Release Announcement

We are pleased to announce the third release (code name "Curie") of the Einstein Toolkit, an open, community developed software infrastructure for relativistic astrophysics. This release changed the equation of state interface from two competing (EOS_Base and EOSG_Base, also known as the old and the general EOS interface), to a completely new interface called EOS_Omni, also adding support for tabulated, microphysical EOSs in the process. In addition, bug fixes accumulated since the previous release in November 2010 have been included, and the testsuites have been checked also using OpenMP.

The Einstein Toolkit is a collection of software components and tools for simulating and analyzing general relativistic astrophysical systems that builds on numerous software efforts in the numerical relativity community including CactusEinstein, the Carpet AMR infrastructure and the relativistic hydrodynamics code GRHydro (an updated and extended version of the public release of the Whisky code). The Cactus Framework is used as the underlying computational infrastructure providing large-scale parallelization, general computational components, and a model for collaborative, portable code development. The toolkit includes modules to build complete codes for simulating black hole spacetimes as well as systems governed by relativistic hydrodynamics. Current development in the consortium is targeted at providing additional infrastructure for general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics.

The Einstein Toolkit uses a distributed software model and its different modules are developed, distributed, and supported either by the core team of Einstein Toolkit Maintainers, or by individual groups. Where modules are provided by external groups, the Einstein Toolkit Maintainers provide quality control for modules for inclusion in the toolkit and help coordinate support. The Einstein Toolkit Maintainers currently involve postdocs and faculty from five different institutions, and host weekly meetings that are open for anyone to join in.

Guiding principles for the design and implementation of the toolkit include: open, community-driven software development; well thought out and stable interfaces; separation of physics software from computational science infrastructure; provision of complete working production code; training and education for a new generation of researchers.

For more information about using or contributing to the Einstein Toolkit, or to join the Einstein Toolkit Consortium, please visit our web pages at <>.

The Einstein Toolkit is primarily supported by NSF 0903973/0903782/0904015 (CIGR), and also by NSF 0701566/0855892 (XiRel), 0721915 (Alpaca), 0905046/0941653 (PetaCactus) and 0710874 (LONI Grid).

This release comprises the following tools, arrangements, and thorns (see this list intended for the GetComponents tool, described here). Each tool/arrangement/thorn may have its own licencing conditions, but all are available as open source. Green components are new in this release.

       Cactus                  Flesh
       CactusBase              Standard Cactus thorns
       CactusUtils             new: NoMPI
       ExternalLibraries       Interfaces to external libraries, new: zlib
       Carpet                  Adaptive mesh refinement
       EinsteinAnalysis        Einstein Toolkit
       EinsteinEOS             new: EOS_Omni, others will be removed next release
       EinsteinEvolve          LegoExcision will be removed next release
       McLachlan               BSSN implementation
       TAT/TATelliptic         Various thorns
       AEIThorns               Thorns hosted at AEI, new: PunctureTracker, SystemStatistics
       LSUThorns               Thorns hosted at LSU, new: Vectors
       Kranc                   Automated code generation
       GetComponents           Downloading tools and thorns new repository
       SimFactory              Building code and running simulations

The Einstein Toolkit thorns contain over 130 regression test cases. On a large portion of the tested machines, all of these testsuites pass, using both MPI and OpenMP.

The changes between this and the previous release include:

  • A new equation of state (EOS) interface was introduced, replacing both EOS_Base and EOSG_Base. It was designed with efficiency in mind, and combines all EOSs into one single thorn. All previously supported EOSs are now provided by EOS_Omni. The other EOS thorns are still maintained, but their support will be dropped at the next Einstein Toolkit release.
  • The location of the GetComponents script changed (now hosted at github).
  • The MHD implementation within GRHydro saw several updates, but is still disabled by default.
  • Since spacetime-excision is not actively used anymore and not supported by an evolution thorn within the ET, this will be the last time LegoExcision will be part of an Einstein Toolkit release. Please consider other options if you rely on it, or let us know so that we can reconsider this decision.
  • This release still ships with the Perl-version of Simfactory, but includes updated machine configurations and some bug fixes.
  • Some external libraries now check for the parallel usage of the old library interface (e.g. HDF5=yes) and abort in this case. The new way (e.g. HDF5_DIR=...) is not compatible with the old way to specify libraries. If you get errors because of this you have to remove one of the two specifications from your optionlist.

All repositories participating in this release carry a branch ET_2011_05 marking this release. These release branches will be updated if severe errors are found.

This release has been tested on the following systems and architectures:

  • Workstations (AMD, Linux)
  • MacBook Pro notebook (Intel, Mac OS X)
  • Lenovo T61p notebook (Intel, Linux)
  • Blue Drop, NCSA (Power 7, Linux)
  • Datura, AEI (cluster, Linux)
  • Kraken, NICS (Cray XT5, Linux)
  • Philip, LSU (Intel cluster, Linux)
  • Queen Bee, LONI (Intel cluster, Linux)
  • Ranger, TACC (AMD cluster, Linux)
  • Lonestar, TACC (Intel cluster, Linux)

The Simulation Factory contains ready-to-use configuration details for more than 40 additional systems, including most HPC systems at LONI, NERSC, RZG, and TeraGrid.

The Einstein Toolkit web site contains online documentation for its thorns, and pointers for using it to build your own code. There is also a tutorial that explains how to download, build, and run the code for a simple binary black hole evolution. We invite you to join our mailing list <>.

On behalf of the Einstein Toolkit Consortium: the "Curie" Release Team

   Gabrielle Allen
   Eloisa Bentivegna
   Tanja Bode
   Peter Diener
   Roland Haas
   Ian Hinder
   Frank Löffler
   Bruno Mundim
   Christian D. Ott
   Erik Schnetter
   Eric Seidel
   Michael Thomas

April 21, 2011