Building CalculiX itself can already be quite a challenge. That’s why we collected here some recipe.

The CalculiX adapter for preCICE directly modifies the source code of CalculiX and produces an alternative executable ccx_preCICE. Therefore, we first need to get and (optionally) build CalculiX from source.

CalculiX consists of the solver, called “CCX” and a pre- and postprocessing software with graphical user interface “CGX”.

  • The installation procedure of CCX is described in its src/README.INSTALL files, but we also give a summary here.
  • We don’t modify CGX, so you can get a binary package (if needed, e.g. as a preprocessor in our FSI tutorials)

You don’t need to build the “vanilla” CalculiX before building the adapter. But you do need to get all the dependencies and the source code of CCX.


CalculiX itself depends on SPOOLES2.2 and ARPACK.

Additionally, our adapter also depends on yaml-cpp.

These can be found in many distributions as binary packages. For example, in Ubuntu, do:

sudo apt install libarpack2-dev libspooles-dev libyaml-cpp-dev

For example, in Arch or Manjaro, install arpack and yaml-cpp, and compile spooles using an AUR helper (e.g. yay):

sudo pacman -S arpack yaml-cpp
yay spooles

If spooles compilation breaks with -Werror=format-security, replace the flag with -Wformat-security in CFLAGS (file /etc/makepkg.conf).

Building Spooles from source

If you cannot get a binary for Spooles, try these instructions.

Download SPOOLES, e.g:


Extract it in a separate directory

mkdir SPOOLES.2.2
tar zxvf spooles.2.2.tgz -C SPOOLES.2.2
cd SPOOLES.2.2

Edit by hand configuration file to change the compiler version in line 14-15

CC = gcc
#CC = /usr/lang-4.0/bin/cc 

Now build the library:

make lib 

Building ARPACK from source

If you cannot get a binary for ARPACK, try these instructions.

Download Arpack and patch:


Unpack them (they will be unpacked in the newly created directory ARPACK)

tar xzfv arpack96.tar.gz 
tar xzfv patch.tar.gz 

Edit by hand to specify build instructions. The following changes will depend on the directory structure of your system:

  • Line 28: Change home = $(HOME)/ARPACK to directory where ARPACK in extracted
  • Line 115: Change MAKE = /bin/make to e.g. MAKE = make (if needed)
  • Line 120: Change SHELL = /bin/sh to e.g. SHELL = sh (if needed)
  • Lines 104 - 105: Specify your fortran compiler and compiler flags, e.g. for the gnu systems:
FC = gfortran
#FFLAGS = -O -cg89 
  • Line 35: Modify the platform suffix for the library and remember it, since Calculix adapter makefile will depend on it ( by default it will use suffix INTEL for Linux and MAC for mac systems). For example change PLAT = SUN4 to PLAT = INTEL
  • You will probably get linking errors related to ETIME, which you can bypass: In the file UTIL/second.f append * to the beginning of line 24 ( that comments it out )

      *        EXTERNAL           ETIME

Now we are ready to build the library with make lib

Building yaml-cpp from source

If you cannot get a binary for yaml-cpp, try these instructions.

Get the latest version of yaml-cpp and build it as a shared library. For example:

cd yaml-cpp-yaml-cpp-0.6.2
mkdir build
cd build

After building, make sure that you make yaml-cpp discoverable by setting e.g. your LD_LIBRARY_PATH. You don’t need this for the CalculiX adapter, but you would need it e.g. for the OpenFOAM adapter.

Note: If you use Boost 1.67 or newer, then you also need to install yaml-cpp 0.6 or newer. Similarly, for an older Boost version, you also need an older yaml-cpp. Unfortunately, this is not related to the adapter’s code.

Building CalculiX with the preCICE adapter

Get the source

Once the libraries are installed, you can finally install Calculix with preCICE adapter. Note that the adapter version needs to be the same as the CalculiX version (replace 2.20 below).

cd ~
tar xvjf ccx_2.20.src.tar.bz2

The source code is now in the ~/CalculiX/ccx_2.20/src directory. The adapter’s Makefile is looking for CCX in this directory by default, so modify it if needed.

Building the “vanilla” CalculiX (optional)

If you want to build the “vanilla” (i.e. without preCICE) CalculiX, you can now run make inside the src/ directory. Depending on how you installed the dependencies above (using apt or from source), you might get compilation errors, such as spooles.h:26:10: fatal error: misc.h: No such file or directory. Often these errors can be easily fixed by modifying CalculiX Makefile. Please refer to our adapter’s makefile options for a list of library and include flag you might have to set depending on your installation procedure.

Building the modified CalculiX

Continue to the page get the adapter.