• COMSOL is automatically available on all BU Linux systems maintained by ENGIT, and can be installed on other BU-owned Linux and Windows systems.
  • We can run 90 simultaneous instances of COMSOL under the Class Kit License, but only 3 under the Research license.
  • The Class Kit licenses are restricted to classroom use and activities for ordinary courses, and homework use. Teachers can also use the licenses for lesson preparation.
  • Research licenses are restricted to users who have contributed to the research license cost. Research licenses are restricted to educational and academic by BU staff and students, and cannot be used for external research.
  • Additional licenses or modules can be purchased from comsol

Available Modules

  • AC/DC
  • CAD Import
  • CFD
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • ECAD Import
  • Heat Transfer
  • LiveLink for Excel

  • LiveLink for MATLAB

  • MEMS
  • Microfluidics
  • Molecular Flow
  • Multibody Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Structural Materials
  • Optimization
  • Particle Tracing
  • RF
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Wave Optics

On Linux

COMSOL is available on all machines in all of the public Linux labs in the College of Engineering. For remote access to COMSOL, you can access it through the Eng-Grid -- see the Grid instructions at . Simply ssh to and run: qlogin

You can also run a non-interactive instance of COMSOL by invoking "batch mode" when starting the program. See Grid/BatchComsol for more information.

For interactive use, run one of these quick commands to launch COMSOL with the appropriate license:

License Type


Educational license


Research license


With Matlab

There are 2 ways of getting Matlab and Comsol to talk. The first is if you're working in Comsol and would like to connect Matlab to the running instance. Simply click File > Client/Server/MATLAB > Connect to MATLAB from the menu bar. This will launch matlab if it's not running, and add the comsol toolboxes to it.

You can also run "comsol matlab" from the command line, and it will start matlab with the comsol toolboxes already loaded.

Troubleshooting 3D Rendering Errors

If your remote COMSOL interface crashes with cryptic error messages with "GLX" in the name, it's having trouble using hardware graphics rendering over the remote connection. You can try to force hardware ("direct") rendering with a VNC connection, or can just choose software rendering by appending -3drend sw to your original COMSOL startup command, for example:

comsol-research -3drend sw

On Windows

If you are a student who needs COMSOL for a class (NOT research) and are using a BU owned computer, you can install the software by running setup.exe from the version directory you want within:


You'll be asked to choose a licensing method, select <port>@<server> and enter:


to use the Class Kit License (CKL), or login to the following restricted page to view the instructions for the research license:

If you want to use MATLAB with COMSOL you can point the installer to the MATLAB directory when you get to the 'options' stage of the installation (assuming you alrady have MATLAB installed) in:

  • C:\Program Files\matlab

Check Availability of Licenses

run these commands on the engineering systems:



lmstat -a -c | less

Eng-IT: Comsol (last edited 2017-05-31 12:47:08 by jkgoebel)