Ansys EnSight Page
HPC Platforms
EnSight EULA

EnSight is one of three core data visualization and analysis packages supported by the DAAC within the DoD HPCMP. EnSight supports a large variety of data formats, it scales well across multiple nodes allowing parallel HPC analysis processing, and it specializes in CFD and CAE simulation outputs. EnSight is commercially supported and developed by Ansys.


EnSight's history extends back to 1987 when a visualization software development group was formed at Cray Research. In 1989, Cray Research released MPGS. CEI was spun off from Cray Research in early 1994 and headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. EnSight was released later that same year. In 1997, version 6.0 of EnSight was released. Two years later, version 7.0 was released, which also included the release of EnSight Gold. In 2000, the Department of Energy's ASCI project awarded several contracts to CEI to develop advanced visualization tools, including the ability to visualize very large models using Beowulf clusters. In 2004, CEI released EnSight 8.0. On November 17, 2008, CEI released EnSight 9.0 which includes such updates as a new interface, dockable windows, and improved access to the API. Skipping forward with late versions of 10.2.x, on July 11, 2017 CEI was acquired by ANSYS. In 2019, Ansys changed the template of version naming, which left off from last CEI template of 10.2.7a. The next released version was 2019R1. EnSight versions now target three releases per year.

Native Ansys EnSight software currently supports a few different operating modes:

  • Single-User - The entire application runs on the user's workstation in a single thread.
  • Parallel Processing - The entire application runs on the user's workstation in multiple threads simultaneously.
  • Client-Server - The user starts a client on his workstation and a server on a remote system. The server will be responsible for loading & processing the data, and client will render the display window. (Customized versions have been prebuilt specifically for connecting to HPC Systems. See below).
  • Server-of-Servers - The user starts a client and a collection of servers on a remote system. The "Server-of-Servers" controls communication between the various servers. This can be used to distribute processing across a large cluster, transparently to the user.
  • Distributed Rendering (DR) - The user starts a client and a Server-of-Servers setup, and an additional Distributed Rendering setup. The Distributed Render systems communicate directly with the servers behind the "Server-of-Servers" to not only process the data in parallel, but render it in parallel as well, further improving performance. (EnSight Gold version required).
  • Virtual Reality - Support for several types of VR devices
  • Collaboration - Multiple users navigate the same visualization and share their results interactively and simultaneously.

EnSight and the SRD Capability

The Secure Remote Desktop (SRD) provides a local gnome desktop served from a graphics node of the HPC system. The desktop’s display is ported back to the user's workstation (Linux, Mac, or Windows) via TurboVNC. Users can load an EnSight version module, and then choose to run either an EnSight stand-alone session (with the command ensight) within the SRD environment or launch a client-server session with the ceistart command. Click here for more information regarding SRD.

Downloading the Customized HPC Client-Server Software

EnSight installation tgz/zip files (for Linux, Mac, and Windows workstations respectively) can be installed from the links below. For setup instructions, see the readme.

ORS-Realmed users wishing to obtain this software must contact the HPC Helpdesk to request a copy.

Current DAAC Release

Latest DAAC Release

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Supported File Formats

Supported File Formats
ABAQUS_fil FADIOSS_4.x Nastran OP2
Ansys Results (v10) FAST UNSTRUCTURED NetCFD
AVUS Case Flow-3D Silo
Case Fluent Special HDF5
CFF/WIND FV UNS 8.0 (alpha) STL
CGNS MSC/Dytran Tecplot_ASCII
CRUNCH MSC.Marc Vectix
CTH MultiExodusII  
EnSight 5 MultiExodusIIng  

EnSight Client-Server HPC Job Launching

Documents and Articles

Tips, Tricks, and Work-Arounds

Using ens_checker

ens_checker is a program that checks the integrity of the EnSight Gold file format. If a data file successfully completes this check, then it will most likely be able to be read by EnSight. ens_checker only checks the format, size, and hierarchical organization of the existence of all declared data files from an EnSight case file. It does not attempt to verify the validity of the floating point values in the data.

To check a file, a user can simply type in the command line:

% ./ens_checker

Invoking the program without any arguments will cause it to prompt the user to input an EnSight case file to read. After successfully executing the program, ens_checker will be providing feedback. This feedback is important in interpreting what is correct (or incorrect) in the data set.