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Revision as of 14:20, 7 November 2014 by Guanw (Talk | contribs) (Rainbow and your PC)

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Description: Application designed to visualize data sets of size varying from small to very large
SHARCNET Package information: see PARAVIEW software page in web portal
Full list of SHARCNET supported software

Visualization Stations

ParaView can be started from the applications menu (the one in the upper-left hand corner) under the graphics sub-menu after logging into any of the visualization stations. It can also be launched from the command prompt on any of the visualization stations by typing


Adding a --stereo option will enable stereo rendering when supported by the hardware.

Rainbow and Visualization Stations

The supported way to run ParaView on rainbow is through the visualization stations.

Once ParaView has started up, choose the connect option from the file menu. Click on rainbow and then connect. Select the desired number of processors (note that more is not necessarily faster due to the overhead of moving data around) and then press connect again. ParaView will then (depending on your ssh setup) request your password (on the command prompt if you started ParaView that way), login to rainbow, and submit an appropriate job to the vis queue.

Be aware that ParaView will expect your data files to be on rainbow and your state files to be on the local machine. As well, the use of the vis queue implies individual sessions will only last up to eight hours, and stereo rendering does not work in conjunction with rainbow.

Rainbow and your PC

You can also download ParaView for your PC (Linux, MacOS, and Windows version exist) from the ParaView Website (or install it using your package manager under Linux) and use it in client server mode to perform your rendering on rainbow. Note that you must use the same version of ParaView as on rainbow, you must setup ssh for passwordless login, and you must open tcp port 11111 for incoming connections on any firewalls.

Linux and MacOS

Place the following in servers.pvsc under .config/ParaView in your home directory (this must be done while ParaView is not running)

  <Server name="builtin" resource="builtin:">
  <Server name="rainbow" resource="csrc://">
        <Option name="PV_NODES" label="Number of Nodes">
          <Range type="int" min="1" max="16" step="1" default="4"/>
        <Option name="PV_CLIENT_HOST" label="Client Host" save="true">
        <Option name="PV_LOGIN" label="Login Name" save="true">
      <Command exec="ssh" timeout="0" delay="5" Arguments="24">
          <Argument value="-x"/>
          <Argument value="-l"/>
          <Argument value="$PV_LOGIN$"/>
          <Argument value=""/>
          <Argument value="sh"/>
          <Argument value="-l"/>
          <Argument value="-c"/>
          <Argument value="'"/>
          <Argument value="sqsub"/>
          <Argument value="-q"/>
          <Argument value="vis"/>
          <Argument value="-n"/>
          <Argument value="$PV_NODES$"/>
          <Argument value="-N"/>
          <Argument value="$PV_NODES$"/>
          <Argument value="-o"/>
          <Argument value="/tmp/pvsharcnet-mpi.%J.out"/>
          <Argument value="-r"/>
          <Argument value="480"/>
          <Argument value="-f"/>
          <Argument value="mpi"/>
          <Argument value="/opt/sharcnet/paraview/3.4.0/bin/pvsharcnet-mpi"/>
          <Argument value="--reverse-connection"/>
          <Argument value="--client-host=$PV_CLIENT_HOST$"/>
          <Argument value="--connect-id=$PV_CONNECT_ID$"/>
          <Argument value="'"/>

The directions above on connecting from the Visualization Stations will now apply to your PC as well. Enter your external IP address in the Client Host field.


A similar file, customized for your ssh setup, must be placed under your applications settings directory, and then the above directions will apply as well.

Other Options

It is also possible to run ParaView directly on rainbow. While this option is not supported, advanced users may find it useful. ParaView is installed into /opt/sharcnet/paraview/$version, where $version is the version number, and can be add to your path by doing

export PATH=/opt/sharcnet/paraview/$version/bin:$PATH

This will directly allow you to directly run the various ParaView programs (the ones compiled with MPI are postfixed with -mpi). Most of the programs, however, won’t actually work because they require a running X server in order to access the graphics card for rendering.

The pvsharcnet/pvsharcnet-mpi scripts are wrappers around the pvserver/pvserver-mpi commands that handle starting and stopping of an X server. The following is an example of manually starting a four node render server and telling it to connect back to the client running on $myhost

sqsub -q vis -n 4 -N 4 -r 480 -f mpi -o /tmp/pvsharcnet-mpi.%J.out \
     /opt/sharcnet/paraview/3.4.0/bin/pvsharcnet-mpi               \
     --reverse-connection --client-host=$myhost</pre>


o Paraview Help Documentation

o Sharcnet Paraview Training Document