The Cantera Community

Resources to help you participate in the community of Cantera users and developers

About the Cantera Community

Cantera was originally developed by Prof. David G. Goodwin at the California Institute of Technology. Building on Prof. Goodwin's legacy, Cantera is licensed under a permissive 3-Clause BSD license, ensuring that the software will remain open source and available for all to use.

In this vein, Cantera software relies exclusively upon the volunteer contributions of its users. These contributions range from diagnosing and reporting problems/bugs, to helping others learn to use Cantera, to developing and implementing new software capabilities.

While Cantera provides some standalone models and applications, numerous external packages exist that provide more specialized functionality and rely on Cantera. We provide a non-exhaustive list of these affiliated packages.


Cantera is governed by a Steering Committee; more information about our project's governance policies can be found on the governance page.

The Cantera Users' Group

The Cantera Users’ Group on Google Groups is the forum where most Cantera users have their questions asked and answered. If you need help using Cantera and cannot find an answer in the tutorials or documentation at Cantera's website, consider joining and asking a question there. A few notes:

  • Please use the search feature before posting to see if your question has been answered before.

  • If you are not running the current stable release of Cantera, please upgrade first, and see if the problem persists.

  • This group is moderated, so it may take some time for your posts to appear if you are a new member.

For installation/compilation problems, please provide:

  • The contents of the cantera.conf and config.log files, and the output of the scons build and scons build dump commands. You can direct this output to a file called buildlog.txt by running:

    scons build >buildlog.txt 2>&1
  • The exact version of Cantera you are trying to compile, and how it was obtained (for example, downloaded source tarball or the specific Git commit).

  • Your operating system, compiler versions, and the versions of any other relevant software.

For application problems (that is, not related to installation or compilation), please:

  • Provide a minimal, complete, and verifiable example that demonstrates the problem when making your post; in short this means include a code example and input files.

  • Please also provide information about your operating system and Cantera version. This will enable other members of the group to efficiently understand the problem and offer suggestions on how to fix it.

  • Please DO NOT post screenshots of code or error messages! They cannot be searched by anyone looking to solve a similar problem, and also cannot be read by text readers for visually impaired users. Instead, please copy and paste any relevant text directly into your message. Thanks!

Interacting with the Cantera Community

Code of Conduct

All online and in-person interactions and communications related to Cantera are governed by the Cantera Code of Conduct. This code of conduct sets expectations for the community to ensure that users and contributors are able to participate in a respectful and welcoming environment.

Please adhere to this code of conduct in any interactions you have in the Cantera community. It is strictly enforced on all official Cantera repositories, websites, users' group, and other resources. If you encounter someone violating these terms, please contact the code of conduct team (@speth, @bryanwweber, and @kyleniemeyer) and we will address it as soon as possible.

Contributing Code

If there is a feature you would like to see added to Cantera, please consider becoming part of the developer community and contributing code! Cantera's code repository is developed openly on GitHub. Contributions are welcomed from anyone in the community; please see the Contributors' guide for assistance in getting started. There are also plenty of current contributors who are happy to help, if you do not know how to get started.

Bug Reporting

What should I do if I think I've found a bug in Cantera?

  • Check to see if you're using the most recent version of Cantera, and upgrade if not.

  • Check the Issue Tracker to see if the issue has already been reported.

  • Try to generate a minimal, complete, and verifiable example that demonstrates the observed bug.

  • Create a new issue on the tracker (the "New Issue" button is toward the upper right-hand corner, just above the list of open issues). Include as much information as possible about your system configuration (operating system, compiler versions, Python versions, installation method, etc.)

What information should I include in my bug report?

  • The version of Cantera are you using, and how you installed it

  • The operating system you are using

  • If you compiled Cantera, what compiler you used, and what compilation options you specified

  • The version of Python or Matlab are you using, if applicable

  • The necessary input to generate the reported behavior

  • The full text of any error message you receive

Supporting Cantera

Citing Cantera

If you use Cantera in a publication, we would appreciate if you cited the version of Cantera that you used. This helps to improve the reproducibility of your work, as well as giving credit to the many authors who have contributed their time to developing Cantera. The recommended citation for Cantera is as follows:

David G. Goodwin, Harry K. Moffat, Ingmar Schoegl, Raymond L. Speth, and Bryan W. Weber. Cantera: An object-oriented software toolkit for chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport processes., 2023. Version 3.0.0. doi:10.5281/zenodo.8137090

The following BibTeX entry may also be used:

    author = "David G. Goodwin and Harry K. Moffat and Ingmar Schoegl and Raymond L.
              Speth and Bryan W. Weber",
    title = "Cantera: An Object-oriented Software Toolkit for Chemical
             Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Transport Processes",
    year = 2023,
    note = "Version 3.0.0",
    howpublished = "\url{}",
    doi = {10.5281/zenodo.8137090}

If you are using a different version of Cantera, update the year, note and doi fields accordingly. You can find the correct DOI for other versions of Cantera in Cantera's Zenodo Entry.


Finally, please consider financially supporting Cantera's development! Cantera is a fiscally sponsored project of NumFOCUS, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting the open source scientific computing community. If you have found Cantera to be useful to your research or company, please consider making a donation to support our efforts. All donations will be used exclusively to fund the development of Cantera's source code, documentation, or community.

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