FAQ

About Code_Aster Windows

What is Code_Aster Windows?

Code_Aster Windows is a port of Code_Aster FEA solver originally developed by EDF for Linux and distributed under Gnu GPL2 license. This license allows to adapt the open-source code in order to produce and distribute Windows versions here.

Are there any limitations compared to the official Code_Aster versions?

Code_Aster for Windows has been build with a minimum of prerequisites (hdf5, med, metis, scotch and mumps) and does not support everything (homard, petsc, mfront, …). However, as reported by the QA test database, around 90% of the functionalities are covered, and considering that the remaining 10% are useful for advanced users only, this version should be suitable for the average user.

We worked a lot the past year to fix minor issues in order to deliver a solver as consistent as possible in its stable version (currently 13.4). Considering performances, a drop may appear compared to a native use on Linux.

What is Salome-Meca Windows?

Salome-Meca Windows  aims to provide an alternative to the official Salome-Meca binary package distributed by EDF, only available on Linux.

Salome-Meca Windows is a binary package that includes Code_Aster Windows product described above and the AsterStudy module, the new Code_Aster graphical interface officially released in September 2017.

Why not every module is present in Salome-Meca Windows?

EDF adds a lot of useful business products and modules into Salome-Meca that are not present in the original Salome platform. Unfortunately,  the build process used by EDF is very different compared to the original one and will be extremely hard to port on Windows. Also, among all these products and modules added by EDF, mostly Code_Aster and today AsterStudy, generate high added value and interest. Then, Salome-Meca is simply the same Windows binary package already provided by Open Cascade and distributed under Gnu LGPL2.1, enriched with Code_Aster and AsterStudy. The package is adapted accordingly and contains also some modifications in libraries and configuration files.

Installation issues

How to install Code_Aster Windows?

The archive Code_Aster for Windows provided in our download page simply needs to be unzipped somewhere and it’s ready. There is no setup or wizard because the application has been made as portable as possible. This post gives more details on how to install and how to verify that your installation is working. More advanced tips can be found in the README.txt file inside the archive.

How to install Salome-Meca Windows?

The archive Salome-Meca for Windows provided in our  download page simply needs to be unzipped somewhere and it’s ready. There is no setup or wizard, and the installation procedure explained on this post for Salome can be followed for Salome_Meca Windows. More advanced tips can be found in the README.txt file inside the archive.

Do I need to download both Code_Aster and Salome-Meca Windows package?

Salome-Meca Windows package already includes Code_Aster package. It is not necessary to download Code_Aster Windows package if you already got Salome-Meca. If you like to use Code_Aster using cmd prompt, there is no need to open Salome. Simply navigate into the Product\code_aster subdirectory to use as_run. For example to run a simple test :

cd c:\SM-2017-w64-1.0\PRODUCTS\code_aster
bin\as_run --test forma01a

Why are you providing the Code_Aster standalone package then?

It is much lighter to download Code_Aster Windows standalone package for people interested by the solver only. Some people may be interested by the solver only because they want to use an alternative prepost tool, or simply because they need to integrate Code_Aster Windows in a toolchain that does not involve a graphical interface. There are a lot of combination and possibilities.

What are the best pre-post-processing alternatives for Code_Aster apart from Salome-Meca?

  1. Gmsh, an open source prepost distributed under Gnu GPL2 license. Gmsh is both able to create a med mesh file for Code_Aster input and to visualize a med result file produced by Code_Aster. They provide a binary package for Windows.
  2. Paraview, an open source visualization software distributed under BSD license. The version for Windows available in our download page includes med support. This post explains how to use it as an alternative to Paravis Salome module.
  3. Notepad++, an open source text editor for Windows, distributed under GPL license. Notepad++ can be used for editing Code_Aster inputs and visualize output text files. Notepad++ can also be used as an alternative to notepad in AsterStudy external editor.
  4. Salome platform, the package originaly used to provide Salome-Meca for Windows.
  5. Certain commercial softwares that are able to generate Nastran input files. Conversion to Code_Aster input files can be automated using Vegaw available in our download page.

I got a side by side error or a missing dll error, what can I do?

If an error like this appears the first time you try to run Code_Aster or Salome-Meca :

  • “the application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect.”
  • “the program can’t start because VCOMP100.DLL is missing from your computer”,

you probably need to install MSVC++ redistributable packages :

Salome_Meca needs both of these runtime package to be able to run Code_Aster from AsterStudy module.

Should I allow access to network when Salome-Meca asks?

No, it is not mandatory to allow for this. When your system pop ups some messages :

  • “Windows firewall has blocked some features of this program”.

you can click on “cancel” button. Every services only need local access to your machine.

Do I need administrator privileges to install Code_Aster or Salome-Meca?

Admin access is only useful if one of the required MSVC++ redistributable packages needs to be installed.

Spaces or special characters in the path

Salome is not designed to function with some special characters in the path. You should try to avoid for example symbols like ^ $ [  * + ? |  ) é ä in your path. Try also to avoid using space ” ” by replacing them by underscores “_”. Space or special characters in your path is hazardous and can lead to different kind of errors:

Salome-Meca hangs and does not start

See above section spaces or special characters in the path.

Opening AsterStudy crashes Salome-Meca with an error “Salome_Session_Server.exe stopped working

This happens on Windows 10 with a python installation “for everyone”. A side effect appears for Salome executables linked to python27.dll. A workaround is to put the right python27.dll beside the executables. Coping “PRODUCTS\python-2.7.10\python27.dll” into “MODULES\exe\” should fit this issue.

AsterStudy module does not start “Failed to activate module AsterStudy”

See above section spaces or special characters in the path.

Copy errors, save error, access denied and so on …

See above section spaces or special characters in the path.

How to uninstall Code_Aster or Salome-Meca Windows?

To uninstall, simply remove the unzipped directory containing Code_Aster or Salome-Meca from your computer.

Common issues

When editing a command in AsterStudy, I got an “Invalid input” error

If this message appear when your data seems to be correct, you can answer “yes” to the question “Do you want to save the change anyway“. Some values will appear in red in the “Data Setting” tree panel, showing the potential incorrect syntax. In any case Code_Aster will double check the command file during it’s run. It is very likely that in your case Code_Aster will end well while AsterStudy showed this incorrect syntax.

At the end of a run, AsterStudy failed to copy the result file

ERROR: Copy failed: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: 
u'C:/...\\RunCase_1\\Result-Stage_1\\result.rmed'
1 result file(s) has(have) not been copied to their destination.
Following stages will probably fail.
Stage "RunCase_1:Stage_1" calculation failed. Interruption

It is very likely that there was a problem during the execution of Code_Aster and the result file was simply not created by the solver. You may look at the “message” file to get more information about the potential error.

This happen when Code_Aster handle an error without abnormal crash from the “OS point of view”, but an internal error was catch from the “Solver point of view”. Unfortunately it is complicated to get an info of this internal error from the return code on Windows. With no handled errors, AsterStudy carries on the job but fails to retrieve non-existent results.

Other AsterStudy issues

There are also known issues and a FAQ from the official AsterStudy project.

Code_Aster uses French in the “message” file, can I change this?

Yes, depending to your OS configuration, default language may not be recognized by Code_Aster Windows. Some information may appear in French which is problematic for non-French speakers. A workaround to this is to change the Code_Aster cata command file “debut.py” :

  • For Code_Aster : install\13.4\lib\aster\code_aster\Cata\Commands\debut.py
  • For Salome_Meca :  PRODUCTS\code_aster\13.4\lib\aster\code_aster\Cata\Commands\debut.py

Edit this file and locate the line :

LANG = SIMP(statut='f', typ='TXM',

and add “defaut=’EN’,” at the end of this line :

LANG = SIMP(statut='f', typ='TXM', defaut='EN',

Message file should now be in English.

I try to run Code_Aster Windows with cmd prompt and I get an error “file not found : config.txt

as_run mytest.export
...
_FILE_NOT_FOUND file not found : config.txt
...
as_run 1.13.10

------------------------------------------------------------
--- DIAGNOSTIC JOB : _FILE_NOT_FOUND
------------------------------------------------------------

EXIT_CODE=4

Please first double check your export file, this post explains how to create a basic export file. If you still notice any strange behavior, it may be an issue with new-lines. There are different kind of new line. For example LF that correspond to “\n” or CR+LF that correspond to “\r\n”. Make sure to not mix up different kind of new-lines unless the export file parser may drop some important lines in your file.

Why is Salome-Meca filling up my hard drive?

Salome_Meca launcher, used to execute a Code_Aster run, does not cleanup things correctly and leaves some scratch files in your temporary %temp% directory, even if Code_Aster ends successfully. To cleanup, open a cmd prompt and type:

rd %temp% /s /q
md %temp%

Miscellaneous

Salome-Meca from EDF contains a tool or product that I would like to have on Windows

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a special need. We can help you to find an alternative or a workaround.

Do you provide an MPI version of Code_Aster for Windows?

We can produce an MPI version, please contact us for more informations

Development and source code

  • Code_Aster Windows code  is on bitbucket
  • Vega convertor code is on github
  • For Salome-Meca Windows, all the modified code is available inside the binary package