Supported Platforms

Flow Science supports FLOW-3D on 64-bit Windows and Linux platforms. The configurations below have been updated for FLOW-3D v12.0.

In a recent blog, Flow Science’s IT Manager Matthew Taylor breaks down the different hardware components and suggests some ideal configurations for getting the most out of your FLOW-3D products.

CPU and Memory

FLOW-3D requires 64-bit CPUs. Intel Xeon, Core i9, or Core i7 processors are recommended.

A minimum of 4GB of RAM is recommended per processor core. For example, a workstation with two 6-core CPUs should have at least 48 gigabytes of memory. Note however that the amount of RAM required is highly problem dependent. For simulations with large domains, or with complex geometry requiring fine resolution, significantly more RAM than the required minimum will be necessary.

Graphics Support

nVidia Quadro series graphics cards are highly recommended, and are required for machines which will be accessed remotely. On Linux operating systems, additional software tools Nice DCV or Penguin SCW must be used in conjunction with the Quadro hardware for remote graphical sessions. VNC or other tools which do not support remote OpenGL are neither recommended nor supported.

nVidia’s GTX series has shown decent performance on desktop and notebook machines but is not recommended for remote visualization.

Certain graphics implementations are blacklisted and will result in degraded graphics and/or unreliable performance. The following OpenGL renderers are neither recommended nor supported:

  • Intel integrated graphics
  • GDI Generic: This is the Windows default renderer when FLOW-3D is opened via Remote Desktop Connection
  • Mesa: This is a common default implementation for Linux machines
  • Gallium: This is a common default implementation for Linux machines

License Server Software

FLOW-3D uses FLEXlm for license management. If you choose to employ the FLEXlm floating manager on a Windows network, your network server must be running Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008, or Server 2012 and you must provide the FLEXID or the MAC address of the License Server.

Operating Systems

Please note the differences between supported operating systems on the desktop and HPC versions.


FLOW-3D is supported on Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1 Update 1, and Windows 10. Windows Server 2016 is not supported.
The HPC version is not supported on Windows operating systems.


FLOW-3D is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, and SUSE Enterprise Linux 12

Support for FLOW-3D installations on “compatible” Linux distributions (such as Fedora, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu) will only be provided when a problem can be reproduced on Flow Science’s RedHat and Novell enterprise-class Linux distributions.

Developer Tools

Users who wish to customize any of the subroutines that Flow Science distributes as part of the standard installation will need a license for the Intel Fortran Compiler 2016, at least update 1. Users running Windows operating system will also need Visual Studio 2010 or 2013.

Customization of the HPC version also requires a license for Intel MPI Library 5.1

Important Note for HPC Users

The HPC version runs on both Workstations and clusters with a high-speed network interconnect such as Infiniband, and a large shared NFS disk accessible from all nodes in the cluster. The HPC version supports Intel® MPI, and the runtime libraries for this are provided as a part of the installation. For cluster recommendations, please contact our sales team.