The drift-reduced Braginskii model describing turbulence in the tokamak scrape-off layer is written for a general magnetic configuration with a limiter. The equilibrium is then specified for a circular concentric magnetic geometry retaining aspect ratio effects. Simulations are then carried out with the help of the global, flux-driven fluid three-dimensional code GBS [Ricci et al., Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 54, 124047 (2012)]. Linearly, both simulations and simplified analytical models reveal a stabilization of ballooning modes. Nonlinearly, flux-driven nonlinear simulations give a pressure characteristic length whose trends are correctly captured by the gradient removal theory [Ricci and Rogers, Phys. Plasmas 20, 010702 (2013)], that assumes the profile flattening from the linear modes as the saturation mechanism. More specifically, the linear stabilization of ballooning modes is reflected by a 15% increase in the steady-state pressure gradient obtained from GBS nonlinear simulations when going from an infinite to a realistic aspect ratio. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.