So, I have some PDEs that I need to solve numerically, and came across the FEniCS package. Problem is, the thing just did not want to work on my Mac. I tried several ways, including https://github.com/FEniCS/dolfinx#conda. I even tried to do the same on an Ubuntu installation, with no luck. Although I could import dolfinx successfully in the command line once the environment had been activated, I had no joy importing it in Jupyter Notebook or VSCode.
During the installation, I saw that there were several inconsistencies in my Anaconda installation, so I tried to remove them with
conda install anaconda
This took ages (more than 40 hours), so prepare yourself for a long haul. After this, I installed Notebook and then tried
conda create -n fenicsx-env conda activate fenicsx-env conda install -c conda-forge fenics-dolfinx mpich pyvista
Still no luck when trying
python3 -c "import dolfinx"
(In a previous installation this was actually successful, but I still couldn’t import it from Notebook.)
In https://stackoverflow.com/questions/73108638/install-fenics-to-use-it-within-jupyter-lab, I saw that someone had some success by launching the environment in Anaconda Navigator, which I now attempted, and which gave me some errors on start up. To fix this, I tried
conda update anaconda-navigator
conda update navigator-updateranaconda-navigator --reset
which I found at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/46329455/anaconda-an-unexpected-error-ocurred-on-navigator-start-up. Note that this can also take a bloody long time. It also does not seem to work… In the meantime, I was getting desperate and started throwing commands around. I tried (from https://fenicsproject.org/qa/13194/how-to-use-fenics-in-jupyter-by-anaconda/):
conda create -n fenicsproject -c conda-forge python=3.11 jupyter fenics
(this will depend on your version of Python, of course). Now, I activated the environment and tried the import:
conda activate fenicsprojectpython3 -c "import fenics"
This ran without any errors, which at least gave me hope. Next, I opened Notebook and tried
from fenics import *
Success! For the first time, I did not get a “No module…” type error. Now I have to see if everything works as advertised. By the way, what I would have tried next would have been to do the install with Docker (which is actually recommended in the FEniCS manual). I should also mention that I did a pip3 install, which did not work. I will still see if this method is successful on Ubuntu as well, and let you know.