Beginners Resources

How to get started with Dune

You want to install and use Dune on your machine and are a complete novice? Then this is the right place to start!

We will give a short introduction to Dune and guide you through the installation process.

Dune is a software framework for the numerical solution of partial differential equations (PDEs) written in C++. This means that it provides a set of classes that help you to write your own PDE solver. It is not an application with a fancy graphical user interface that you can just run, type in your PDE and look at the result. Instead you write a C++ program that includes various pieces from the framework and glues them together to solve a particular PDE with a particular method. It is, however, quite flexible in letting you implement various different solution procedures.

There are a number of different ways how to install and use Dune on your computer (click on the links to follow the instructions):

  1. Follow the detailed instructions in Oliver Sander’s document on how to get started with Dune. This document describes installation from binary packages and installation from the source repository. It also describes how to solve a simple PDE with the Dune core modules.

  2. Installation of Dune 2.4 (including the grid howto) from binary packages on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. This is the most convenient way if you have such a system (or can set it up in a virtual machine) and do not want to modify the Dune sources (and submit the changes to the community).

  3. Installation from source via a shell script which is the proper way if binary packages are not available for your machine and/or you want to modify the Dune sources.

Instructions for installing dune-PDELab from script are available here.

Computer Requirements

It is important to note that installation of Dune requires a not too old computer system with a relatively recent operating system, either Linux or Apple MacOS. Windows is not officially supported. Installation on Windows has been managed by some but it is definitely not the subject of beginners resources!

If you are running Windows then probably the best approach is to set up a virtual machine using VirtualBox and install Linux in it, e.g. Ubuntu Linux.

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