Create your own MAPDL docker container#


You need a valid Ansys license and an Ansys account to follow the steps detailed in this section.

You can create your own MAPDL docker container following the steps given in this page. This guide will use a local Ubuntu machine to generate the needed files for the MAPDL container by installing Ansys products first and then copy the generated files to the container.


  • A linux machine, preferable with Ubuntu 18.04 or later. CentOS Linux distribution is not supported anymore. This machine needs to have Docker installed.

  • A valid Ansys account. Your Ansys reseller should have provide you with one.

  • The following provided files:


Download Ansys MAPDL installation files#

Download latest Ansys MAPDL version from the customer portal (Current Release). You need to have a valid Ansys account with access to products downloads.

If you lack of an Ansys account, please contact your IT manager.

Install Ansys MAPDL product#

To install Ansys MAPDL product on an Ubuntu machine you can follow Install MAPDL if you are using the graphical user interface or Install Ansys products for the command line interface. The later approach can be reused with small changes in a continuous integration workflow.

To reduce the size of the final image, you might want to install the minimal files by using:

sh /path-to-mapdl-installer \
    -install_dir /path-to-install-mapdl/ \
    -nochecks -mechapdl -ansyscust -silent

This command install Mechanical MAPDL (-mechapdl) and the custom routines (-ansyscust) such as UPF.

Please take note of where you are installing ANSYS because the directory path is need in the following section.

Build Docker image#

To build the Docker image, you need to create a directory and copy all the files you need in the image.

The steps to copy those files and build the image are detailed in the following script, which you should modify to adapt it to your needs.

# Creating working directory
mkdir docker_image
cd docker_image

# Copying the docker files
cp ./path-to-pymapdl/pymapdl/docker/Dockerfile
cp ./path-to-pymapdl/pymapdl/docker/.dockerignore

# Creating env vars for the Dockerfile
export VERSION=222
export TAG="V222"
export MAPDL_PATH=/path_to_mapdl_installation/ansys_inc

# Build Docker image
sudo docker build  -t $TAG --build-arg VERSION=$VERSION --build-arg MAPDL_PATH=$MAPDL_PATH

Please notice that:

  • path-to-pymapdl is the path where PyMAPDL repository is located.

  • path_to_mapdl_installation is the path to where you have locally installed ANSYS MAPDL.

Not all the installation files are copied, in fact, the files ignored during the copying are detailed in the file .dockerignore.

The Docker container configuration needed to build the container is detailed in the Dockerfile.


  • Step 1: Download latest Ansys MAPDL version from the customer portal (Current Release).

  • Step 2: Install Ansys MAPDL in a known folder. You can reuse your local installation if it is updated and the machine is running the same Ubuntu version as the targe Ubuntu docker version.

  • Step 3: Build the docker image with the provided Docker configuration files and script.