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E.1 The basics

  1. What is Gmsh?

    Gmsh is an automatic three-dimensional finite element mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities. With Gmsh you can create or import 1D, 2D and 3D geometrical models, mesh them, launch external finite element solvers and visualize solutions. Gmsh can be used either as a stand-alone program (graphical or not) or as a C++ library.

  2. What are the terms and conditions of use?

    Gmsh is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, with an exception to allow for easier linking with external libraries. See License for more information.

  3. What does ’Gmsh’ mean?

    Nothing... The name was derived from a previous version called “msh” (a shortcut for “mesh”), with the “g” prefix added to differentiate it. The default mesh file format used by Gmsh still uses the ‘.msh’ extension.

    In English people tend to pronounce ‘Gmsh’ as “gee-mesh”.

  4. Where can I find more information? is the primary location to obtain information about Gmsh. There you will for example find the complete reference manual, a bug tracking database and a searchable archive of the Gmsh mailing list (

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