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ParaView is a data visualisation and analysis package. Whilst ARCHER2 compute or login nodes do not have graphics cards installed in them, ParaView is installed so the visualisation libraries and applications can be used to post-process simulation data. The ParaView server (pvserver), batch application (pvbatch), and the Python interface (pvpython) are all available. Users are able to run the server on the compute nodes and connect to a local ParaView client running on their own computer.

Using ParaView on ARCHER2

ParaView is available through the paraview module.

module load paraview

Once the module has been added, the ParaView executables, tools, and libraries will be available.

Connecting to pvserver on ARCHER2

For doing visualisation, you should connect to pvserver from a local ParaView client running on your own computer.


You should make sure the version of ParaView you have installed locally is the same as the one on ARCHER2 (version 5.10.1).

The following instructions are for running pvserver in an interactive job. Start an iteractive job using:

srun --nodes=1 --exclusive --time=00:20:00 \
               --partition=standard --qos=short --pty /bin/bash

Once the job starts the command prompt will change to show you are now on the compute node, e.g.:


Then load the ParaView module and start pvserver with the srun command,

auser@nid001023:/work/t01/t01/auser> module load paraview
auser@nid001023:/work/t01/t01/auser> srun --overlap --oversubscribe -n 4 \
> pvserver --mpi --force-offscreen-rendering
Waiting for client...
Connection URL: cs://nid001023:11111
Accepting connection(s): nid001023:11111


The previous example uses 4 compute cores to run pvserver. You can increase the number of cores in case the visualisation does not run smoothly. Please bear in mind that, depending on the testcase, a large number of compute cores can lead to an out-of-memory runtime error.

In a separate terminal you can now set up an SSH tunnel with the node ID and port number which the pvserver is using, e.g.:

ssh -L 11111:nid001023:11111 

enter your password and passphrase as usual.

You can then connect from your local client using the following connection settings:

Name:           archer2 
Server Type:    Client/Server 
Host:           localhost 
Port:           11111


The Host from the local client should be set to "localhost" when using the SSH tunnel. The "Name" field can be set to a name of your choosing. 11111 is the default port for pvserver.

If it has connected correctly, you should see the following:

Waiting for client...
Connection URL: cs://nid001023:11111
Accepting connection(s): nid001023:11111
Client connected.

Using batch-mode (pvbatch)

A pvbatch script can be run in a standard job script. For example the following will run on a single node:


# Slurm job options (job-name, compute nodes, job time)
#SBATCH --job-name=example_paraview_job
#SBATCH --time=0:20:00
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --ntasks-per-node=128
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=1

# Replace [budget code] below with your budget code (e.g. t01)
#SBATCH --account=[budget code]             
#SBATCH --partition=standard
#SBATCH --qos=standard

module load paraview

# Ensure the cpus-per-task option is propagated to srun commands

srun --distribution=block:block --hint=nomultithread pvbatch

Compiling ParaView

The latest instructions for building ParaView on ARCHER2 may be found in the GitHub repository of build instructions: