Versions of Code-Aster and SalomeMeca

Every 6 months a new stable version and at the same time a new testing version of Code-Aster are released by the development team. The main version count (ciffer before the dot) of the stable and the testing version differ by 1. Example: in June 2016 the versions 12.6 (stable) and 13.2 (testing) were released.

The subversions are labeled by the ciffer after the dot. A testing version starts with ".0", develops over 2 years to subversion ".1", ".2", ".3" and is "stablilized" as a new stable version ".4". The stable version develops from ".4" to ".8" and is named "oldstable" when it reachs ".8".

During a half-year development cycle for the next subversions only bug fixes and corrections are done for the  stable version. For the testing also new features are implemented.

These Code-Aster versions can be downloaded from our download site or from the developer's site They are in source code. So you must have the knowledge to compile and install them.

Once per year (until 2015 every 6 months) EDF releases also a new version for download of SalomeMeca. SalomeMeca is already compiled and ready to be easily installed on nearly all Linux distributions. SalomeMeca comes always packaged with two Code-Aster versions: the actual stable and the actual testing (or stable and oldstable if the subversion numbers are .4 (new stable) and .8 (oldstable)).

Difference between Code-Aster and SalomeMeca

Code-Aster is the Finite-Element analysis developed by EDF. It contains also several useful auxiliary tools, for example:

  • gmsh, a very versatile scripable meshing and postprocessing tool
  • xmgrace, a graphics tool integrated in Code-Aster to create diagrams and curves
  • eficas, the editor for Code-Aster commands. Building up your command file with eficas you can't create wrong syntax.
  • Homard, EDF's very famous automatic mesh refinement tool

SalomeMeca is a more complete working environment. Additionally to Code-Aster it contains:

  • Two Code-Aster versions: the newest stable and the newest testing.
  • Salome as a Pre- and Postprocessing tool to create or import geometry, meshing and postprocessing. Salome is even more: It is a graphical interface for the administration of calculation cases. A calculation case can incorporate several analysis tools (example: Code-Aster for Structural and Code-Saturne for Fluid) in order to allow Fluid-Structure interaction or other multiphysics analysis.

How to install Code-Aster?

From easy to an increasing complexity there are several possibilities:

  1. If you are not confident to manage a Code-Aster installation then you can decide to install CAELinux, a dedicated Linux distribution for computer aided engineering. It comes with SalomeMeca already installed. New releases of CAELinux appear yearly or less so that you will generally not work with the most recent Code-Aster version. You can overcome this by installing a newer version of SalomeMeca or Code-Aster additionally, as pointed out next.
  2. Installation of SalomeMeca. This is the most straightforward way to get a complete working environment. The installation will need > 3 GB on your hard disk.
  3. Compiling and installation of Code-Aster. Needs much less space on your hard disk (< 1 GB). Attention must be payed to use suitable C- and Fortran-compilers in order to create a fast executable code. Compiling allows also to add debug symbols. This kind of installation is interesting for debugging purposes, if you want to be up-to-date with the newest versions, or if the solver runs on a central server and the users prepare their meshes and input files on their own workstations.
  4. Compiling and installation with MPI-parallelism. For computations on a cluster MPI must be additionally installed. Without MPI Code-Aster uses the less powerful OpenMP. The parallelism is then limited on the kernel of only one computer.

Of course we recommend the beginner to choose the 1st or 2nd kind of installation.