Running Cactus On Windows

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Tested with Windows 8.1 64bit and Windows 7 64bit

Requires at least 1 GB of free disk space.

Uses outdated SVN repositories for Cactus.

Short version

..if you are already familiar with Catus:

  • Install Cygwin (see detailed instructions below)
  • Start the Cygwin terminal and download Cactus from within it
  • Create Cactus configuration and compile them as usual from within the Cygwin terminal

Install Cygwin.

The installers are at - setup-x86.exe (32 bit Windows) or setup-x86_64.exe (64 bit)

The installer prompts for:

  • Download source

    'Install from Internet' (default) should be OK

  • Root Directory

    c:\cygwin64 is OK, it can be changed, but do not choose a directory under c:\Program Files

  • Install for

    'All Users' (default)

  • Local Package Directory

    Select an empty temporary folder - the installer will download there all the packages before installing them, they can be removed after the installation is complete

  • Internet Connection

    'Direct Connection' (default) should be OK

  • Download site

    Choose a site that looks near you

  • Select packages

    Cygwin comes with a huge number of Unix utilities and languages, here you select which one to install. Make sure you select at least these ones:

    • curl (7.41.0-1)

    • perl (5.14.4-3)

    • subversion (1.8.11)

    • git (2.1.4-1)

    • gcc-core (4.9.2-3)

    • gcc-fortran (4.9.2-3)

    • gcc-g++ (4.9.2-3)

    • make (4.1-1)

    • patch (2.7.4-1)

    • libjpeg-devel (1.3.1-3)

    • openssl-devel (1.0.2a-1)

    In parenthesis the versions that have been tested, if you are using a more recent Cygwin version some of those numbers could be different - they probably still work OK

    Note the handy 'Search' control at the top of the window - use it to find the packages

    Feel free to select more stuff - e.g. you favorite editor. The Cgywin installer can be run multiple times to add or remove packages, so if you forgot something - or want to remove something - just launch again the installer and add/remove packages from the list.

    After clicking on 'Next' the installer will download all the selected packages

  • Create Icons

    Last step - select one or the other or both as you prefer

Installing and compiling Cactus

Start 'Cygwin64 Terminal' ('Cygwin Terminal' on 32 bit system) - using the shortcut on the desktop or in the start menu

You get a bash shell prompt in your home directory, that (in Windows) is <Cygwin install dir.>\home\<your Windows user name>. If you are used to Linux you should feel right at home, if you normally use Windows everything is weird now.

Check that the compilers and utilities are there:

 gcc --version
 c++ --version
 gfortran --version
 perl --version
 curl --version

should all answer with a message specifying their version

Download the 'GetComponents' script:

 curl >

Download the Cactus 4.2 complete thorn list:

 curl >

Use the GetComponent script to download the complete Cactus code:


(answer '-' to the promts asking for a user name)

This will take a while. It creates a Cactus directory containing all the Cactus flesh and thorns code, makefiles, documentation, parameter files and whatnot

Place in the Cactus directory file.

Move to the Cactus directory and create the 'wave' configuration:

 cd Cactus
 make wave-config

this step creates a configs/wave directory with all the settings needed to compile the thorns specified in ``

Compile the 'wave' configuration:

 make wave

You should see some warning about "'noreturn' function does return" - just ignore them. This step creates the executable: `exe/cactus_wave.exe`

Run the simulation:

 ./exe/cactus_wave.exe arrangements/CactusWave/WaveToyC/par/wavetoyc_gnuplot.par

this creates a `wavetoyc_gnuplot` directory with a bunch of `.asc` files containing the results

To plot the results use the Window version of Gnuplot, available at here