A virtual desktop provides a graphical interface to using the cluster. Desktops are hosted within 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).
Connecting via a proxy using Jupyter
The quickest and easiest way to get started with a desktop is through Jupyter on NeSI, connect here.
First Time Install
In a terminal, run the command:
pip install --user git+https://github.com/nesi/nesi-virtual-desktops
Restart your JupyterLab instance and you should see a 'VirtualDesktop' icon.
Click the icon labelled 'VirtualDesktop', The desktop instance will last as long as your Jupyter session.
You may manage modules inside a terminal as usual using the
module command, however these changes won't propagate to the desktop environment. Modules to be loaded in the desktop can be set by modifying the file at
Recommend setting scaling to 'remote'
All local settings can be restored by running the command
/opt/nesi/vdt clean). Note, this will probably break any running desktop sessions.
You can help contribute to this project here.