SimWorks manual installation guide

SimWorks Manual Installation Guide on Windows 10

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 commercial version of SimWorks

The free version of SimWorks does not require any additional step. If you wish to purchase a commercial version of SimWorks, you can request a license 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, 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 10

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 Debian distribution is available in the SimWorks installation directory under the folder ThirdPary\Linux. This distribution comes with OpenFOAM(c) already installed. 

Assuming SimWorks has been installed under C:\IdealSimulations\SimWork, open a PowerShell and run the following command:  

wsl --import DebianISimOFv2006 "C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\ThirdParty\Linux" "C:\IdealSimulations\SimWorks\ThirdParty\Linux\DebianISimOFv2006" --version 1

This will install the Linux distribution called “DebianISimOFv2006” inside the SimWorks installation directory, which uses WSL version 1. In order to check if Debian is correctly installed, type the following command in PowerShell:

wsl -l -v 

This reports the list of installed Linux distribution in WSL, as shown below.

SimWorks setup

The last step to complete the installation is to follow the setup wizard. This will let you select some default parameters required by SimWorks. 

These include:

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


The default folder for the simulation data and database needs to exist. These 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 be changed afterwards in the Settings menu.

SimWorks installation guide

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