[Paraview] Paraview on a cluster ; Streamtrace question

Berk Geveci berk.geveci at kitware.com
Wed Oct 8 15:54:13 EDT 2008

To isolate the streamline issue, try disabling remote render and make
the streamlines small enough so that the client can handle rendering
them. If you are still experiencing crashes, you are probably running
into a bug in the streamline filter. The parallel version of that
filter needs some more work...

As for issues with opaque clips, make sure that you are using the very
latest version of Mesa. It has some fixes that are related to


On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM, Tim Bowker <tbowker at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am running paraview on a cluster with some success, however, it
> seems incredibly slow and crashes often. The cluster has no graphics
> hardware so I compiled and installed OSmesa, I then downloaded the
> paraview CVS source and changed all open GL and mesa settings as per
> the server wiki page. To circumvent firewall issues I ssh to the
> cluster and start pvserver with the --use-offscreen-rendering flag. I
> found I still got the bad X server connection message but this did not
> lead to an immediate crash and although it was slow I could manipulate
> everything up to a point (see below). Then, I downloaded and compiled
> 3.2.3 and I no longer observe the bad X server connection error but it
> still seems very slow and still crashes frequently. I have
> successfully performed the test under 'Paraview does not scale' on the
> server wiki page. I tried a 6M then 1M cell unstructured grid (ensight
> file with one zone) containing a velocity vector and 4 other variables
> running on various combinations up to 112 processors (14 nodes x 8
> processors per node & 8GB RAM per node) but it still seems slow. When
> I look at the CPU load logs all processors are maxed out more that 95%
> of the time. Typically my work flow is something as follows:
> Import File
> D3
> Extract Surface
> Perform 2 clips on extracted surface
> Add streamlines (this frequently causes a crash however coarse I make
> the settings)
> Make 1 of the clips opaque (almost always crashes)
> Often it also hangs after viewer manipulation or even just upon
> selection of a different filter.
> My questions:
> Perhaps my expectations of the MESA library are too optimistic and
> paraview really requires graphics hardware to run smoothly?
> Has anyone got experience of which MPI library performs best? We have
> openmpi gnu & intel, mpich2 & SCore and willing to install more :-)
> Are there any benchmarks/tools that would give an indication of
> whether the cluster is under performing / where the bottleneck is?
> It's a new cluster and we don't have any software that we use
> regularly with enough licences to test over all the cores.
> On smaller grids on my desktop with a fairly recent graphics card the
> serial paraview client zips along and does almost everything (see
> below) I could wish for so I hope there are some tips out there to
> improve the parallel performance.
> Second:
> When I have a streamtrace with attached glyph can I control the glyph
> seeding so that spheres are plotted at fixed time intervals along the
> streamtrace i.e. in low velocity regions spheres are bunched up and
> conversely spread out in high velocity regions.
> Thanks for reading this far and thanks in advance for any
> comments/tips/solutions,
> Tim
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