Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

 an open source Linux Live-CD for FEA with Code-Aster 

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Welcome to PCLinuxOsAster Homepage

What is PcLinuxOsAster
To facilitate the diffusion and learning of the "fabulous" open-source finite element software Code-Aster developped by EDF in France, I have decided to create an easy to use "zero-installation" distribution of Linux that includes on a single CD all the tools that you need to perform simple (and also not so simple...) FEA with Code-Aster.

The PcLinuxOsAster distribution is based on the Live-CD distro PcLinuxOs 9 (a fork of Mandrake) and so inherits a lot of very cool features from this distro. Here are some cool features of PcLinuxOsAster

- based on PcLinuxOS 9 and so on the well known Mandrake Linux distribution, which means very easy to use, excellent hardware detection and compatibility, simple to manage.
- PcLinuxOsAster can be used as a live-CD, so no HDD installation is required, but  if you are pleased with it, you can install it on your harddisk in just three simple steps (you can even resize your Windows partitions to easily setup a dual boot system).
- sofwares: kernel 2.6, KDE 3.4, OpenOffice 1.1, Firefox (with Java, Flash, RealMedia), Gimp , multimedia, communication and development tools (GCC, G77, LAPACK/BLAS, Python, Tcl/Tk, Perl).
- and more specifically: includes the latest Code-Aster v8.1 software with all the necessary tools to carry out a complete FEA: GMSH, GIBI, EFICAS, ASTK, METIS, HOMARD, STANLEY,... (allready configured for general use, with documentation).
- once installed on the harddisk it also allows you to develop code for Code-Aster as all the pre-requisite are included, as well as the source code and compilation scripts (all you need is to decompress an archive).

Download the CDRom image (ISO) (710 Mb):
PCLinuxOsAster is not developped anymore. Look at CAELinux for a similar LiveDVD project


Burning the ISO image:
Once you have downloaded the ISO file, you just need to burn the image on a classical CD-R/RW (700Mb media should be OK).
At the present time, there is just one difficulty: the ISO file is slightly larger than 700Mb (the official CD capacity). So, if you want to burn this image, you will need to enable "overburning" in your CD burning software:
for example, in K3B (Linux), you can find this option in "Settings->Configure K3b->Advanced" and in Nero (Windows/Linux) this option should be in File->Preferences->Expert Features->Enable Overburn (you may also want to set a limit to 84 minutes for this option).
If you are using another CD burning tool, try to search for "enable overburning the-name-of-your-CD-burning-tool" in Google.
To use over-burning, you need to choose the Disk-At-Once (DAO) writing method (also called DAO/96 in Nero 5) in your burning software.

Then, when the CD is burned, you just need to setup your bios options to boot from the CD...


1) boot on the CD-ROM, and then, at prompt, simply press enter (you can also add expert boot options by pressing F2)
2) when the system is loaded, you just need to login as root:
    user: root      password: root
3) finally you can run ASTK (shortcut on the desktop) or GMSH to begin your FEA with Code-Aster!!

This distribution is now fully functionnal and does not require any particular knowledge, but it is still at an early stage of development and as not been tested on a large number of computers. As I am not currently involved in the development of Code-Aster, I develop this distribution as a hobby during my week-ends and I cannot guaranty any support  on this distribution, but feel free to send me your questions/comments (or even thanks, it is always encouraging!!): Contact Me (joel.cugnoni@epfl.ch).

For further help, please refer to the PcLinuxOs website and to the official Code-Aster website.

I hope that you will all find this contribution usefull, and I wish you a nice "Asterization".

Joël Cugnoni

• 07/07/2005: The first version of PcLinuxOsAster is availabe (version 0.0.1) 
• 20/07/2005: a first homepage  is published at the URL: http://lmafsrv1.epfl.ch/jcugnoni/PcLinuxOsAster/
• 26/09/2005: GIBI2000 is not working in version 0.0.1 liveCD, but if you install PcLinuxOsAster on your hard disk, you can fix this problem by installing the latest version of GIBI for Linux Kernel 2.6.11 and above: http://www-cast3m.cea.fr.
•  27/11/2006: The development of PCLinuxOsAster is now stopped. To find a  similar Linux distribution with newer softwares and more functionnalities, you can visit the CAELinux project homepage at http://www.caelinux.com.

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1015 Lausanne, tél. +41 21 693 59 73, joel.cugnoni@epfl.ch
update: 20/07/2005