ParaView was created by Kitware in conjunction with Jim Ahrens at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Contributors and developers of ParaView currently include Kitware, LANL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Army Research Laboratory. ParaView is funded by the US Department of Energy ASCI Views program as part of a 3-year contract awarded to Kitware, Inc., by a consortium of three National Labs - Los Alamos, Sandia, and Livermore. The goal of the project is to develop scalable parallel processing tools with an emphasis on distributed memory implementations. The project includes parallel algorithms, infrastructure, I/O, support, and display devices. One significant feature of the contract is that all software developed is to be delivered open source. Hence, ParaView is available as an open-source system.
ParaView supports a few different operating modes:
- Single-User - The user runs the application just like any other application, with all data existing on the local machine and all processing done on the local machine.
- Client-Server Mode - The user runs a lightweight
client on the local machine and runs the server on a separate
remote machine. The data will be loaded by the server, and the
server will be responsible for all computation. Rendering can
be done on either the Remote or Local system, depending on the
(Customized versions of client-server installations have been prebuilt specifically for connecting to HPC Systems. See below).
- Client-Distributed Server Mode - The user runs a lightweight client on the local machine and runs multiple servers on a separate cluster, typically using MPI. Data will be loaded on the remote server, and the server will be responsible for all computation. Rendering can be done in parallel across the many servers with the results properly composited and sent back to the client, or the rendering can be performed locally.
- Client-Distributed Data-Distributed Render mode - Just like Client-Distributed Server mode except a second set of servers is started on a separate "Graphics" Cluster, typically with graphics accelerating hardware. The data server is responsible for loading and processing the data. The graphics cluster is responsible for properly rendering and compositing the results and sending them back to the client.
ParaView and the SRD Utility
Additionally, the SRD utility provides a virtual desktop served from an HPC Utility Server where ParaView can be run as well. The desktop is displayed back to the user's local workstation (Linux, Mac, or Windows) via TurboVNC built into the SRD software. Click here for more information regarding SRD.
Downloading the customized HPC Client-Server Software
ParaView installation tar/zip files (for Linux, Mac, and Windows workstations) have been prebuilt with custom scripts to connect to HPC Server Systems. Installation from these zip files do not require admin privileges. Simply download the zipped files from any utility sever, and follow the instructions given in the README files. The respective paths are:
Introductory Tutorials - "How to use ParaView?"
- ParaView GUI Overview
- Data Formats & Reading in Data
- A Simple Example
- Toolbar Icons
- The Pipeline Browser Window
- The Object Inspector Window
- Multiview Part II
- Comparative View Inspector
- Comprehensive List of Sources
- Comprehensive List of Filters
- Common Operations in ParaView
- Animating Legacy VTK Files
- ParaView on Multiple Processors
- ParaView Client-Server Mode
- ParaView Client-Distributed Server Mode
- ParaView Tiled-Display Mode
- ParaView Distributed Data-Distributed Render Mode
- ParaView Batch Mode
- Compiling ParaView Statically
- A User's Experience with Remote Visualization using ParaView
- Simplified SSH Port Forwarding for ParaView
- ParaView Client-Server HPC Job Launching
- Running ParaView from an SRD Session
ParaView Video Tutorials
- Use of ParaView Connection Definition Files for HPC Job Launching
- Reading CTH data
- Running ParaView from an SRD Session