The Palabos library is a framework for general-purpose computational fluid dynamics (CFD), with a kernel based on the lattice Boltzmann (LB) method. It is used both as a research and an engineering tool: its programming interface is straightforward and makes it possible to set up fluid flow simulations with relative ease, or, if you are knowledgeable of the lattice Boltzmann method, to extend the library with your own models. Palabos stands for Parallel Lattice Boltzmann Solver.

The library’s native programming interface in written in C++. It has practically no external dependencies (only Posix and MPI) and is therefore extremely easy to deploy on various platforms. Additional programming interfaces are available for the Python and Java programming languages, which make it easier to rapidly prototype and develop CFD applications. There exists currently no graphical user interface; some amount of programming is therefore necessary in order to get an application running. Especially with the Python scripting interface, the developed code can however be pretty informal, and easy to produce with help of the provided examples.

The intended audience for Palabos covers scientists and engineers with a solid background in computational fluid dynamics, and potentially some knowledge in LB modeling. The software is freely available under the terms of an open-source AGPLv3 license. It is distributed in the hope that it will promote research in the field of LB modeling, and help researchers concentrate on actual physical problems instead of staying stuck in tedious software development. Furthermore, implementing new LB models in Palabos offers a simple means of promoting new models and exchanging the information between research groups.