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Plasma fluid finite-difference simulation code in curvilinear coordinate systems
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|  |_)  | |  `--'  | |  `--'  |     |  |      |_|   |_|
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A modular fluid simulation code written in C++. Adapted from the original BOUT 3D 2-fluid simulation code. Aims to be able to solve a wide variety of fluid models in almost any curvilinear coordinate system.

Developed by B.Dudson (University of York) and M.Umansky (LLNL) based on the original BOUT code by X.Xu (LLNL) Further development by S.Farley (ANL) for coupling to PETSc and FACETS

Table of Contents

Usage and installation

Please see the users manual in the manual section

Overview of files

This directory contains

  • bin Files for setting the BOUT++ configuration

  • examples Example models and test codes

  • externalpackages External packages needed for installing BOUT++

  • include Header files used in BOUT++

  • manual Manuals and documentation (also doxygen documentation)

  • src The main code directory

  • CITATION Contains the paper citation for BOUT++

  • LICENSE GPL license


  • tools Tools for helping with analysis, mesh generation, and data managment

    • archiving Routines for managing input/output files e.g. compressing data, converting formats, and managing runs

    • cyl_and_helimak_grids IDL codes for generating cylindrical and helimak grids

    • eigensolver Matlab routines for solving eigenmodes

    • idllib Analysis codes in IDL. Add this to your IDL_PATH environment variable

    • line_tracing IDL routines for line tracing of field lines

    • line_tracing_v2 Newer version of the IDL routines for line tracing of field lines

    • mathematicalib Library for post processing using mathematica

    • matlablib Library for post processing using mathlab

    • numlib Numerical IDL routines

    • octave Routines for post processing using octave

    • plasmalib IDL routines for calculation of plasma parameters

    • pdb2idl Library to read Portable Data Binary (PDB) files into IDL

    • pylib Analysis codes in Python

      • boutdata Routines to simplify accessing BOUT++ output
      • boututils Some useful routines for accessing and plotting data
      • bout_runners A python wrapper to submit several runs at once (either on a normal computer, or through a PBS system)
      • post_bout Routines for post processing in BOUT++
    • slab IDL routine for grid generation of a slab

    • tokamak_grids Code to generate input grids for tokamak equilibria

      • gridgen Grid generator in IDL. Hypnotoad GUI for converting G-EQDSK files into a flux-aligned orthogonal grid.
      • elite Convert ELITE .eqin files into an intermediate binary file
      • gato Convert DSKGATO files into intermediate binary format
      • all Convert the intermediate binary file into BOUT++ input grid
      • coils Routines for calculating the field due to external RMP coils and adding to existing equilibria
      • cyclone Generate cyclone test cases (concentric circle "equilibrium" for local flux-surface calculations)
      • py_gridgen Translation" into python of the corresponding IDL routines in the folder gridgen
      • shifted_circle Produce shifted cirle equilibria input grids

Terms of use

BOUT++ is released under the LGPL, but since BOUT++ is a scientific code we also ask that you show professional courtesy when using this code:

  1. Since you are benefiting from work on BOUT++, we ask that you submit any improvements you make to the code to us by emailing Ben Dudson at
  2. If you use BOUT++ results in a paper or professional publication, we ask that you send your results to one of the BOUT++ authors first so that we can check them. It is understood that in most cases if one or more of the BOUT++ team are involved in preparing results then they should appear as co-authors.
  3. Publications or figures made with the BOUT++ code should acknowledge the BOUT++ code by citing B.Dudson et. al. Comp.Phys.Comm 2009 and/or other BOUT++ papers. See the file CITATION for details.


Copyright 2010 B.D.Dudson, S.Farley, M.V.Umansky, X.Q.Xu

BOUT++ is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

BOUT++ is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

A copy of the LGPL license is in LICENSE.LESSER. Since this is based on (and refers to) the GPL, this is included in LICENSE.