For applications that require interactivity with a remote display (i.e., a GUI), use the HPC-VCL image available through the NC State Virtual Computing Lab (VCL). Reserving an HPC image from the VCL will provide the user with a dedicated login node; other users will not be affected when running programs directly on an HPC-VCL node.
To reserve a dedicated HPC login node for the purposes of using a GUI application, go to the VCL web site and make a reservation for the HPC (CentOS 7.5 64 bit VM) environment. If HPC does not appear in the list of available environments, send email to HPC Support to request access to the HPC-VCL image. In the email, confirm that your application requires a GUI interface or some other feature that is only accessible by using HPC-VCL. Note that HPC access is required before requesting HPC-VCL access.
The HPC-VCL is not meant to be a substitute for learning Linux or the command line. Program execution and file manipulation should still be done from the command line to the extent possible, and the use of the web browser should be limited to necessary operations. Actions like using a web browser or drag and drop to the Trash can create unexpected consequences, such as creating small hidden files that quickly fill a user's home directory.
Run applications from the scratch directory. Before opening an application, cd to the scratch directory on /share. By default, applications will usually generate output files and log files in the current working directory.
To reserve an HPC-VCL image, go to vcl.ncsu.edu.
Tip: Type HPC followed by a space in the dropdown box; the list will be filtered to show only the HPC environment.
This is assuming you have already set the VCL Preferences to have Color Depth.
The "Color Depth" needs to be set less than 32 in the VCL settings, and that is the default; however, it seems there is a problem in Microsoft RDP where it does not read in that information from the RDP file.
So instead of just clicking on the RDP file to let the application open it automatically, with apologies, you will have to do:
For MATLAB: you might and probably will get the following error messages, but these should not affect the appearance or functionality of MATLAB.
Gtk-Message: 12:13:58.315: Failed to load module "pk-gtk-module" Gtk-Message: 12:13:58.323: Failed to load module "canberra-gtk-module"
The HPC-VCL is used for interactive visualization because RDP renders a remote desktop faster than SSH with X11. For the majority of users, there will be no noticeable differences between the VCL and an interactive compute node when setting up the environment or calling a program.
Note that there are no GPUs on HPC-VCL nodes and the number of available cores is limited to those allocated to the VCL image.Examples:
module load matlab matlabOr
module load vmd vmd
The default HPC-VCL image has limited compute/memory resources compared with most of the compute nodes. While
bsub -Is can be used while on the HPC-VCL, direct display from a compute node to the HPC-VCL is not supported. To run an application requiring a remote display from a compute node, do the following:
ssh -X firstname.lastname@example.org.
bsub -Is [options] tcsh. (See the general instructions for requesting an interactive session.)
The HPC-VCL is also an iRODS client, and the iRODS file system can be accessed by the VCL. See the datascience website for instructions.
Once an iRODS account has been initialized, open the Firefox web browser on the HPC-VCL and go to irods-cloudbrowser.hpc.ncsu.edu.
Last modified: March 23 2022 13:46:50.