Using Mechanical through Docker#

You can run Mechanical within a container on any operating system using Docker and connect to it with PyMechanical.

Running Mechanical in a containerized environment like Docker or Apptainer (formerly Singularity) is advantageous for several reasons, including:

  • Ability to run in a consistent environment regardless of the host operating system

  • Portability and ease of installation

  • Large-scale cluster deployment using Kubernetes

  • Genuine application isolation through containerization

Install the Mechanical image#

There is a Docker image hosted in the PyMechanical GitHub repository that you can download using your GitHub credentials.

Assuming that you have Docker installed, you can authorize Docker to access this repository using a GitHub personal access token with packages read permission. For more information, see GitHub’s Creating a personal access token.

Save this token to a file with a command like this:


This command lets you send the token to Docker without leaving the token value in your history.

Next, authorize Docker to access the repository with this code:

cat GH_TOKEN.txt | docker login -u $GH_USERNAME --password-stdin

You can now launch Mechanical directly from Docker with a short script or directly from the command line. Because this image does not contain a license server, you must enter in the IP address of your license server in the LICENSE_SERVER environment variable.

Launch Mechanical with this code:

docker run -e ANSYSLMD_LICENSE_FILE=$LICENSE_SERVER -p ip:10000:10000 $IMAGE

Note that port 10000, which is local to the container, is mapped to port 10000 on the host. This makes it possible to use different port mappings to launch multiple instances of Mechanical.

As Mechanical starts, you can see status information:

Starting the grpc server at port 10000
Started the grpc server at port 10000

Connect to the Mechanical container#

You can now connect to the Mechanical container with this code:

from ansys.mechanical.core import Mechanical

mechanical = Mechanical()

If you mapped to any port other than 10000, you would specify the port when connecting to Mechanical:

mechanical = Mechanical(port=f"{my_port}")

Verify your connection with this code:

>>> mechanical
Ansys Mechanical [Ansys Mechanical Enterprise]
Product Version:231
Software build date:Wednesday, August 10, 2022 4:28:15 PM

Additional considerations#

You can provide additional command line parameters to Mechanical by appending them to the Docker command. For example, this code shows how you pass feature flags:$VERSION
docker run -e ANSYSLMD_LICENSE_FILE=$LICENSE_SERVER -p 10000:10000 $IMAGE -featureflags mechanical.material.import;

For additional command line arguments, see the Scripting in Mechanical Guide in the Ansys Help.