FreeFOAM The Cross-Platform CFD Toolkit
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2017-10-31: FreeFOAM is Unmaintained!

FreeFOAM is no longer maintained. Consider using one of the officially maintained OpenFOAM versions instead.

2012-07-23: Release of version 0.1.2

Today the bug-fix release 0.1.2 for the FreeFOAM 0.1 series has been released. It can be downloaded from the downloads section. The most important changes with respect to the previous release are:

  • Fix installation directories for AsciiDoc, XHTML-UserGuide and template files

  • Remove unused files in nozzleFlow2D tutorial

  • Remove the non-redistributable applications, libraries and files

  • foamToFieldview9, ensightFoamReader, rabdata.[Ch], kiva3v-valves.*

  • Update docs, tutorials and completers after removal of non-free files

  • Doxygen generated file names breakage

2012-07-16: Release of version 0.1.1

Today the bug-fix release 0.1.1 for the FreeFOAM 0.1 series has been released. It can be downloaded from the downloads section. The most important changes with respect to the previous release are:

  • Markup fixes in the documentation

  • Improved installation instructions

  • Compatibility with newer and older versions of the AsciiDoc, Asymptote and Doxygen documentation tools

  • Spelling fixes

  • Better handling of truncated logs, optimizations and Python-3 compatibility in the freefoam-log tool

  • GCC-4.7 compatibility fixes

  • Removal of undistributable CHEMKIN files

2012-06-30: FreeFOAM in Debian GNU/Linux Sid

We are very proud that FreeFOAM-1.0 has been accepted into Debian unstable. More information about the package can be obtained from the QA page.

2012-02-28: Release of version 0.1.0

The developers of FreeFOAM are very pleased to announce the release of version 0.1.0. It can be downloaded from the downloads section. The most important changes with respect to OpenFOAM ® are as follows:

  • A CMake based build system with configurable installation directories has been implemented.

  • FreeFOAM applicatons (solvers, utilities and scripts) are run using the "freefoam" executable. The "Foam" suffix has been dropped from most executables, except where it indicates the OpenFOAM file format. E.g. running "freefoam ico" is equivalent to running "icoFoam" with OpenFOAM. This allows FreeFOAM to only install a single executable which must be on the system PATH.

  • All dependencies on environment variables of the installed product have been removed.

  • All scripts were ported to Python.

  • Man-pages from the header comments in the source code of the solvers and utilities are automatically extracted.

  • The tutorial-cases can be driven using CTest.

  • The OpenFOAM User Guide which is available online has been ported to AsciiDoc source and create XHTML and PDF documents from it.

  • Headers are installed into per-library directories. E.g. List.H is installed into OpenFOAM/List.H, fvCFD.H into finiteVolume/fvCFD.H.

  • Files/directories with ambiguous names (they distinguish only through capitalization) have been renamed.

  • B. Gschaider’s Mac OS X patches were applied to FreeFOAM.

  • The Pstream implementations where moved into loadable modules, allowing run-time selection of the communications library.

A more detailed list of changes can be found in the ChangeLog or the version control history (


FreeFOAM is a comprehensive C++ toolkit for the solution of partial differential equations in three dimensions. Its main application is in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), although it can also be used for other problems, as diverse as solid stress analysis or derivatives pricing in financial applications.

It consists of a large set of libraries which enable the user to write new solvers using very simple code which is very reminiscent of standard mathematical notation. Further, FreeFOAM is very extensible through user-provided libraries (a.k.a plugins), such that e.g. new boundary conditions or run-time diagnostic utilities can be implemented without any changes to the FreeFOAM code itself.

For many standard problems, ready-to-use solvers are included. Also a host of utility applications facilitates working with FreeFOAM.

FreeFOAM is able to run in parallel on high-performance clusters using message passing interface standard (MPI). The domain-decomposition is implemented into the core at a very low level, such that applications and libraries can be written without any special coding or knowledge.

FreeFOAM currently runs natively on any POSIX system, i.e. including current Linux and BSD distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, FreeBSD and Mac OS X ®.

About FreeFOAM

FreeFOAM is a fork of OpenFOAM®. It is geared towards freeing OpenFOAM from its system dependence, enabling it to run natively on as many operating systems as possible. In contrast to OpenFOAM, FreeFOAM does not require any special shell-initialization scripts and does not depend on a huge number of environment variables in order to run. Further, it doesn’t require a case-sensitive file system as OpenFOAM does.

To this end, the custom WMake build system used in OpenFOAM has been replaced by the excellent, cross-platform CMake, making it much easier to port FreeFOAM to new platforms.

FreeFOAM is maintained by Michael Wild and Gerber van der Graaf.


OpenFOAM and OpenCFD are registered trademarks of OpenCFD Ltd.
Ubuntu is a trademark of Canonical Ltd.
OpenSUSE is a trademark of Novell Inc.
FreeBSD is a trademark of the FreeBSD Foundation
Mac and Mac OS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries