VisIt at NERSC

Availability  Up-to-date information on which versions of VisIt are running on which NERSC platforms is available at: NERSC Visualization Software Applications.

Table of Contents


VisIt is a point-and-click 3D scientific visualization application that supports most of the common visualization techniques (e.g., isocontouring and volume rendering) on structured and unstructured grids. Due to its distributed and parallel architecture, VisIt is able to handle very large datasets interactively. In addition, VisIt is extensible, allowing users to add data loaders or additional analysis tools to VisIt. The NERSC Analytics Team has developed extensions to VisIt in support of NERSC user applications, and coordinates with the VisIt development team to make these extensions part of the main VisIt development code branch.


Accessing VisIt

Use the modules facility as follows to load VisIt, and then launch the application by typing visit at the command line:

    % module load visit
    % visit 
To use a version of VisIt other than the default, include the version number on the module load line, e.g., to use version 1.5.5:

    % module load visit/1.5.5
    % visit 
To check which versions of VisIt are available:

    % module avail visit


  1. Sometimes when the VisIt GUI starts, the opening of VisIt windows stalls. If this is the case use:
    %visit -nowindowmetrics 
  2. You can install and run VisIt on your local machine and use a remote VisIt compute engine on the NERSC analytics machine. For information on how to set up VisIt's host profiles to do this and how to run a remote VisIt compute engine, please read Gunther Weber's Running a Remote VisIt Compute Engine on DaVinci.



Additional Resources

VisIt Web site

Sample Screen Shot

Examples of visualizations for which VisIt has been used are available on the NERSC Analytics Visualization page under Case Studies, or on the Visualization Group Vignettes page ( 2006 and 2007).
Incite4 image made with VisIt

  Volume rendering using VisIt
(click to enlarge)