Installation of Dune/PDELab (with tutorial) from Source on a Debian-based Linux System for Beginners

Here we demonstrate how to install the current stable release 2.4 of DUNE, PDELab and the PDELab tutorial from source on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. This is the way to go if you want to have access to all of Dune’s source files (e.g. because you want to inspect or modify them) and to have more control over the build process (e.g. change compiler flags or enable/disable certain libraries). Consequently this way of installation is more complex than installation from binary packages. We will simplify life by providing shell scripts that do all the work.

This installation includes the module dune-pdelab-tutorial providing a tutorial for PDELab. Click here for an overview of the tutorial.

We assume that you are running a freshly installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with no additional packages installed yet. In order to install and run Dune you first need to install the following packages (for this to work you need sudo rights):

sudo apt install git
sudo apt install cmake
sudo apt install mpich mpich-doc libmpich-dev
sudo apt install libsuitesparse-dev
sudo apt install libgmp-dev
sudo apt install zlib1g zlib1g-dev
sudo apt install texlive
sudo apt install texlive-science
sudo apt install texlive-latex-extra
sudo apt install texlive-bibtex-extra
sudo apt install texlive-math-extra
sudo apt install texlive-fonts-extra
sudo apt install paraview
sudo apt install gmsh

In order to create a Dune source installation the following steps are necessary:

  1. Download and install any necessary external libraries such as UG, HDF5 or FFTW
  2. Download all dune modules from Dune’s git server
  3. Create an appropriate opts-file giving compiler name, compiler options, location of the installed external libraries, etc.
  4. Run Dune’s build system in all the modules using dunecontrol.

In order to automate these steps we provide installer scripts. Just check out the following repository

git clone

run the installer:

./dune-installer/pdelab-2.7.1/ my-dune-dir

Here my-dune-dir is the name of a new directory where you want your Dune installation in. This will download and install the UG grid manager, download all Dune modules with PDELab including its tutorial and create an opts-file and a build-script.

Now run the build-script:

cd my-dune-dir

If this does not work for you then you need to edit the installer script in dune-installer/pdelab-2.7.1/ and ask some expert (e.g on the mailing list).

If all went well, where are the compiled files? The build-script sets up things for a so-called ‘out-of-core’ build.

cd release-build

gets you to a directory that mirrors all dune-modules but with the created files in it.

A good way to proceed from here is to look at the PDELab tutorial:

cd dune-pdelab-tutorials

Click here for more information about the PDELab tutorial

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