Installation of OpenCOSSAN Engine

From COSSAN Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Please note that to be able to run OpenCOSSAN, Matlab should be installed on your computer. More information on OpenCOSSAN can be obtained from Category:OpenCossan.

Getting the software

The OpenCOSSAN Engine software can be downloaded from the Cossan website when the server restricted area is accessed through the user area [1].

There are 3 different ways to obtain OpenCOSSAN. For most users the OpenCossan toolbox is the best way to get up to date software. Alternatively, advanced users may use SVN to obtain the development version of the software. The archives and app shown at the bottom of the page are maintained for legacy purposes, but are out of date and should not be used.

Initialize OpenCOSSAN toolbox

Go to the user area [2] and download OpenCossan.mltbx. Install this file (may take some time).

In order to be able to use OpenCOSSAN the toolbox needs to be initialized.

  1. Start Matlab
  2. Move to the path where OpenCOSSAN has been installed (C:\OpenCossan\trunk but may be USER\Documents\MATLAB\Toolboxes\OpenCossan\ on some systems)
  3. Move into the sub-folder COSSANXengine -> src -> common (if this folder is not available then the toolbox has not finished installing and you should wait some time before retrying)
  4. Initialize OpenCOSSAN using the following command



That's All Folks!!!

OpenCOSSAN can be initialized automatically every time Matlab is started. To do that it is necessary to modify the start up file of Matlab. OpenCOSSAN provides a method to modify this startup file (for more info about the method @OpenCossan).

  1. Digit the following command



In order to test the modification on the Matlab startup file please Restart Matlab. At the next Matlab start, OpenCOSSAN is initialized automatically as shown in the figure below.


NOTE: For networked windows users please ensure that your working directory is set to your local hard disk and not the network (otherwise some scripts will fail). Use: OpenCossan.setWorkingPath('C:\Users\user\Documents\MATLAB\')

OpenCOSSAN installer

It is recommended to install the OpenCossan Matlab apps. The OpenCossan MATLAB app is an interactive application written to perform the installation of OpenCOSSAN and keep the release synchronized.

The OpenCOSSAN apps (OpenCossan.mlappinstall) can be downloaded from here, this may require users to log into their cossan user account:

Once downloaded the user will have to install the Cossan app to the MATLAB toolstrip.


1. In the app, click download. (4 zip archives will be downloaded. Ensure that they are in your downloads folder).

2. In the MATLAB OpenCossan app set the download directory to the folder containing the zip archives. Set the install directory to your desired installation path.

3. Click install.

4. Click Run OpenCossan.

5. Now try to run a tutorial! (Enter something like TutorialCantileverBeam)

Caution: If you are using a Mac your computer will try to remove the archives after extracting them automatically. This will cause the installation to fail. Work around: restore the zips to their original location from your trash.

Download archives

The OpenCOSSAN Engine is composed by 4 ZIP archives:

  • (containing the source code of the software)
  • (providing in-line documentation)
  • (Examples and tutorials)
  • (3rd-party software and external libraries)

A further archive ( provides the COSSAN plug in for PATRAN.



  1. Download the and files into your computer
  2. Choose a destination directory (e.g. C:\OpenCossanEngine, as shown in the picture) to extract the file mentioned above and complete the extraction


Important.png Installation Path
The OpenCOSSAN engine can be installed in any location of the file system but the structure after COSSANXengine can not be modified

Alternative procedure

If you do not want to run Cossan automatically when Matlab starts and prefer using a working path different from the Matlab one, the most practical way to run CossanX is to create a related shortcut on the Matlab Toolstrip

Windows users

  1. Create a “temp” folder in the same directory of OpenCossan folder ( C:\temp in the case considered)
  2. Run Matlab on your computer
  3. From the main menu select “Shortcuts” and then “New Shortcut”
  4. Choose a label (e.g. Initialise Cossan) and use the shortcut summary below, inserting the correct path of the “OpenCossan” and “temp” folders if you used a destination directory different from the one used in the extraction procedure shown before
  5. Save and click on the shortcut created to start a new Cossan project

% Shortcut summary goes here
SoldDir = pwd;
OpenCossan ('ScossanRoot','C:\OpenCossan\trunk\COSSANXengine',...


Linux Users

Follow the same procedures described for Windows users above but complete the shortcut summary using the script below (and modifying the destination path of the interested folders if necessary)

% Shortcut summary goes here
SoldDir = pwd;

See also