L-PICOLA is a distributed-memory, parallel code for creating fast, accurate, dark matter simulations.

On top of this we can include primordial non-Gaussianity in the initial conditions and generate lightcone simulations during runtime, without using any extra memory and with minimal cost to computational time (We're so proud of this feature we even put it in the name). We can also replicate the box at runtime to cover the full redshift range, whilst still keeping a good simulation resolution. Full details of the code and it's capabilities can be found in Howlett et. al., 2015b.

The code has already been used to generate mock galaxy catalogues for the SDSS-II Main Galaxy Sample. You can find out more about this in the papers Ross et. al., 2015 and Howlett et. al., 2015a. We are also using it to generate a set of highly detailed lightcone mocks for the Dark Energy Survey. We hope it finds many more uses.

You can download the source code using the links up the top. Furthermore, the code is still under active development so if you feel like getting your hands dirty, just fork the code using the GitHub link.

Basic Usage

We have included a detailed User Guide with the source code. You should find all the information on the different options within, and inputs required, by the code. As a basic example, you'll first need the MPI, FFTW-3 and GSL libraries installed.

Then you'll need to specify the filepaths for these is the Makefile included with the code. If you've done this correctly, typing Make from the directory containing the Makefile and source files should compile the code.

To run the code, you can then type:

mpirun -np 8 L-PICOLA file/run_parameters.dat

This will run the example included with the distribution on 8 processors.


Cullan Howlett (ICG, Portsmouth)

Marc Manera (UCL, London)

Will Percival (ICG, Portsmouth)


1.3 (05-Feb-2016)

Bug fixes for Non-Gaussian simulations:

Many thanks to Jonghee Kang for pointing out these errors

1.2 (11-Dec-2015)

Minor bug fixes and changes:

Many thanks to Andrej Obuljen for pointing out these errors

1.1 (08-Jun-2015)

Updated cosmological equations to support non-flat cosmologies. Now uses Matsubara (1995) approximation for the second order growth factor and derivatives. As a result the non-linear accuracy has slightly improved.

1.0 (04-Mar-2015)

Initial Release


The code is distributed under the GNU General Public License v2.0. You should get a copy of this when you download the code. This means that you can (and should :) ) modify and distribute the code in any manner you see fit. This also means, however, we provide no warranty or guarantee with the code. All we ask is that you let us know of any problems you have with the code, so we can try to come up with a fix, and that if you use the code for your research, would you please cite the code paper referenced above (Howlett et. al., 2015b)