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Cactus is a general modular, parallel, open source framework for solving systems of partial differential equations from many disciplines of science and engineering. The code has been developed over many years by a large international collaboration of numerical relativity and computational science research groups.

The Cactus code consists of a central core (the flesh), and application modules (thorns) which interface to the flesh and other thorns through a specific extensible interface. The thorn system allows different groups to develop code secure in the knowledge that their modules work together without problems.

You should consider using Cactus if you need to perform any of the following tasks - now or in future:

  • perform parallel programming in an easy but powerful way in the language of your choice: F77, F90, C, C++.
  • run on a wide range of architectures and operating systems.
  • develop on lowcost Linux PCs or your laptop ...
  • and take your code to a supercomputer (like Cray T3E or Origin e.g.) where you go into production right away!
  • engage in high performance cluster computing or
  • get first parallel experience by turning your networked PC pool into a computing cluster.
  • work with collaborators on the same code and avoid having your programs fragmented.
  • make use of the latest software technology: e.g. take advantage of research groups that spend their time thinking about the fastest way to bring simulation data to disk or how to visualize it while the code is running.

Current Version:   4.0 beta 9

License Type:   LGPL

Home Site:

Source Code Availability:


Available Binary Packages:

  • Debian Package: No
  • RedHat RPM Package: No
  • Other Packages: ??

Targeted Platforms:

The Cactus Code is very portable. The latest version runs on supercomputers like the SGI Origin 2000, Cray T3E, Convex/HP Exemplar, in clusters of Linux and NT workstations, and in single machines with SGI, OSF, HPUX, Linux and Windows (using cygwin) Operating Systems.

Software/Hardware Requirements:

MPI, Globus, and PAPI (

Other Links:

Mailing Lists/USENET News Groups:

Many lists available, follow links on the Home Site for more information

User Comments:

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