You must be able to forward a port.
A virtual desktop provides a graphical interface to using the cluster. Desktops are hosted withing Singularity containers, so not all of the NeSI software stack is supported. If you would like to build your own desktop containers with the code here.
Rendering is done cluster-side, and compressed before being sent to your local machine. This means any rendering should be significantly more responsive than when using X11 on its own (approximately 40 times faster).
The Virtual desktops are still in development, please report any issues to NeSI support, or open an issue here.
A port on your local machine must be forwarded to Mahuika.
ssh -L 1234:localhost:1234 mahuika
Port numbers should be between 1025-49151. It's OK to use the same number for local and remote ports (makes it easier to remember too!)
Add VDT to path
Run the command.
echo "export PATH="/opt/nesi/vdt/:\$PATH"">>~/.bash_profile;. ~/.bash_profile
to add the VDT command to your path, if you don't do this step you can still use the
vdt command as
vdt -h for general help or
vdt [command] -h for help relating to that command.
|vdt start [port]||
||Starts a desktop session on the login node. It will last until the shell is closed.|
||Starts a desktop session on the login node. It will continue running after you disconnect.|
||Starts a desktop session on another node. It will continue running after you disconnect.|
||Starts a desktop session in a Slurm job. It will continue running after you disconnect.|
||Lists all your sessions.|
|vdt kill [name]||
||Kills desktop [name].|
Recommend setting scaling to 'remote'
The conditions for running a desktop on the login node are similar to when using a shell. There are no time limits, but should not be used for large or long running jobs. Any serious amount of computation should be launched with SLURM, this can be done using the terminal or GUI.
In the case where your work needs to be run interactively, and cannot be managed from a different node, you can launch the desktop on a compute node
On the login node
You may run desktops on the login node, provided you are not doing any serious computation there.
Once on Mahuika, enter in the path to the desktop followed by your forwarded port (
--help for more options).
vdt start -N my_desktop [port]
Then in a web browser navigate to your forwarded address. e.g.
On a compute node
If you plan on doing computation in the desktop instance, you should be doing it on a compute node.
If you already have a Slurm job running, you can start a desktop on that node using the
-r [hostname] e.g.
vdt start -N my_desktop -r [hostname] [port]
If you want to start a new Slurm session, you can do this using salloc , the hostname will be inferred from environment (unless explicitly set).
salloc --job-name my_desktop --nodes 1 --cpus-per-task 8 --time 01:00:00 vdt start 1234
If you wish your desktop to stay around after you close your shell, add
& after the command. e.g.
vdt start [port] &
-vflag for extra information.
- Try using
-cto remove local files.
- Close any extra
/usr/bin/gpg-agentprocesses running in the background.