VisIT is an interactive parallel visualization and graphical analysis tool for viewing scientific data on Unix and PC platforms.

VisIT is an interactive tool, and requires a login session to use.

Versions and Availability

Module Names for visit on qb2
Machine Version Module Name
None Available N/A N/A
▶ **FIX-ME** FAQ?


You will need to add one of the following set of keys to your software environment, depending on whether or not you want the serial or parallel version:

Keys For Serial Use:


Keys For Parallel Use:


Since upgrades will happen, verify the keys available using the command: softenv -k.

▶ Softenv FAQ?

The information here is applicable to LSU HPC and LONI systems.


SoftEnv is a utility that is supposed to help users manage complex user environments with potentially conflicting application versions and libraries.

System Default Path

When a user logs in, the system /etc/profile or /etc/csh.cshrc (depending on login shell, and mirrored from csm:/cfmroot/etc/profile) calls /usr/local/packages/softenv-1.6.2/bin/ to set up the default path via the SoftEnv database.

SoftEnv looks for a user's ~/.soft file and updates the variables and paths accordingly.

Viewing Available Packages

Using the softenv command, a user may view the list of available packages. Currently, it can not be ensured that the packages shown are actually available or working on the particular machine. Every attempt is made to present an identical environment on all of the LONI clusters, but sometimes this is not the case.


$ softenv
These are the macros available:
*   @default
These are the keywords explicitly available:
+amber-8                       Applications: 'Amber', version: 8 Amber is a
+apache-ant-1.6.5              Ant, Java based XML make system version: 1.6.
+charm-5.9                     Applications: 'Charm++', version: 5.9 Charm++
+default                       this is the default environment...nukes /etc/
+essl-4.2                      Libraries: 'ESSL', version: 4.2 ESSL is a sta
+gaussian-03                   Applications: 'Gaussian', version: 03 Gaussia
Listing of Available Packages

See Packages Available via SoftEnv on LSU HPC and LONI.

For a more accurate, up to date list, use the softenv command.


Currently there are some caveats to using this tool.

  1. packages might be out of sync between what is listed and what is actually available
  2. resoft and soft utilities are not; to update the environment for now, log out and login after modifying the ~/.soft file.

softenv is available on all LSU HPC and LONI clusters to all users in both interactive login sessions (i.e., just logging into the machine) and the batch environment created by the PBS job scheduler on Linux clusters and by loadleveler on AIX clusters..

Packages Availability

This information can be viewed using the softenv command:

% softenv
Managing Environment with SoftEnv

The file ~/.soft in the user's home directory is where the different packages are managed. Add the +keyword into your .soft file. For instance, ff one wants to add the Amber Molecular Dynamics package into their environment, the end of the .soft file should look like this:



To update the environment after modifying this file, one simply uses the resoft command:

% resoft

Serial Execution

To run a serial instance, simply type visit on the command line. You can use visit -h to see what command options are available.

Parallel Execution

Complex processing on large amounts of data can be done on multiple processors in parallel, but requires some preparation. The first thing you will have to do is set up a host profile on each cluster you plan to use.

Host Profile

To create or modify a host profile, run: visit -gui

From the Options menu, select Host profiles. . .

On the Selected profile tab, make sure "Host name aliases" are defined, based on the cluster's host name. For a host name of the form

Enter the following in the "Host name aliases" box: hostname###

This is an example of what it should look like:

Host Profile 1

Then, on the Parallel options tab, set the MPI startup command, the number of nodes to use, and the number of cores. You'll have to be aware of how many cores per node are available on the cluster you're using. When done, it will look like this:

Host Profile 2

Profiles you define in this way are available for future use. You'll need a profile to match each set of nodes/cores you plan to use. When it comes time to process, the action of opening a file will pop up a dialog box to have you select the proper profile. Based on the example above, it will look like:

Host Profile 3

When the parallel version of Visit is executed, and the above profile is used, the following text should appear:

$ visit gui
Running: mpirun -np
8 /usr/local/packages/visit/1.12.1/gcc-4.3.2-mvapich-1.1/1.12.1/linux-x86_64/bin/engine_par 
-host painter055 -noloopback -forcestatic -timeout 480 -port 5600  
-plugindir :/home/lyan1/.visit/linux-x86_64/plugins:/usr/local/packages/visit/1.12.1/gcc-4.3.2-mvapich-1.1/1.12.1/linux-x86_64/plugins


Last modified: November 12 2014 10:07:50.