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ASTK - Aster

[under continuous construction - ....]

Used software

  • ASTK 1.8.0
  • Code Aster 10.1.x, 64 bits
  • [pre and post processing Salome 5.1.3]

Start ASTK

The start file of ASTK is located in the directory bin of Aster $ASTER_ROOT/bin (this used to be $ASTER_ROOT/outils). I have the following script file to start ASTK:

# echo start ASTK1.8.0 for Code Aster10.1
cd /cae/aster101/bin   # $ASTER_ROOT--> /cae/aster101

ASTK file interface


For the calculations we need at least two input files:

  • mesh file, this has been discussed in the previous part
  • command file, a list of commands for processing by Aster

Several output files and a directory are generated by Aster, the most common are:

  • error file, *.err
  • message file, *.mess
  • results mesh file, with displacements, stresses, strains of the elements and nodes
  • base folder, for storage of intermediate results


The interface between the input files, output files and Aster is called ASTK. All the input and output files are defined. Other parameters, eg memory, maximum cpu time can be controlled here. In this contribution we assume that pre and post processing will be carried out by Salome, ie mesh files are type med files.

Kw ASTK shell.gif

The file, Configuration, Tools and Options we will discuss later.
For normal use, select Study.
Base path is the working directory for this process.

The input row for the file names is used for to link between the filenames and the logical file or unit numbers (UNITE) in the command file. From left to right the meaning of the columns, we take as example the second row:

  • type is mesh or mmed file
  • server is local, <hostname> is also correct
  • file name is ./
  • file is input, D is ticked
  • logical unit LU is 20, corresponding to UNITE=20 in the command file

LU, D, R and C

  • the LU column represents the Logical Unit for the corresponding (Fortran) file in the command file.
  • a ticked D column indicates that the file is being read (input file)
  • a ticked R column indicates that the file is going to be written (output file)
  • a ticked C column indicates that the file or directory is compressed (zip)

Commonly used input and output files

Most commonly used input files:

  • comm or command file
  • mesh file

Most commonly used output files:

  • error file
  • message file: read this file carefully (in case of errors, but also observe the warnings, try to understand what is reported)
  • base directory: directory for storing intermediate results
  • two result files: resu text file (unit 8) and rmed mesh file (unit 80). Other file types may be used in case different pre and post processing programs are used (ie not Salome).

Default numbers and types

Many parameters take default values in the command file. Eg the following commands are equivalent because they use default values for some of its parameters:


So for this case UNITE=20 and INFO=1 are default values. The default unit numbers are preselected in ASTK at the time you select the type.


Use of icons right to the base path and file name:

Kw basepath.png
  • select a base path or working directory, click on folder icon
Kw fileselection.png from top to bottom:
  • add a new row for a file name
  • select a new file from a file browser
  • delete the selected row with the file name (red cross)
  • edit the selected file (pencil, does not work for me)
  • move the selected file one up (arrow up)
  • move the selected file one down (arrow down)

Right hand side of the GUI


Some useful information is displayed by selecting a submenu in the help menu. Sometimes the Messages windows ... submenu is most useful for debugging purposes. Also the common problems is suitable (thank you JMB). The about window reveales that I am currently using ASTK 1.8.0.

Total Memory

Total Memory and Including Aster gives the maximum amount of memory Aster can claim for its process. Note that 32bit versions can only use 2 Gb. To increase memory above 2 Gb for 64bit systems see JMB

For Ubuntu, change the maximum amount of memory to 4 Gb:

sudo cp /opt/aster/etc/codeaster/asrun /opt/aster/etc/codeaster/asrun.saved
sudo gedit /opt/aster/etc/codeaster/asrun &

Change the value for memory limit as shown below:

interactif_memmax : 4096

Save file In ASTK update server configuration: Configuration --> servers --> Refresh now

Remark: change the directory /opt/aster/ (equal to $ASTER_ROOT) to your own needs if you do not have a default installation.


You can select the Aster version (in case you have more than one installed) here.

Calculation mode

For me the only working setting is tick interactive and untick interactive follow up. Normally use NoDebug.

Start the calculation - Run

Start the calculation by hitting the Run button.
When you click Run the current file is stored and an export file is created. The export file contains all the information to perform the calculation. It is used as input for the asrun file to start Aster:
asrun .... <filename>.export ....
Click on progress of jobs to get the ASJOB window to follow the status of the calculation.

File, Configuration, Tools and Options


Kw astk file conf.png
Kw astk file.png

The standard File options for the following ASTK files are present:

  • new --> opens a blank ASTK GUI
  • open --> you can select an existing ASTK session
  • save, save as --> saves the current ASTK session to the current or new file name
  • copy as --> copies all your files defined in ASTK to a new directory
  • import --> various possibilities to import a previously defined export file
  • export --> export the current file to an export file.
  • print, close and quit --> I guess they do what you expect they do.
  • recently opened files are displayed


Configurations --> Servers --> input window

Kw config servers.png
  • I check the boxes
    • Check this box if this server is the local machine"
    • Servers status on
  • I have a static IP address, so I can put for the server name. You can also change this to your computer name, in my case Amdaltrax
  • For terminal my string is: /usr/bin/gnome-terminal -sb -si -geometry 90x32
  • Editor: /usr/bin/gedit
  • In case of changes to the ASTK setting, click on Refresh now to load the changes
    • [sudo gedit [$ASTER_ROOT]/etc/codeaster/asrun] e.g:
    • [sudo gedit /opt/aster/etc/codeaster/asrun]
  • [I do not really know when Editor, Local editor and <gedit in the Tools-->Parameters-->Gedit> are used ....]

Configurations --> Preferences --> general --> input window (figure left)
Configurations --> Preferences --> network --> input window (figure right)

Kw config general.png : Kw config network.png


From the tools menu I use the plain text editor gedit and Eficas (command editor).

Tools - gedit and Eficas
Kw astktools gedit.png Use gedit to load text files

Gedit is not predefined.
Just a reminder: Click ASTK tools --> parameters --> select New Tool [under the top centre icon, in this picture gedit] -->
Add name of New Tool: gedit
Add at command line: gedit (@F)
Add extensions: <mess erre resu txt> and press <okee>

Kw tools parameters eficas.png Use Eficas to load command files

Eficas is predefined.
To edit: Click ASTK tools --> parameters --> Eficas
Edit at command line: /cae/aster101/outils/eficas (@F)
Edit extenstions: <comm com0 com1 com2> and press <okee>

You can do the same (if not already installed) for eg:
gmsh: path to gmsh /cae/salome101/outils/gmsh (@F)

From ASTK manual:
Les codes suivants peuvent être utilisés dans la ligne de commande :

  • − @F : chemin absolu du fichier sélectionné,
  • − @R : répertoire contenant le fichier sélectionné,
  • − @f : nom du fichier (sans le répertoire),
  • − @D : adresse du DISPLAY (celui connu au moment du lancement de l'interface).

Open File

Kw file open.png

By selecting a file and right clicking it, the file can be opened. The default program is defined by its extension. It can be surpassed by right click, then select <Open with> and choose the required program.


I never changed the standard settings. It just works I guess.


More detailed information regarding ASTK can be found in the document -Interface access to Code_Aster: astk U1.04.00 English Version ASTK on the Code Aster site.

That's it for now.
Enjoy - kees.