MeSU offers nodes equipped with GPUs (gamma partition) that can be used to remotely visualize your jobs data.
As the execution and the rendering of your application is done on MeSU, you do not need to download your data or use a powerful computer to perform visualization tasks.

Pre-requisite

In order to connect to a visualization running on MeSU, the TurboVNC software must be installed on your local computer. It is available on Linux, Windows and MacOS.
While other VNC protocol implementations exist (TightVNC, RealVNC, etc.), only TurboVNC provides the features required to connect to MeSU. If you already have an other VNC implementation installed, you should still install TurboVNC.

In order to install TurboVNC, please refer to the official documentation.

Starting a new session

When logged in on MeSU, you can start a new session by using the command visu-start-session :

user@mesu2:~> visu-start-session 

Visualization job 12345 submitted

Please wait while session is starting ...

Session is now running, use the following information to connect with TurboVNC

Address: xxxxx.dsi.upmc.fr:1

Session password: pksfpz
View-only password: odmspe

You may stop the session using 'visu-stop-session'.

Behind the scenes, the visu-start-session command submits a job to the Gamma partition of MeSU.
You can check that your session is running by using regular jobs monitoring commands :

user@mesu2:~> qqueue -u $USER
JOBID   PART   CATEGORY  NAME  USER  ST   TIME    NODES  CPUS   NODELIST(REASON)
569293  gamma   normal   visu  user  R   0:00:07    1      6    xxxxxx

Connecting to a session

Once your session has started on MeSU, open TurboVNC on your local computer.
TurboVNC will expect you to provide the session address and the session password.
Use the information output by the visu-start-session command.

Connect to the address provided by the visu-start-session command

The visualization session script generates two random passwords that will allow you (and possibly others) to connect.
The session password is the main password, it provides the mouse and keyboard controls of the session.
The view-only password can be shared to invite other people. They will be allowed to connect but won’t have control over the session.

Use the session password to authenticate yourself

Once connected and authenticated, TurboVNC will then open a window with a desktop running on one of MeSU Gamma node :

MeSU Visualization Session Desktop

The desktop environment is based on Fluxbox. Other environments such as Gnome or KDE are not available.

On the desktop, shortcuts are provided to open a terminal, a text editor and a file browser.
You can also open applications by using the desktop menu (right-click on the background).

Behind the scenes, your session is wrapped by VirtualGL. Thus, you have access to the GPU 3D acceleration without having to perform any additional command or configuration.

To start your graphical application, simply open a terminal, load the required environment modules and call it.

Note that visualization are capped to a 48 hours walltime.

Terminating a session

When you are done with your session, you can close either by exiting the window manager :

Click on ‘Exit’ to terminate your visualization session.

Or by calling the visu-stop-session command from a MeSU login node :

user@mesu2:~> visu-stop-session 

Visualization job 12345 terminated