TurboVNC start guide#

TurboVNC is a good way to provide access to remote visualization applications that works together with VirtualGL - a popular package for remote visualization.

Installing TurboVNC client (viewer)#

  • Download the most recent version of the client from the TurboVNC download page on SourceForge.

  • Continue with configuration of your client.

TurboVNC client Configuration & Start Guide#


UAntwerp The UAntwerp visualization node uses TurboVNC, but the setup is different and TurboVNC is also supported on the regular login nodes (but without OpenGL support). Specific instructions for the use of TurboVNC on the UAntwerp clusters can be found on the page Remote visualization @ UAntwerp.

  1. Create password to authenticate your session:

    $ vncpasswd

    In case of problems with saving your password please create the appropriate path first:

    $ mkdir .vnc; touch .vnc/passwd; vncpasswd
  2. Start VNC server on the visualization node (optionally with geometry settings - do not include brackets in the command):

    $ vncserver (-depth 24 -geometry 1600x1000)

    As a result you will get the information about the display <d> that you are using, e.g. tier2-p-login-8:<d> with <d> = 2

    Desktop 'TurboVNC: tier2-p-login-8:2 (vsc30000)' started on display tier2-p-login-8:2
  3. Establish the ssh tunnel connection:

    • In Linux/ Mac OS

      $ ssh -L 590<d>:host:590<d> -N [email protected]


      $ ssh -L 5901:tier2-p-login-8:5901 -N [email protected]
    • In Windows:

      In PuTTY go to Connection-SSH-Tunnels tab and add the source port 590<d> (e.g., 5902) and destination host:590<d> (e.g., tier2-p-login-8:5902).


      Once the tunnel is added it will appear in the list of forwarded ports:


      With that settings continue login to the cluster.

  4. Start VNC viewer connection

    Start the client: VSC server as localhost:<d> (where <d> is display number), e.g., localhost:2


    Authenticate with your password

  5. After your work is done do not forget to close your connection:

    $ vncserver -kill :<d>; exit


    $ vncserver -kill :2; exit

How to start using visualization node?#

  1. TurboVNC works with the Mate Desktop Environment

  1. To start a new terminal click on the deskop or banner item or use right click of the mouse and choose ‘Open in terminal’

  1. Load the appropriate visualization module (Paraview, VisIt, VMD, Avizo) e.g.

    $ module load Paraview
  2. Start the application. In general the application has to be started using VirtualGL package, e.g.

    $ vglrun –d :0 paraview

    but to make it easier we created scripts (starting with capital letters: Paraview, Visit, VMD) that can execute the necessary commands and start the application, e.g.

    $ Paraview
  3. For checking how much GPUs are involved in your visalization you may execute gpuwatch in the new terminal

    $ gpuwatch

Attached documents#

Download: Slides from the lunchbox session