VisIt HPC Job Launching

Starting a complex client/server application such as VisIt in the DSRC environment can be very challenging. Fortunately, VisIt provides HOST PROFILES to efficiently manage this process.

  • HOST PROFILES are pre-configured host descriptions that provide you with a GUI-based interface to allocated resources on an HPC system and manages all of the underlying complexities required to connect to a remote HPC system, submit a PBS batch job, and establish communication between the client-side application and the server-side software.
  • The GUI interface provides you with an opportunity to select username and login node, and to establish resource allocations on the cluster such as number of nodes, number of tasks per node and PROJECT ID.
  • These user-selected options are saved for you so that the next time you start, those values are automatically recalled.

How do I connect to an HPC System

For HPC job launching to work correctly, you need to make sure that you can successfully SSH into the remote hostname. The first time that you make an SSH connection, you will be asked to add your hostname to the know host cache. You should do this PRIOR to attempting to run in client/server mode.

How do I get VisIt HPC Job Launching on my local Workstation?

  • Pre-configured software bundles of VisIt for Windows, Mac, & Linux can be downloaded from the client-server page here.
  • The bundles are end-user installable and there is a README file associated with each package with instructions on how to proceed with the installation.
  • The availability of these packages does not relieve you of any local organizational rules and regulations related to the installation of workstation software.
  • If your organization requires any approvals prior to the installation of software, you should continue to obtain that local approval prior to installing this software.

How do I launch VisIt with HPC Job Launching?

The actual startup command will be different depending on if you are on a Linux, Mac or Windows workstation. However, by simply launching VisIt using the machine-specific method, the proper connection definition files will be automatically loaded and made available for your use.

To set up host profiles properly in VisIt, you first need to edit the host profiles for each system you intend to use.

  • Under the menu "Options -> Host Profiles" you will see a list of pre-defined host profiles that are available with the standard DoD distrbution


  • Select one of the host profiles that you intend to use, and under "Host Settings" set the Username to match your username on the HPC system.

Hpclaunch VisIt3.png

  • In the same window under the "Launch Profiles" tab, select the "Parallel" tab and enter your HPC Project ID in the field labeled "Default Bank/Account"

Hpclaunch VisIt4.png

  • Make sure to save your host profile settings by going back to the main menu and selecting "Options -> Save Settings"
  • VisIt is now properly configured to make all necessary connections to the HPC system.

HPClaunch VisIt5.png

In the main VisIt window, OPEN a connection to a pre-configured host profile


  • Select the host that you want to connect to and VisIt will start up the processes to connect you to an HPC server

Hpclaunch VisIt2.png

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