ET Workshop 2015

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Einstein Toolkit Workshop 2015

This workshop will take place on August 11-14, 2015 in Stockholm. Links:


Tue, 11
Time Presenter Title
13:30 - 14:00 Introduction and Welcome
14:00 - 18:00 Oleg Korobkin Tutorial: introduction to the Einstein Toolkit
Wed, 12
9:00 - 9:30 Wolfgang Kastaun New frameworks for equation of state and postprocessing
9:40 - 10:10 David Radice The WhiskyTHC code
10:20 - 10:50 Zachariah Etienne Overview of the IllinoisGRMHD code (*)
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
Hardware & Software
11:30 - 12:00 Steven R. Brandt,
David M. Koppelman
Overview of Chemora: high-level framework for hierarchical code generation and optimization
12:00 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:00 Zhoujian Cao Solving punctured multi black hole initial data with finite element method (*)
14:10 - 14:40 Bishop Mongwane High Order Mesh Refinement for Dynamical Space Times (arXiv)
14:50 - 15:20 Saran Tunyasuvunakool GRChombo: automatic mesh refinement for numerical relativity
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 16:30 Erik Schnetter Plans for fine-grained multi-threading in Cactus to improve efficiency and scalability (*)
16:40 - 17:00 Peter Diener New McLachlan code
17:10 - 17:30 Jonah Miller Visualizing Einstein Toolkit Data with yt (*), yt examples
Thu, 13
9:00 - 10:00 Lightning talks (speakers register on the spot, 5+5 each)
9:00 - 9:05 Roland Haas Postprocessing data in Cactus
9:10 - 9:15 Ian Hawke Reproducibility and figures: notes, presentation
9:20 - 9:25 Ian Hinder Simulation Tools overview
9:30 - 9:35 Szymon Charzyński Studies of black hole accretion flows
9:40 - 9:45 Vassilios Mewes Thorn for analyzing tilted accretion disks
10:00 - 11:00 New developments for the Einstein Toolkit
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 12:30 New developments for the Einstein Toolkit (contd.)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Open discussion on building a European ET network
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:30 - 18:00 Open discussion on building a European ET network Parallel session (FB51)
Fri, 14
9:00 - 12:30 Open discussion on building a European ET network (including an ET School and Workshop in Europe for 2016)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 18:00 Steven R. Brandt Hands-on session on Chemora, a code generation and optimization framework
18:00 - 19:30 BBQ

(*) Talks marked with an asterisk will be given remotely.

Cactus tutorial

Einstein Toolkit for VirtualBox

Snapshot of the ETK OS

For the Einstein Toolkit tutorial, we have prepared a VirtualBox disk with a Debian Linux-based ETK-OS, which contains all the necessary ingredients to start using Einstein Toolkit: the Cactus code, Carpet parallel adaptive mesh refinement driver for the Cactus, SimFactory for managing simulations, gnuplot, ygraph and VisIt for 1D and 3D visualizations.

The virtual machine can be downloaded at the following links:

If your computer has AFS client installed, you might find it more convenient to copy the archive from AFS partition:


Configuring VirtualBox (Linux version)

VirtualBox settings

If you want to test Einstein Toolkit in virtual environment, follow these steps.

  1. Download and install Oracle VirtualBox on your laptop.
  2. Run it: Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager appears. Select "New" to create a new virtual machine.
  3. Give a name, e.g: EinsteinToolkit
  4. Select Type: Linux, Version: Debian (32-bit)
  5. Select generous amount of RAM for your virtual machine (>1GB)
  6. Pick an option Use an existing virtual hard drive and point it to the unzipped file: ETK-2015.vdi. Press OK (or Create) to create the VM.
  7. Select Settings > Display and allocate at least 32MB for your virtual display (Video memory).
  8. Select Settings > Processor (might be under "System") and click the checkbox to enable PAE/NX.
  9. If your laptop has more than one core which you would like to use in virtual machine also, but it's greyed out, you might need to enable hardware virtualization support (e.g. VT-x for Intel processors) in your BIOS
  10. Choose the number of cores that you want to use in "Processor"
  11. Start your VM; use etk both for the username and password in Linux.

Running a test simulation

On the virtual machine, ETK comes preconfigured with the default configuration sim (for a brief introduction into Cactus framework and terminology, see Tutorial for New Users). Precompiled executable is:


You could start a test simulation either directly,

 mkdir ~/simulations/test
 cd ~/Cactus
 cp exe/cactus_sim par/static_tov.par ~/simulations/test
 cd ~/simulations/test
 ./cactus_sim static_tov.par

or using SimFactory:

 cd ~/Cactus
 simfactory/bin/sim submit test --parfile=par/static_tov.par

These test simulations create and evolve a static relativistic TOV star in full GR, in an octant with 5 levels of refinement. Current VM already contains a test simulation, located at:

 cd ~/simulations/static-tov/output-0000

Please refer to the Tutorial for New Users for more details about configuring, compiling, running Cactus, and using SimFactory to simplify these tasks. In SimFactory, the machine configuration file for the ETK OS is simfactory/mdb/machines/etk.etk.ini, the optionlist is etk.cfg and the runscript is If you succeeded with virtualizing multiple cores in your VM, you could try the runscript for running on multiple cores and/or with multiple OpenMP threads.

Older versions of ETK OS VMs

Current version of the ETK OS contains the latest (by 2015) release of the Einstein Toolkit ("Hilbert") and runs on 32-bit Debian Linux with i686-pae architecture (which allows hardware virtualization). Previous versions used i486 architecture. You can find the original versions here (created by Dennis Castleberry).