Remote graphics

In addition to terminal access, one can use ThinLinc to access the cluster graphically. ThinLinc is a client-server solution based on VNC that provides a more efficient graphical interface compared to X over ssh. It can be used when you want to do graphics-intense post processing of data without the need to copy and run it on your local machine.

Example of Gnome desktop via Thinlinc

Connecting with Thinlinc

Download the client software from: Install the client software and launch it.

  • Server:,, or
  • Name: <your CID>
  • Password: <your password>

You can also use ssh keys to authenticate, instead of password.

Disconnect by click your user name in top-right corner and choose Quit.

NOTE: We need to reboot these machines occasionally, killing all sessions, so make sure to always save your work frequently. The Thinlinc system is intended for interactive use, not long-running jobs. Those should be submitted to the queue.

Thinlinc normally starts fullscreen, but you can change this default option to windowed mode, and you can access the thinlinc menu using the F8 key.

For hebbe and glenn, the actual ThinLinc nodes are separate machines called hebbe-gui, hebbe-gui2, glenn-gfx2. The hebbe-mstud server is only accessible by mstud users.

Running 3D applications - VirtualGL

We have installed NVidia drivers and VirtualGL on the ThinLinc node, so you can run OpenGL software with hardware acceleration. This is often required as many applications are to buggy in software rendering to be useable. Most graphical softwares are availble through the application menu, which will do the right thing. If for some reason need to launch the applications yourself, then do

vglrun some_application

Some applications circumvent VirtualGL, and requires additional setup. Matlab requires running

vglrun matlab -nosoftwareopengl

Known errors

Preloading modules in .bashrc will most likely cause Thinlinc to break. You should use an alias for loading them instead, after login.