Thursday, 30 September 2010

Solving installation problems with Comsol 4.0a in Ubuntu Linux

Today I decided to install Comsol Multiphysics 4.0a, which is a physics simulation program based on the Finite Element Method (FEM). I'm running Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala), and the installation procedure should be as simple as this (quoting from the installation manual):

"To start the installation, type the command

sh {drive path}/setup

where {drive path} refers to the mount point of the DVD-ROM
drive on your system, for example, /media/cdrom."

When I insterted the Comsol DVD, it was mounted as "COMSOL40a ". Note that there are some trailing white spaces which don't make any sense. When I tried to run the installation program, I got an error message saying that "/media/COMSOL40a" did not exist. Turns out that the installation program was looking for a mount point directory without any white spaces.

My solution to this was to mount the CD to another folder, to a folder name without trailing white spaces. I didn't know how do this, but I found a simple description at this web site. In the terminal, I typed

sudo mount -t auto /dev/cdrom /media/tmpcd/

to mount the CD to /media/tmpcd. After that, I could run the installation program as instructed, by typing

sh /media/tmpcd/setup

I'm not sure who is to blame for this "bug", Ubuntu or Comsol, but at least I figured out how to work around it. :-)


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