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For additional help or information about features of the SU2 code not explicitly provided in the User's Guide or Developer's Guide please check out the answers below. If you still need help, you can contact us here.

Can I use SU2 for my own research?

Absolutely! Our goal is to develop and maintain the premier code in the world for PDE analysis and design on unstructured meshes, and a strong user and developer base is vital to the continued growth and development of the SU2 platform. That is why we are freely releasing the suite to the general public under an open source license. Please give our code a try, send any feedback to the developers, and recommend it to your colleagues if you are impressed with the performance. Please read the license details here.

Where can I download SU2?

See the Download page to obtain either the source code or precompiled binary executables for select platforms. Note that SU2 is released under an open source license.

How do I contact the developers?

The developers can be contacted through the developer's mailing list. Send an email directly to the developer's list if you have any feedback, such as bug reports, feature requests, or problems with the code. Your useful questions may end up here in the FAQs section. Users are also encouraged to join the user's mailing list in order to receive important updates on new releases or bug fixes. Instructions for using both mailing lists are found on the Contact page.

How do I report a bug?

Send an email directly to the developer's mailing list address given on the Contact page.

What types of computational meshes does SU2 support?

SU2 supports both a native format (.su2) and the CGNS data standard (.cgns) for mesh input. CGNS support is currently limited to mesh input for serial simulations only, but both parallel capability and solution output will be added in the future. Please see the page on meshes for detailed descriptions of how to create and use these two formats with SU2. 

Which visualization packages can I use to view my solutions?

SU2 outputs solution files in either VTK format for viewing in ParaView or Tecplot format. More information on obtaining these two packages can be found on the installation page.

Where I can get the Metis partitioner?

The Metis partitioner can be found in Currently 4.0.3 is the version supported by the build script.

How do I generate some simple plots using ParaView?

Paraview is available for free download hereThe following tips are intended to be used in conjunction with the Quick Start Tutorial, so please follow the steps on that page to generate the necessary solutions for the tips provided below.

3D Contour Plots

After running the solutions in the Quick Start Tutorial, the files flow.vtk and adjoint.vtk should be located in your current working directory (note that although we solved a 2D problem these are treated as 3D because the z-coordinate is defined).

To plot the flow:

  1. Start Paraview.
  2. Open the file flow.vtk
  3. In the Object Inspector (bottom left of the screen) click Apply under the Properties tab.
  4. To fine-tune the picture:
    1. Zoom in using the mouse or with the Zoom to Box tool in the menu bar.
    2. Turn on the legend by clicking the icon on the menu bar named Toggle Color Legend Visibility .
    3. Change the color scheme by clicking the icon on the menu bar named Color Scale Editor. In the new window under the Color Scale tab click Choose Preset, and in the following window select Blue to Red Rainbow.
    4. Rescale the data range automatically using the Rescale to Data Range icon.
    5. Choose the variable to be plotted in the drop-down box just to the right of the Rescale icon. 


In this tutorial these include the files surface_flow.csv, history_flow.csv, surface_adjoint.csv and history_adjoint.csv.

To plot the surface flow:

  1. Start Paraview.
  2. Open the file surface_flow.csv
  3. In the Object Inspector click Apply under the Properties tab. A table will open in the main viewing window.
  4. Close the table by clicking the X on the top right of the viewing window, and in the Create View menu that opens select Line Chart View.
  5. In the Object Inspector, under the Display tab, enable Visible.
  6. To fine-tune the picture:
    1. In the Display tab:
      1. Under X Axis Data select Use Data Array and ensure it is using the x_coord
      2. Under Line Series deselect everything except Pressure_Coefficient, and click on the Legend Name to change this variable name to Cp
    2. Click the small Edit View Options icon that is on the left just above the line-chart to open the View Settings window:
      1. Change the Chart Title to 'Cp variation on the NACA0012 airfoil' with a font size of 18
      2. Turn off the Chart Legend

Where can I find the test case files?

The files required for the test cases detailed in the user tutorials are all included in the source code tar file on the Download page. More specifically, they can be found in the SU2/TestCases/ directory.

SU2 won't compile, what should I do?

Detailed information on compilation can be found on the installation page. Automated compilation with the script is recommended, if Python is available on your machine. If you are building individual SU2 components using the makefiles, do not forget to set the SU2_HOME environment variable (SU2_HOME=/path/to/SU2) in your shell. Also check that you have a working C++ compiler, and note that the GNU and Intel C++ compilers are currently the only tested compilers by the developers. If you continue having difficulty or receive repeated compiler errors, please contact the developers.

I am having trouble with the Python scripts, what can I do?

First, see the installation page and make sure that you have a working version of Python (Version 2.6 recommended) on your machine. In limited situations, the scripts may require external packages (namely NumPy and SciPy) which can also be freely obtained. If you are stuck, remember that the options for a specific script can be viewed by entering "python -h" at the command line in order to see the help menu. It is important to provide the Python scripts with the correct number of inputs with the correct syntax.

The SU2_CFD code compiles without problems, but the code doesn't work, what should I do?

This problem has been detected using MVAPICH2-1.7, icc, and Microsoft Visual Studio 8.0. In short, some pointers were assumed to be initialized to NULL, which is not required by the c++ standard. This oversight has been corrected. Please copy the following files config_structure.hpp, and option_structure.hpp to the Common/include/ folder, and solution_direct_mean.cpp to the SU2_CFD/src/ folder, and recompile the code. Or, simply download a "fresh" copy of the software to resolve the problem.

I am having trouble running SU2 with OpenMPI.

You may experience problems if your system had a version of OpenMPI already installed and you installed a new version without specifying a new directory.  You can first try (1) re-installing your MPI libraries to a fresh directory, (2) adding this directory to the beginning of your PATH environment variable, and (3) recompiling SU2.  If this does not work, then try (1) uninstalling and (carefully) deleting all files related to MPI, (2) re-installing one version, and (3) recompiling SU2.  Ubuntu users can install the libopenmpi-dev package using the synaptic package manager.  Note: at the moment, running SU2 built for parallel computation with one partition will throw MPI errors.  Build SU2 without the -p flag to run a one processor job

I am having trouble compiling SU2 with CGNS.  In particular, I see many errors while compiling geometry_structure.cpp.  What should I do?

You may not have the latest version of CGNS.  We strongly recommend obtaining CGNS version 3.1.3 and linking with the static CGNS library.  If you tried building and linking with an older version of CGNS, and then downloaded version 3.1.3, you should remove the old version of CGNS first, before trying to build and link the new version.  In addition, please compile the CGNS library in sequential (serial) mode and not parallel. Lastly, the CGNS library should be built without HDF5 support.

What is the convention for the freestream flow direction?

SU2 assumes a particular orientation for the computational mesh in 2-D or 3-D space. By convention, for zero angle of attack in a 2-D domain, the freestream is in the direction in the positive x-axis. By adjusting the angle of attack, users will control the component of freestream in the y-direction. For 3-D, the assumed freestream direction remains along the positive x-axis. However, the angle attack will control the flow direction in the x-z plane, while the sideslip angle will control the flow direction in the x-y plane.

How to install SU2 in the Windows operating system without using Cygwin? 

The following steps can be used to install the SU2 CFD tool in a Windows machine. First, download the gcc compiler for windows at the following website: Second, define the environment variable SU2_HOME at the beginning of your makefile that lives in the SU2_CFD directory (remember that the variable SU2_HOME should define the working directory, which is /SU2v1.0). Third and last, in the DOS terminal, go to the SU2_CFD directory and execute "make all" to get the executable files.


How to install SU2 on Ubuntu?

 When compiling SU2 using the  python script on Ubuntu, setting the option for operating system to -o rehat should work. You might need to install g++ in advance.

How do I run my simulation for a specific number of iterations?

Rather than use the RESIDUAL or CAUCHY options for reaching a certain level of convergence, users can input an integer number of iterations for the solver to perform in the EXT_ITER option in the config file. The simulation will terminate after reaching the specified iteration number.

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