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Graphic Environment

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For graphical pre- and post-processing purposes there is 1 visualisation nodes installed in the Nehalem cluster. The node is equipped with a nVIDIA Quadro 5800 FX and has 8 GB memory. Access to the nodes is possible by using the node feature vis.

user@cl3fr1>qsub -I -lnodes=1:vis

To use the graphic hardware for remote rendering there are currently two ways tested. The first is via TurboVNC the second one is directly via VirtualGL.

VNC Setup

If you want to use the Nehalem Graphic Hardware e.g. for graphical pre- and post-processing, on way to do it is via a vnc-connection.


For that purpose you have to install TurboVNC on your local machine. TurboVNC comes as a pre-compiled package which can be downloaded from http://www.virtualgl.org/Downloads/TurboVNC.

Preparation of Nehalem Cluster

Before using vnc for the first time you have to log on to the Nehalem frontend and run


which creates you a .vnc directory in your home containing a passwd file.

Starting the TurboVNC server

To start a TurboVNC server you simply have to login to the cluster frontend cl3fr1.hww.de via ssh.

user@client>ssh cl3fr1.hww.de

Then load the VirtualGL module to setup the TurboVNC environment and start the TurboVNC server.

user@cl3fr1>module load tools/VirtualGL
user@cl3fr1>vis_via_vnc.sh XX:XX:XX

Where XX:XX:XX is the required walltime for your visualisation job.

The vis_via_vnc.sh script returns the name of the node reserved for you, a display number and the IP-address.

If you got a VNC viewer which supports the via option like TurboVNC or TigerVNC you can simply call the viewer like stated below

user@client>vncviewer -via cl3fr1.hww.de <node name>:<Display#>

If you got a VNC viewer without support of the vis option you have to setup a ssh tunnel via the frontend first and then launch the VNC viewer with a connection to localhost

user@client>ssh -N -L10000:<IP-address of vis-node>:5901 &
user@client>vncviewer localhost:10000

Enter the vnc password you set on the frontend and you should get a Gnome session running in your VNC viewer. To execute 64Bit GL Applications within this session you have to open a shell and again load the VirtualGL module to set the VirtualGL environment and then start the application with the VirtualGL wrapper command

vglrun <Application command>

Vgl in vnc session.png

Ending the vnc session

If the vnc session isn't needed any more the TurboVNC server should be shut down with

user@n150701>module load tools/VirtualGL
user@n150701>vncserver -kill :<Display#>

VirtualGL Setup (WITHOUT turbovnc)

To use VirtualGL you have to install it on your local client. It is available in the form of pre-compiled packages at http://www.virtualgl.org/Downloads/VirtualGL.


After the installation of VirtualGL you can connect to cl3fr1.hww.de via the vglconnect command

user@client>vglconnect -s cl3fr1.hww.de

Then connect to the visualisation node n150701 via the vglconnect command

user@cl3fr1>module load tools/VirtualGL
user@cl3fr1>vglconnect -s n150701

On the visualisation node you can then execute 64Bit GL applications with the VirtualGL wrapper command

user@n150701>module load tools/VirtualGL
user@cl3fr1>vglrun <Application command>