USB Stick Instructions
for the 6th OpenFOAM Workshop

What's on the USB stick?

The USB stick holds workshop material including the training material and presentations, abstracts, and program. In addition, it contains a fully operational Linux operating system based on Kubuntu with OpenFOAM (versions 1.6-ext and 1.7.1) and many other related packages already installed. The extra packages include eclipse, enGrid, ParaView, pyFoam, pythonFlu, swak4Foam and more. The idea is that all attendees should be able to boot their computers from the USB stick so that everyone can work in a common environment.

Reasons why it might not work

Reasons that you might not be able to boot from the USB stick include the following:

If you are not able to boot from the USB stick, you can get the same effect by using virtualization software such as VirtualBox (which is free). See Section 8.

Booting from the USB Stick

On non-Mac laptops, you can boot from the USB stick as follows:

  1. With your laptop off, plug in the USB stick into a USB port.

  2. Be prepared to respond to a prompt from the BIOS to enter the boot menu when you power on your laptop. For example, a Dell laptop may prompt you to press the F12 key to enter the boot menu, with the prompt appearing just after the Dell splash screen but quickly disappearing after just a few seconds.

  3. Power on your laptop and follow the prompt from your BIOS to enter the boot devince menu.

  4. In the Boot Device Menu, choose to boot from the USB device. Depending on the menu, you can reorder the preferences or just make this a one-time choice.

  5. Once the laptop boots from the USB stick, a Unetbootin menu will appear, offering you the choice to Try Kubuntu without installing. (Even if you are not quick enough to make this selection, it should be the default behavior.)

    Note this distinction: Booting your machine from the USB stick and choosing to ``Try Kubuntu without installing'' will not change your normal operating sytem in any way. Later, if you like, you have the option of installing Kubuntu and the included software on your computer permanently.

  6. The boot process should complete, and you should be greeted with the Kubuntu desktop and the background image for the 6th OpenFOAM workshop.

Using Kubuntu

Internet Connectivity

Wireless internet access will be available to visitors. Check your wireless network signal for the Visitor Wireless network named attwifi, connect to it, and then open your web browser to launch the AT&T Wi-Fi web screen. Attendees will receive daily prepaid coupons at registration with a scratch-off access code.

Call 1-888-888-7520 for AT&T Wi-Fi support. Additional instructions are also available at

Persistent Memory

If you have booted your laptop from the USB stick, then the USB stick holds approximately 800 MB of persistent memory, which will allow any changes you make to the workshop materials or to your home directory to ``persist'' from one boot to the next.

If you are using the material under VirtualBox, you may need to select ``Save the machine state'' rather than ``Shutdown'' in order for changes to persist, or else make your changes only to Shared Folders (folders that are shared with the host computer).

Supplemental Storage Space

Only a limited amount of persistent storage space is available on the USB stick, and that space will be further decreased as updated workshop materials are added. If additional space is needed, it can be obtained by using your own internal hard drive or a second flash drive.

You will need to mount the additional storage to make it available for use. One way to do this is using the dolphin ``File Manager'' available from the ``KDE Kickoff Application Launcher'' in the lower right corner of the screen. Launch the File Manager, and on the left side of the window will be a ``Places'' window frame. Select the appropriate drive from the list. The middle frame will show the contents of the drive. Open up a terminal and execute cd /media/XXXX, where XXXX is the mount point for the drive. The df command will show all of the mounted devices and their mount points.

It is suggested that you then cd to a portion of the file system to which you have write access and where your modifications will not compromise the integrity of the file system. For example, if you mount a Linux file system, it is suggested that you use your home or tmp directory and make a working directory under it.

Virtual Box

VirtualBox is virtualization software for Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Solaris hosts that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). VirtualBox can be downloaded from From the Downloads page, download the appropriate binary for VirtualBox as well as the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack.

On non-Mac laptops, it may be possible to build the virtual machine by choosing the USB device. In general, it may be easier to build the virtual machine based on the OFW6 ISO file (i.e. the USB stick contents in the form of a file).

The ISO file is available during the workshop at After the workshop, it will be available at If the ISO file is downloaded in the form of multiple RAR files, these files can be unarchived and recombined into an ISO file using free software such as UnRarX, available for macs at To use UnRarX, simply start the application and drag the first (part1) file into the main window.

After installing VirtualBox, create a virtual machine based on the OFW6 ISO file following these instructions:

  1. Launch the VirtualBox application.

  2. Click the New icon to create a new virtual machine.

  3. Name the machine (e.g. OFW6-Kubuntu), and choose the operating system as Linux and Ubuntu. Choose the RAM for the virtual machine (less than half of your host memory is recommended) and the virtual hard disk settings (choosing the provided default values should be adequate).

  4. Under the Storage settings, click on the Empty CD icon listed under IDE Controller, then click on the CD icon pictured in the Attributes section for the CD / DVD drive and select the OFW6 ISO file.

  5. Click the Start icon to boot the new virtual machine.

  6. When prompted, select Try Kubuntu without installing.

Other references

About this document ...

USB Stick Instructions
for the 6th OpenFOAM Workshop

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2002-2-1 (1.70)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

The command line arguments were:
latex2html -split 0 -no_navigation instructions.tex

The translation was initiated by David Boger on 2011-06-09


... device1
In some cases, you may be able to download an update to your BIOS.
... stick.2
The material is also mirrored at

David Boger 2011-06-09