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Best practices for using the HPC-VCL

The HPC-VCL may be used to:

  • Visualize complex graphics or interactively use software in GUI mode, such as MATLAB, Fluent and VMD.
  • Run a web browser client to access the iRODS file system to click to upload or download files between the iRODS file system and the HPC file system.
  • Run a web browser client on the HPC to click and download files from web servers that do not support wget.
  • The HPC-VCL is not meant to be a substitute for learning Linux or the command line. Program execution and file manipulation should still be done from the command line to the extent possible, and the use of the web browser should be limited to necessary operations. Actions like using a web browser or drag and drop to the Trash can create unexpected consequences, such as creating small hidden files that quickly fill a user's home directory.

    Run applications from the scratch directory. Before opening an application, cd to the scratch directory on /share. By default, applications will usually generate output files and log files in the current working directory.


    To reserve an HPC-VCL image, go to

    Interactive visualization and graphical interfaces

    The HPC-VCL is used for interactive visualization because RDP renders a remote desktop faster than SSH with X11. For the majority of users, there will be no noticeable differences between the VCL and an interactive compute node when setting up the environment or calling a program.

    Note that there are no GPUs on HPC-VCL nodes and the number of available cores is limited to those allocated to the VCL image.

    module load matlab
    module load vmd


    The HPC-VCL is also an iRODS client, and the iRODS file system can be accessed by the VCL. See the datascience website for instructions.

    Once an iRODS account has been initialized, open the Firefox web browser on the HPC-VCL and go to

    Last modified: November 07 2019 10:02:01.

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