Installation & License management

This document will walk you through the installation process of Aspherix® GUI and Solver on Microsoft Windows and Linux.

Prerequisites

Aspherix® Solver is supported for the following operating systems:

  • Windows: Windows 10

  • Linux: CentOS / Red Hat 7 or newer, Ubuntu 16.04 or newer, Suse Enterprise 12 or newer; Most other modern Linux systems with glibc version 2.12 or higher can be used as well, but without warranty.

Aspherix® GUI is supported for the following operating systems:

  • Windows: Windows 10

  • Linux: CentOS / Red Hat 7 or newer, Ubuntu 16.04 or newer, Suse Enterprise 12 or newer; Most other modern Linux systems with glibc version 2.17 or higher can be used as well, but without warranty.

Recommended minimal configurations: Dual or Quad Core processor, 4GB RAM, Video Card 512 MB, screen resolution 1280 x 720.

On Linux systems make sure that MPI is installed on the machine you want to run Aspherix® on. The installed version has to support MPI-3 standard (e.g., OpenMPI 1.8 or MPICH v3.0). Under Ubuntu, MPI can be installed by the following command:

sudo apt install openmpi-bin

On CentOS/Red Hat, the following command can be used:

sudo yum install openmpi

Note that both commands require administrator privileges.

On Windows systems, Microsoft MPI will be installed during the Aspherix® installation procedure. If a more recent version of Microsoft MPI is found during the installation, it will not be changed, older versions can be updated.

During the installation process on Windows also Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables are installed automatically. In case they have been installed before, please select the option “Repair”.

For using the API of Aspherix® Solver cmake is required (minial version: cmake 3.0).

The operating system has to be up to date and a 64 bit architecture is required.

When using an online license server, port 5053 and a second port, which is mentioned in the license file, needs to be open. When using an inhouse license server, two consecutive ports have to be open. The default ports are 5053 and 5054, but this changed by the IT (e.g., if another RLM inhouse license server already needs these ports).

Inhouse license servers cannot be run on virtual machines.

Screencasts

Screencasts for the installation and getting started can be found here:

Installation

The installation can be launched from a file browser or from a shell.

Note

Under Linux, it may be necessary to change the file permissions of the installer to make it executable. This can be achieved by the shell command chmod a+x path/to/installer/file

Under Windows, a security warning might pop up - click “run” to continue installation. This starting page is displayed, click “Next” to continue:

Installer front page

Next, you are asked to specify the installation folder for Aspherix®.

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Under Windows, a location in your user directory is proposed.

Under Linux, the installer proposes a destination in your home directory if started as user, and a location in /opt if started with root privileges.

After choosing a destination folder, the installer options dialogue appears.

_images/img3.png _images/installation_options.png

A license file is required to install Aspherix®, you should have received one. For demo versions, also a password is required. If you lack any of these, please contact your IT or mail to aspherix@dcs-computing.com. Next, choose if you wish to install Aspherix® for all users on the system (requires root privileges) just for this user, or (particularly interesting for the installation on clusters) “relative to installation”. For a system-wide installation it is recommended to check the “Link Aspherix into /usr” (Linux) or “Add binary to user PATH” (Windows) tickbox, so a system-wide symlink becomes available. When chosig the install-configuration “relative to installation” the user does not need access to any particular pathes as for example /etc, the configuration file is writte to the share/aspherix folder, relative to the local installation.

Note that the “Unpack documentation” checkbox only becomes available once you enter a valid license file.

Please do not uncheck the option “Unpack documentation”, otherwise it will not be automatically available after the installation.

_images/img5.png

Note

If you do not have a valid license file available during installation, or if the license cannot connect to the license server you can unpack the documentation any time running aspherix -gd from the command line.

Note

When chosing the bashrc-option in the Availability section under Linux a new entry is added to the bashrc file. When uninstalling Aspherix® at a later time the bashrc file is reset to its state before the Aspherix® installation. Changes that are made after this time might be lost!

If none of the options in the Availability section is selected in Linux, the following block of variables can be added to your bashrc in Linux:

export PATH=$PATH:INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/lib
export LIBRARY_PATH=$LIBRARY_PATH:INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/lib
export C_INCLUDE_PATH=$C_INCLUDE_PATH:INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/include/aspherix
export CXX_INCLUDE_PATH=$CXX_INCLUDE_PATH:INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/include/aspherix

where INSTALLATION_PATH has to be replaced by your installation path.

Both in Windows and Linux, Aspherix® Solver can be launched from within the installation folder (INSTALLATION_PATH/Aspherix-5.3/bin) at any time.

Next, you can choose which components to install. Please note that all components can be installed, but only those for which a valid license is found can be used. With a pure Aspherix® Solver / HPC license it is possible to install GUI and Calibration as well but neither of the components will be functional. The Windows installer offers the possibility to install Microsoft MPI, on Linux MPI must be installed by the user. Other offered third party components are ParaView and the ParaView macros. The latter can be used with the distributed ParaView or a custom ParaView installation (ParaView 5.8.0 or newer is required) and they help with the automated visulization of the simulation results (please see tutorials for postprocessing in Aspherix® Solver documentation).

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To continue with the installation, it is necessary to accept the Open Source License Agreement and the End User License Agreement:

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Under Windows, it is possible to create a start menu entry:

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Now, everything is set up, and the installation will be performed when clicking the “Install” button.

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Under Windows, it is possible that a firewall warning appears during the installation process. This is because Aspherix® establishes contact with the license server to check the validity of the provided license file.

_images/installer_windows_firewall.png

Under Windows Microsoft MPI is installed at that time as well. In case an older version is already installed, you will be asked to update to the delivered one, in case a later version is found an error message will pop up:

_images/img12.png

Now, the installation is complete, and Aspherix® is ready to go.

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Uninstallation

To uninstall Aspherix®, launch the Aspherix_InstallManager (Aspherix_InstallManager.exe on Windows) in the Aspherix® installation folder. The following window appears:

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Click “Uninstall” to perform the uninstallation.

Installation of Salome

Salome is open source software and can be used for the generation of CAD geometries and meshes for numerical simulations. It can be downloaded and used for free:

https://www.salome-platform.org/downloads/current-version

There are installers for Windows and many Linux distributions. For making Salome usable from within Aspherix® GUI please set the correct path in File/Options:

_images/options_salome.png

Automatic installation without GUI (Solver on Linux only)

Aspherix® solver can also be installed without the graphical user interface using the provided installation script. This is useful on systems where no desktop environment is installed (eg. clusters). To perform the installation in interactive mode, run

$ ./AspherixInstallScript_5.3.sh -i

Alternatively, the necessary information can be provided to the script using command line options. Run

$ ./AspherixInstallScript_5.3.sh -h

to see a list of available options.

Note

The Aspherix® solver installer needs to be in the same directory as the installation script

Note

you may have to modify the permissions of the file to make it executable. Run

chmod a+x AspherixInstallScript_5.3.sh

to do so

Upgrading to a newer version of Aspherix®

Currently only one version of Aspherix® can be installed on a system at once. If you want to upgrade to a newer version, please uninstall the old version (see section Uninstallation) and install the new version (see section Installation).

License management

Independently of the purchased number of coins Aspherix® can be installed on an arbitrary number of machines. The coins only restrict the number of parallel usages of the products. A continuous contact to a license server is required. The connection is checked every 100 seconds, and if 4 connection checks fail, Aspherix® shuts down automatically. Depending on the product you are using, the license server has to be reached via the internet or within your companies intranet:

Online license server

For running Aspherix® with an online license server, the user only requires a license file and in some cases a password.

The license server is hosted at an online server. For a successful connection both port 5053 and a second, server depended port have to be accessible at server ls61.rlmcloud.com (please have a look at the troubleshooting section regarding connectivity checks). A constant, stable internet connection is required througout the usage of any Aspherix® product. Short interruptions may be tolerated, but they must not exceed 180 seconds.

In-house license server

For running Aspherix® with an in-house license server, the user has to install a license server on a local machine which requires a setting and a license file. The license file also needs to be used when activating the local installations of the Aspherix® products within the network.

The in-house server needs to be hosted on a machine that is accessible by any device on which an installation of Aspherix® is installed. The connection to the license server has to be stable, and two consecutive ports (per default 5053 and 5054, but this can be changed by the IT in case they are already in use) have to be open. Short interruptions may be tolerated, but they must not exceed 180 seconds.

Troubleshooting

Testing connectivity to the license server

Aspherix® needs to be able to connect to the license server. To test connectivity, the following commands might be useful:

Linux:

ping my-server.address
nmap -sS my-server.address -p 5053
telnet my-server.address 5053

Windows Powershell:

ping my-server.address
Test-NetConnection my-server.address -Port 5053

The license server address can be found in the license file.

License activation fails

Problem description: The installation process starts normally but is interrupted by an error-message that reports an issue with the license (E.g., “License server does not support this product” or “Error during checkout of license”).

Cause: connection to the license server could not be established due to lacking internet connection or closed ports.

Measures:

  1. For online licenses:

    • Make sure that the computer is connected to the internet.

    • Check if the online license server can be reached through port 5053. Use the following command

      • on Windows: type

        Test-NetConnection ls61.rlmcloud.com -Port 5053
        

        in the PowerShell

      • on Linux: type either

        nmap -sS ls61.rlmcloud.com -p 5053
        

        or

        telnet ls61.rlmcloud.com 5053
        

        to a terminal, depending on the availability of the tools on your system.

  2. For inhouse-license servers:

    • Please contact your IT department and make sure that the required ports (per default 5053 and 5054, but this can be changed by the IT) are open.

    • For the network connectivity tests the name/address of the internal license server has to be used.

Installation error – Execution fails with aspherix -gd (on Windows)

Problem description: The installation process starts normally but is interrupted by an error message stating “Error during installation process (com.dcscomputing.aspherix): Execution failed (Unexpected exit code 1): “[some path]/aspherix.exe -gd”

Cause: the documentation could not be unpacked, Aspherix® Solver (and if included also Aspherix®GUI) were installed correctly.

Measures: please carry on with the installation process and once completed, open a PowerShell. Run aspherix with the flag -gd (e.g., by typing the command displayed between the two commas in the error message.

Installation error – Execution fails with msmpisetup.exe (on Windows)

Problem description: The installation process starts normally but is interrupted by an error message stating “Error during installation process (com.dcscomputing.aspherix): Execution failed (Unexpected exit code [some number]): “[some path]/msmpisetup.exe”

Cause: some anti-virus software tools block the execution of the Microsoft installer of MS MPI.

Measures: if possible, please switch off the anti-virus software, un- and re-install Aspherix®.

GUI starts but the simulation cannot be launched (Aspherix® GUI only)

Cause 1: Aspherix® GUI finds the license file correctly but Aspherix® Solver does not. Measures: Please open a terminal (Linux) or a PowerShell (Windows) and configure aspherix with the following command:

aspherix -configuration user -lp [path to the license file] -dp [demo password]

Please note that the option -dp is only required when using a demo version. Customers with the own online license server or inhouse server do not need it.

Cause 2: There are no Aspheri® Solver coins left because they are all currently in use. Measures: Please check if you or another user in your institution is running simulations. If the number of running processes is equal to the available number of Aspherix®Solver coins you will have to wait until coins are available. This case is indicated by a coin-checkout error message in the simulation log window.

Cause 3: The license for Aspherix® Solver is expired while the license for Aspherix®GUI is still valid. Measures: In this case please contact us (e.g., via aspherix@dcs-computing.com).

Paraview cannot be launched from within the GUI (Aspherix® GUI only) - 1

Problem description: The simulation could be launched successfully, and output data should have been written to the drive already. Nevertheless, the “Start Paraview” button in the visualiuation section remains inactive.

Cause: The path to the Paraview executable is unknown to Aspherix® GUI or Paraview has not been installed.

Measure: If paraview is installed on the machine, please open the Options dialogue (File/Options) and set the correct path. Once saved, the “Start Paraview” button will become active if simulation data is available. If paraview is not yet installed, please install it (this can also be done during the installation of Aspherix®).

Paraview cannot be launched from within the GUI (Aspherix® GUI only) - 2

Problem description: The simulation could be launched successfully, and output data should have been written to the drive already. The “Start Paraview” button in the visualiuation section is active but Paraview does not launch. (Mainly for Ubuntu 20.04, but can happen at other Linux OS as well).

Cause: libOpenGL.so(.0) is not available on the system.

Measure: Please go to the installation path of Paraview and check if it can launched via the terminal from there. If the library is missing, a correct error message will be displayed. Please install the missing library then.

Aspherix® GUI does not run stable in virtual machine (VM)

Problem description: Aspherix® GUI shuts down unexpectedly in VM.

Cause: The VM itself can trigger this behaviour when the option “Accelerate 3D Graphics” is activated.

Measure: Swtich off “Accelerate 3D Graphics” option in settings of VM.

Aspherix® does not find libmpi* (OpenSUSE)

Problem description: Aspherix® does not find libmpi* on OpenSUSE.

Cause: OpenMPI is not added to the path automatically when installed.

Measure: Add OpenMPI to path manually.