Index of /examples/comsol

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RCS COMSOL Usage and Examples


COMSOL Multiphysics is a finite element analysis, solver and Simulation software / FEA Software package for various physics and engineering applications, especially coupled phenomena, or multiphysics.

Developer Site:

Usage Notes

COMSOL versions 4.3, 4.4, 5.0, and 5.1 are available on SCC and scc-lite through BU ENG-IT software distribution. The GUI works best when using VNC (

In practice, this procedure looks like this:

  1. Create a VNC Password
  2. If you have not used VNC on SCC, you must create a password.

    [cjahnke@scc-lite ~]$ vncpasswd

  3. Create a VNC Session
  4. From SCC, run the "vncstart" command to create VNC session. Read the instructions and take special note of the (1) hostname, (2) port number, and (3) VNC desktop number, as they will be needed later.

    [cjahnke@scc-lite ~]$ vncstart
         *** Your VNC server is now running! ***
             VNC desktop number: 1
             VNC Port number: 5901
    To connect via VNC client: 
     1. On your local machine execute the following command:
        ssh -L XXXX:localhost:5901
           where XXXX - some number greater than 1023.
           You will be prompted to enter your SCC password. 
     2. Start your local VNC Client application and 
           enter the following address in VNC server field:
           where XXXX is the number you selected in step 1.
           When prompted, use your VNC password.
    To terminate VNC server, execute command (in your scc-lite terminal window):
        vncserver -kill :1

  5. Forward the VNC Port
  6. From a local computer, open a new terminal and setup port forwarding for the hostname and port advertised in the VNC session info. Note that I have choosen port 7000 to be my local port in place of "XXXX".

    cjahnke@BUMC-PC922397:~$ ssh -L 7000:localhost:5901

  7. Open VNC Session
  8. From your local computer, use a VNC client to connect to the forwarded port. Use the password you created with "vncpasswd" in step 1 as the password. The image below is "SSVNC" on Linux, but any standard client should work with similar settings.


  9. Launch COMSOL
  10. In the VNC window, open "Terminal" and load the following modules to setup the COMSOL environment.
    "Terminal" can be found in Applications > System Tools > Terminal

    [cjahnke@scc-lite ~]$ export PATH=/ad/eng/bin:$PATH
    [cjahnke@scc-lite ~]$ comsol51-research

    comsol_setup comsol_launch

  11. Close The Session
  12. Close everything and disconnect the VNC client.

  13. Terminate the VNC Session
  14. Terminate the VNC session when finshed, as described in the vnc session info from step 2. The job desktop number is should be preceeded by a colon (ie. for desktop "1" use "vncserver -kill :1".

    [cjahnke@scc-lite ~]$ vncserver -kill :1


Document written by Charles Jahnke on 12/2/2015. Last modified on 12/2/2015.