SimWorks manual installation guide

SimWorks Manual Installation Guide on Windows 10 (or newer)

The following tutorial provides a step-by-step guide on how to install manually the prerequisites to run SimWorks. You should not need to use this guide if you install SimWorks with the automatic installer downloaded from the website. Please see the automatic SimWorks installation guide in that case

This guide is only providing a detailed reference in the case something goes wrong with the automatic installation and you want to complete the installation manually. The commands you should type are displayed in italic, this guide expands the same process of the SimWorks setup wizard when it is run for the first time.

The latest version of SimWorks is available for download hereOnce downloaded, you can extract the compressed folder in your preferred location. We recommend extracting it as “Administrator” in C:\. The SimWorks executable (SimWork.exe) can be found in the SimWorks folder, to start it double click on the executable.

End User Licence Agreement, Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

The installation wizard will first show the End User Licence Agreement (EULA), the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions of IdealSimulations Ltd. Please read all the documentation and tick the box “I agree …” to continue.

You can also export the documents in PDF format if you wish to do so.

Licensing version

You can choose between the free version or the free trial of the Professional licence of SimWorks

The free version of SimWorks requires you to register. If you wish to purchase a commercial license of SimWorks, you can request it by contacting us at

Prerequisites installation steps

The installation wizard will then guide you through the required steps to install the prerequisites and set up the software.

SimWorks uses OpenFOAM(c) to run CFD simulations. On Windows 10 (and newer), it is possible to run OpenFOAM(c) using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 1.  This tutorial will guide you through the following steps:

   1 – How to activate the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 1

   2 – How to install a Linux distribution with WSL and OpenFOAM(c) provided with SimWorks

1 Activate Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL1) for Windows

Open a PowerShell as Administrator (type powershell in the Windows search box and click on the Run as Administrator)

Type and run the following command in the PowerShell:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

Once completed, the computer must be restarted before continuing to the next steps.

2 Install Linux with WSL

A Linux distribution is available in the SimWorks installation directory under the folder ThirdPary\Linux. This distribution comes with OpenFOAM(c) already installed. If you had issues during the standard installation, you can download the SimWorks linux distribution hereOnce the download is complete, you need to un-compress the 7z archive into a folder of your choice. 

Assuming SimWorks has been installed under C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks, we recommend un-compressing the 7z file into C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\ThirdParty\Linux.

Before continuing, let’s check the status of your WSL installations. Please open a PowerShell console and type the command:


wsl --list --all --verbose

This will list the existing Linux distributions installed on your system. If there is a DebianISimOFv2112 in the list, it probably means that you’ve already attempted an installation using our automatic installer. At this stage, we would recommend to uninstall the existing version. To do so, please run the following commands in a PowerShell console:

wsl --shutdown

wsl --unregister DebianISimOFv2112


Now you are ready to install the latest Linux distribution for SimWorks. In the PowerShell console run the following command:  

wsl --import DebianISimOFv2112 "C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\ThirdParty\Linux" "C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\ThirdParty\Linux\DebianISimOFv2112" --version 1

This will install the Linux distribution called “DebianISimOFv2112” inside the SimWorks installation directory, which uses WSL version 1. 

In order to check if the Linux distribution has been correctly installed, let’s run again the following command in PowerShell:

wsl -l -v

This should show DebianISimOFv2112 in the list of installed distributions, as shown below:

If this step completed fine,  it means that the Linux distribution is available to be used with SimWorks!

Before proceeding to the next step, you would need to also download this file (right click and select “Save link as…”) and copy it into the SimWorks Settings folder, e.g. C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\Settings. This will let the SimWorks setup wizard recognise that the Linux distribution is already installed.

SimWorks setup

The last step to complete the installation is to follow the setup wizard.  To start the Setup Wizard, please launch the SimWork.exe  that you’ll find in the installation directory, e.g. C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\SimWorks.exe

At the first startup of SimWorks, the setup wizard will let you select some parameters: 

  • Path to the OpenFOAM installation: this is by default set to /isim/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM-v2112/ and is not editable
  • Path to the folder for the simulations data (the path should not contain spaces)
  • Path to the simulations database
  • Defaults length units for SimWorks


The folders for the simulation data and database can be later changed in the Settings menu.

The default length units indicate how the numerical values in the simulation settings must be interpreted. This can also be changed in the Settings menu.

Your installation is now complete! If you experience any issues please contact us at

Try the free version of SimWorks or contact us to find out more