Difference between Salome, Salome Meca and Code Aster

Difference between Salome, Salome Meca and Code Aster

Salome or Salome Meca? Or maybe Code Aster? I often see mistakes in understanding the names of these programmes, so today I will try to explain this. The article is a repeat of the knowledge included in two already published articles (1 and 2) but here I will present it in a broader form.

You may be wondering why I made a video explaining how to install Salome Meca on Windows, when on the Salome website it is possible to download a simple .exe installer. Yes it’s true, except that one programme is Salome and the other is the package Salome Meca.

FEM analysis steps

To start with, let’s explain some terms because some of them are not very precise in the world of FEA. We can divide a typical FEA analysis into:
prepocessor (preparation of geometry and finite element mesh)
solver (determination of boundary conditions, loads, analysis settings and its solution)
and postproccesor (presentation of results, e.g. displacements, stresses)

There are also elements such as the assignment of material data which some people assign to the preprocessing and some to the solver (model settings). Usually this depends on the software they are working on, e.g. in Ansys APDL the material settings are included in the preprocessing commands (prep7).


The Salome program ( of course open source) is a preprocessor for CAE calculations (not only for FEA, it is also used with e.g. OpenFOAM). It also includes a ParaView-based postprocessor. In Salome, you can create or edit imported geometry and divide it into finite elements. As you can read on the programme’s official website, it is developed by two French companies: EDF and CEA. As I previously stated, the programme runs without problems on Windows and on Linux.

Code Aster

Code Aster (to be precise, code_aster) is a solver engine that performs FEA calculations. With its help, you can solve mechanical, thermal and many other (stationary and transient, linear and non-linear) analyses. The official website of the programme is available here, it is developed by the previously mentioned EDF company and released as open source. In the official version, it only works on Linux platforms.

Salome Meca

And Salome Meca is an environment that combines and integrates the Salome and Code Aster programmes. This programme additionally includes a graphical interface (GUI) for adding boundary conditions to the analyses created, creating a fully-fledged environment for FEA calculations that works like commercial programmes (e.g. Ansys, Abaqus). Like the solver code_aster is developed by EDF and officially only runs on Linux. In the article, I described the best option for installing the programme in a Windows environment.

Okay, that’s all in this article. I hope you now understand what the difference is between the Salome and Salome Meca programmes.

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