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 GPL3 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?

No, the free version available for download has been build with a minimum of prerequisites and covers around 90% of the functionalities. Remaining functions, useful for advanced users only (more interesting one is MPI parallelism for performance) are available on demand in a premium offer and supports everything on Windows.

We worked a lot the past years to fix minor issues in order to deliver a solver as consistent as possible in its stable version (currently 14.4). A small difference in performance can be observed compared to a native Linux, but the Windows version is not intentionally restricted. Furthermore, one can request anytime an update to the premium version, using MPI paradigm on Windows to benefit from modern CPUs parallelism.

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. Moreover, not all Salome-Meca modules are open-sources and therefore impossible to rebuild 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?

For v2019 and below: Code_Aster for Windows zip archive simply needs to be unzipped somewhere and it’s ready.
For v2021 and above: there is an msi installer.

You can follow the Code_Aster Windows installation tutorial for more information.

How to install Salome-Meca Windows?

Salome-Meca for Windows zip archive simply needs to be unzipped somewhere and it’s ready. The application is portable.
For v2021 and above: Salome-Meca does not contain solvers. You need to also install corresponding Code_Aster msi package.

You can follow the Salome Windows installation tutorial as well to get more details on how to install  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?

For v2021 and above: yes, you need to install corresponding Code_Aster msi package.
For v2019 and below: no, Salome-Meca Windows package already includes Code_Aster package. You can run Code_Aster using cmd prompt without opening Salome GUI. as_run is located at PRODUCTS\code_aster\bin\

Why are you providing the Code_Aster standalone package?

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. The Paraview with Med tutorial 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 Vega convertor 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”,
  • “the program can’t start because VCOMP140.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?

It is not mandatory to allow for this, when your system pops up some messages:

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

but some users have reported some strange behaviors while in use, and solved these issues by allowing all services to access network. Please note that Salome-Meca 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 (see below).

Spaces or special characters in computername

Same issues can happen if computername contains special characters.

Salome-Meca hangs and does not start

See above section spaces or special characters in the path & spaces or special characters in computername.

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

See above section spaces or special characters in the path & spaces or special characters in computername.

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

See above section spaces or special characters in the path & spaces or special characters in computername.

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 fix this issue.

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.

Antivirus problems

Salome-Meca uses CORBA and may try to open some ports at launch. Even if everything remains local, your antivirus may consider some services as threat, stop them or move them in quarantine. Some users reported difficulties with Avast but similar issues may appear with other brands. Instead of completely disable your protection, you can simply add a whitelist rule for salome service executables.

I still have issues with Code_Aster for Windows installation

If you did not find solutions and still have the Code_Aster Windows installation tutorial unsuccessful, you may consider to write either in the contact form or directly in the comment post. Please send us the message or log file and describe your problem as best as possible.

I still have issues with Salome for Windows installation

If you did not find solutions and still have the Salome Windows installation tutorial unsuccessful, you may first try to reproduce the issue with the official Salome for Windows and look for a solution in the Salome forum.

Salome for Windows works fine, but I still have issues with Salome-Meca for Windows

If the official Salome for Windows works properly in your system but Salome-Meca still have problems. You can follow the instructions below:

  • locate the file “set_env.bat” in the “WORK” folder,
  • right click on it and choose “modify” to open it,
  • add a line “set DEBUG=1” at the end of this file,
  • save and close,
  • restart salome.

More debug information should appear at the cmd prompt. You may consider to share these debug information with us, either in the contact form, or directly in the comment post.

Common issues

AsterStudy module does not start anymore, I got a message “Aster study module not found

It may be an issue with your Salome configuration. You can remove the “.config” folder in your home directory to reset your configuration. To do so, close Salome-Meca, open a cmd prompt and type:

rd %userprofile%\.config /s /q

and run Salome-Meca again.

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: 
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.

At the end of a run, AsterStudy failed to copy log files
File specified was not found

It is very likely related to write access permission. If you have Salome-Meca installed in root folder like C:\, try to reinstall in your home directory i.e below C:\Users\username\

Other AsterStudy issues

There are also AsterStudy known issues and a AsterStudy 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\14.4\lib\aster\code_aster\Cata\Commands\debut.py
  • For Salome_Meca : PRODUCTS\code_aster\14.4\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.

There are numerous incorrectly displayed characters in the “message” file, can I solve this?

The message file uses default OEM Windows encoding cp1252. A workaround to solve display issues is to also force cp1252 in the console. This can be changed in file “as_run.bat“:

  • For Code_Aster : install\bin\as_run.bat
  • For Salome_Meca : PRODUCTS\code_aster\bin\as_run.bat

Edit this file and add the following line at the beginning:

chcp 1252
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



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 “rn”. 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%

This issue is corrected in Salome-Meca 2019.

The refresh button in AsterStudy does not work during runtime

It is a known issue. The log and message files are only available at the end of the run and it is not possible to interactively follow the output. A workaround is to open the “fort.6” file located in the temporary Code_Aster run folder. This issue is corrected in Salome-Meca 2018.

Unable to save : permission denied

It is a known issue. HDF file is set to read-only on save. For HDF study files, deleting file or removing read-only mode should solve the issue. The issue can also append with temporary MED files created at study save. Removing loaded MED file from the study in SMESH module should solve this issue. This problem has been solved with a FIX in the hdf5 library for 2019 version. Read Errors on save paragraph for more details.


As a beginner, Code_Aster official website seems too technical for me, where should I start?

We have published Code_Aster Windows tutorials and Salome-Meca Windows tutorials to better accompany new users. You may also subscribe to follow us, and receive an alert for each interesting news.

Where can I find out more about Code_Aster and Salome_Meca?
Code_Aster for Windows

Code_Aster official website provides some Salome-Meca training presentations and Code_Aster user documentation (beware : machine translated from French language). You can also take a look at FEA for All very interesting blog. Finally, there are also interesting books dealing with Code_Aster:

Can I get help and support?

Code_Aster official forum is a valuable source of help, but a lot of questions remains unanswered. We offer larger Code_Aster and Salome-Meca support services. You may also consider to contact us for a simple question.

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

We can help you to find an alternative or a workaround. Please visit our products page for more information about the Code_Aster Windows development offer.

Do you provide an MPI version of Code_Aster for Windows?

Yes, we provide an MPI version. Please visit our products page for more information about the Code_Aster Windows premium offer.

Open-source development and code contribution
  • Source code changes to produce Code_Aster Windows binaries have been reuploaded at sourceforge Code_Aster Windows repository.
  • Vega convertor is completely open-source and the source code is available at github on Vega convertor repository .
  • For Salome-Meca Windows, all source-code modifications are inside the binary package and 100% reviewable.