SIESTA Installation for Dummies
David Tománek
[SIESTA Download] [SIESTA Installation for Experts] [SIESTA Installation for Dummies]

SIESTA Download

SIESTA is popular computer software to perform ab initio density functional calculations of atomic clusters and lattices. The software is licensed free of charge to academic institutions and can be downloaded from

SIESTA Installation for Experts

Installation procedure is described in Chapter 2 of the User's Guide. The User's Guide is provided in the LATeX file siesta.tex in the subdirectory Docs.

If you are an expert, this provides sufficient information to install. If not, read on.

SIESTA Installation for Dummies

In the following, I assume that you

  • wish to install SIESTA on a LINUX workstation;
  • know a little about the LINUX operating system;
  • wish to make SIESTA easily accessible for all licensed users;
  • know how to become a superuser.

  1. Log in to your LINUX machine as a superuser and copy the downloaded SIESTA software (current version comes in the file siesta-3.0-rc2.tgz) to the directory /usr/local/lib. Then, for the simplest installation, proceed as follows.

  2. Issue the commands:
    cd /usr/local/lib
    chmod 775 .
    The file listing will show the file siesta-3.0-rc2.tgz

  3. Next issue the commands:
    tar -xzvf siesta-3.0-rc2.tgz
    The file listing will show a new directory called siesta-3.0-rc2

  4. Next issue the commands:
    cd siesta-3.0-rc2/Obj
    sh ../Src/
    cd ../Src
    cp arch.make ../Obj
    cd ../Obj
    Now the programs will be compiled on your machine, which takes a little time.

  5. You can verify that you have obtained the executable image called siesta in the current directory by issuing the command
    ls siesta

  6. Assuming that all users of your machine are licensed to use siesta, you probably want to make the software available to all users upon simply issuing the command siesta. To do this, issue the command
    cp /usr/local/lib/siesta-3.0-rc2/Obj/siesta /usr/local/bin

  7. Finally, you may want to clean up after yourself and restore access permissions. To do this, issue the command
    rm /usr/local/lib/siesta-3.0-rc2/Obj/*
    chmod 755 /usr/local/lib

  8. Done!

If anything here does not work for you, or if you wish to have a specific setup, go to the SIESTA mailing list to find out if somebody ran into the same problem and posted a solution. If not, you can post your concern there yourself.
Do not ask me!