This is the blog for the Einstein Toolkit ( The Einstein Toolkit is developing and supporting a set of open computational tools for relativistic astrophysics to enable new science, broaden our community, facilitate interdisciplinary research, and take advantage of emerging petascale computers and advanced cyberinfrastructure. We are using Blogger, which requires a google account to post or comment. Anyone can comment, but if you want to post to the Einstein Toolkit blog please request access from the maintainers.

23 November 2010

Einstein Toolkit Release

We are pleased to announce the second release (code name "Chandrasekhar") of the Einstein Toolkit, an open, community developed software infrastructure for relativistic astrophysics. This release is mainly a maintenance release incorporating fixes accumulated since the previous release in June 2010, as well as additional test suites.

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 on the public version of the Whisky hydrodynamics code (now modified and called GRHydro). 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).

The "Chandrasekhar" Release Team on behalf of the Einstein Toolkit Consortium (2010-11-23)

21 April 2010

Community Documentation Experiment

Colby set up a wiki for us to use for documentation at The hope is that this will gradually get filled out by those of us using the toolkit, and it will be a better way to keep the documentation up to date. Also, it might help target the documentation on what is really wanted, rather than trying to guess what would be useful.

At the moment people need to get a login with us to edit the wiki. We also wanted to have a more anonymous and easy-to-use login, but are we still arguing about what this should look like and if we will get immediately vandalized.

14 April 2010

Scientific Software Ecosystems

Part of our challenge with the Einstein Toolkit is how to implement the right strategies in our community to create and share software. iSGTW reports on a recent workshop on this topic, and their main findings seem very relevant.

01 April 2010


Spent a little time uploading some of Werner's images to the Einstein Toolkit page on Flickr: Aiming to try and collect up sample images from the different groups using the Einstein Toolkit here, I think this can be done either by having people send me the images to upload, or I can link to them in their own accounts.

21 March 2010

Number of Lines of Code

I ran Cloc on the Einstein Toolkit to count how many code lines there were. This ignores CCL, par, tex, data and other files it doesn't know about. It comes up with just over 400,000.

Einstein Toolkit on NMI Test & Build

Erik added the Einstein Toolkit to the NMI Test & Build facility, he had to use an unpleasant hack to get around our SVN certificate issues at the moment.

15 March 2010

Einstein Toolkit pages go live

We've been working on the web pages for the last weeks and today we removed the password protection since they are getting closer to a finished state and we want to get more feedback. The main things still to do are to move Cactus thorns around before finalizing the Einstein Toolkit thornlist and finish the quick start guide that describes how to run a couple of examples in a hopefully foolproof way.