --aster_root=ASTER_ROOT option of to define ASTER_ROOT directory.

  2. Run setup script (with the right Python interpreter)

    python install [--aster_root=...]

    Built of Code_Aster takes about 20-30 min (two versions are built : with and without debugging informations).

    Note :

    python --help prints informations about available options and products selection.

Installation with products selection

You have two possibilities to select which products you will install : giving the list of products to install (see 1.) or specify the products you don't want to install (see 2.).
  1. You can give the name of the products to install : Example to install only Code_Aster

    python install aster

    IMPORTANT : python --help gives the list of products name and you MUST respect the order given by help to verify dependencies.

  2. You can disable a product installation by adding lines to setup.cfg (or another file using --cfg=FILE option) : Example to not install Numeric Python module

    _install_Numeric = False


1. First example

In this example Python (with Tkinter support to use eficas) and Tcl/Tk are already installed and you have sufficient permissions to write in Python subdirectory to install Numeric module.

Step 1 : disabling tcl/tk installation :

Edit setup.cfg file and add following lines (by default these lines are already present)

_install_tcl = False
_install_tk = False
Step 2 : setting tcl/tk prefix

If tcl/tk are installed in a standard directory (as /usr or /usr/local) you can jump to step 3

HOME_TCL_TK='prefix'  <<< replace prefix to reflect your
                          installation. Ex. /opt/aster/public

Step 3 : installation of all other products

python install

2. Second example

In this example Python and Tcl/Tk are already installed and owned by root and you want to install Code_Aster components using an ordinary user account (for example 'aster').

Step 1 : installation of Python Modules as root

su - root (+ password !)
python install Numeric
rm setup.cache                   (because 'aster' won't have enough permission)
Note :
Numeric will not be installed if it's already present.

Step 2 : disabling tcl, tk and Numeric installation :

Edit setup.cfg file and add following lines

_install_Numeric = False
_install_tcl = False
_install_tk = False
HOME_TCL_TK='prefix'  <<< replace prefix to reflect your installation. Example : /usr/local

Step 3 : installation of all other products (as aster)

python install

If an error occurs...

Two kinds of errors can occur : installation or built problem.
  1. Error during installation of a product (for example : the compilation of med failed). There isn't yet way to customize configuration or built of a product through setup.cfg option. So you have to configure, build and install the product by hand (source archive is in SRC directory), and set variables which are normally set by product setup by adding lines into setup.cfg file. It isn't always simple to know what variables must be set... so ask the forum on ! When the product is installed add a '_install_XXX=False' line to setup.cfg (see EXAMPLES section).

  2. If an error occurs during the built of Code_Aster both configuration and installation should have been well done.

    So you have probably to adjust config.txt file (under the version directory) to correct the error and to rerun the built using as_run.

    Rerun the built

      cd /opt/aster/STA10.0
      /opt/aster/ASTK/ASTK_SERV/bin/as_run --make

    (replace /opt/aster by ASTER_ROOT, the main directory you chose)

Log output

If an error occurs it's better to attach all the traceback if you ask any questions to Code_Aster forum. All output informations are saved into the 'setup.log.*' files.

Test your installation

Following steps suppose installation (python install...) ended with a correct diagnostic

  1. Run a simple test case

    • Change to your ASTER_ROOT directory and enter in ASTER_VERSION directory

      cd /opt/aster/STA10.0
    • Start the small example

      /opt/aster/ASTK/ASTK_SERV/bin/as_run forma01a.export
  2. Run a list of test cases

    • Change to your ASTER_ROOT directory and enter in ASTER_VERSION directory

      cd /opt/aster/STA10.0
    • Start the complete test suite

      /opt/aster/ASTK/ASTK_SERV/bin/as_run astout.export
    Note :

    By default astout.export runs about the all 2000 testcases (liste_internet list), but you can select the liste_etude list to run only about 30 tests.