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Elmer Debian Package By Adam C. Powell, IV Last updated July 2, 2010 Welcome to the wonderful Elmer finite element analysis package, a very capable yet compact and efficient suite for performing a broad array of finite element analysis tasks. DOCUMENTATION The Elmer website at http://www.csc.fi/elmer/ includes several excellent PDF manuals on various aspects of the Elmer suite, as well as example input files distributed with the ElmerGrid and Tutorial manuals. Unfortunately, due to unclear copyrights and lack of "source", Debian cannot distribute those files. RUNNING ELMER The easiest way to run Elmer is via the ElmerGUI menu entry. If you try to run ElmerGUI from the command line, please examine the files describing the menu entries which are at: - /usr/share/applications/ElmerGUI.desktop - /usr/share/applications/ElmerGUIlogger.desktop Those files give the full command line required to run ElmerGUI, including several environment variables. After running the solver under ElmerGUI, instead of the standard postprocessor, please consider using the much more capable VTK postprocessor under the Run menu. Both the standard postprocessor and the ElmerFront front end are deprecated and not encouraged for general use. PARALLEL OPERATION Elmer parallelizes efficiently to thousands of cores by means of domain decomposition. Doing this requires either running ElmerSolver by hand preceded with "mpirun -np #" where # is the number of processes, or using the Parallel settings dialog in ElmerGUI. Note that this package omits the non-free METIS package, linking instead with the Scotch parallel library's METIS-compatible interface. Unfortunately, Scotch does not implement the full METIS interface, so it is not possible to use the partitioning by elements, i.e. the standard domain decomposition option in the Parallel Settings dialog. There are two workarounds to this problem: 1. Use the space and the number 2 at the end of the Divide: command in the Parallel settings dialog (unique to the Debian package), i.e: ElmerGrid 2 2 %msh -metis %n 2 This tells ElmerGrid to use node-based partitioning instead of element-based partitioning, which is well supported by the METIS interface to Scotch. 2. In the Divide: command, Change "-metis %n 2" to "-partition #1 #2 #3" where #1, #2 and #3 are the number of partitions to make in the x, y and z directions. For example, to run with 12 processes, one can do "-partition 2 2 3" which splits the mesh in two pieces in the x direction, splits each of those in two pieces in the y direction, and splits each of those four into three in the z direction. Note that the geometric partitioner enabled by this option is not as efficient as the Scotch partitioner of option 1. EXTENDING ELMERGUI To avoid excessive menu crowding, ElmerGUI only enables a subset of its available models, i.e. equations it can solve. There are eight other models available, which you can enable (as root or sudo) by using debconf e.g.: * In Synaptic, select the "elmer" package and do Package -> Configure * At the command line, do: dpkg-reconfigure elmer