GUI Programs

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Here you will find the information necessary to configure and run graphical user interface (GUI) applications on HiPerGator. The process is not complicated, but running a GUI on a remote server and displaying the windows on your local client computer with a sufficiently responsive interface is not as easy as simply running the application locally. We'd like to acknowledge an Open Source Xpra Project for creating software we built our GUI sessions on top of.

Open on Demand is only accessible from the UF network. Use the VPN if off campus.

If you are working off campus, you will need to use the VPN to connect to the UF campus network using AnyConnect VPN or similar software. Please see: https://vpn.ufl.edu for additional information.

X11 Forwarding

For the simplest case of running a lightweight GUI application for a very short time you can log into HiPerGator with

ssh -Y MYUSER@hpg.rc.ufl.edu

load the environment module your application is in and run it. Do not analyze data this way, but running a text editor, a web browser to log in and get an api token from a remote service or some other very short and lightweight operations are fine.

Open OnDemand

We are testing an Open OnDemand setup to provide a web-only interface to starting and attaching to GUI programs and Virtual Machines with seamless connections through web browsers. This service is now in Beta and is available at the following URL:

https://ondemand.rc.ufl.edu

To provide feedback, please open a support request with [OnDemand Feedback] in the subject. Please note:

Ondemand is currently a Beta service. Users are welcome to test the service and submit support requests with feedback. However, no SLA is guaranteed and all features should be considered experimental.

Using Open on Demand on HiPerGator

Play icon.png [5 min, 11 sec] This video covers the use of Open on Demand https://openondemand.org/ on HiPerGator via https://ood.rc.ufl.edu/.

  • Connect to https://ood.rc.ufl.edu/
  • Launch a terminal
  • Launch many graphical applications like Rstudio, Matlab and Freeview
  • Manage job submission
  • Upload, download and edit files via your browser

RC GUI-2.0

This is the second iteration of the UFRC approach to starting GUI programs in SLURM jobs on HiPerGator and attaching to them over any modern web browser.

The new gui/2 module is explained in this video: Play icon.png [5 min, 16 sec]

Start Session

  • Log into HiPerGator
  • Load the environment module
$ module load gui/2
  • Start a GUI session
  • Example: RStudio with 2 cpus, 8gb of memory, 24 hours of run time
$ gui start -e rstudio -c 2 -m 8 -t 24
  • If the executable you want to run is not the same as the module name you need to use --module
$ gui start --module fsl/6.0.3 -e fsleyes -c 2 -m 8 -t 24
  • Example: Matlab with default resources (1 cpu, 4gb memory, 2 hours of run time)
$ gui start -e matlab

See gui start -h to see all available options.

  • Example: Hardware-accelerated MatLab instance
$ gui start --gpu -e matlab

Show Running Sessions

Note: Give the session from few seconds to a couple of minutes to start if the output is empty.

$ gui show

The output will look similar to the following e.g. with four active sessions and real passwords listed instead of 'REDACTED' in the example:

Current GUI sessions:
______________________________________________________________________________
#:  JobID    Application   Type  State       Reason
1: 38005270  rstudio       gui   RUNNING     
2: 38005271  rstudio       gui   RUNNING     
3: 38005272  rstudio       gui   RUNNING  
4: 38005355  matlab        gui   RUNNING     

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Connection URLs:
1: https://gui3.rc.ufl.edu/4207/?password=REDACTED
2: https://gui3.rc.ufl.edu/5713/?password=REDACTED
3: https://gui5.rc.ufl.edu/12474/?password=REDACTED
4: https://gui5.rc.ufl.edu/4078/?password=REDACTED
______________________________________________________________________________

Please copy a connection URL and paste it into a modern web browser's
location bar on your LOCAL computer located on campus or connected via VPN

Connect To Session

  • Attach to a session

Copy and paste a session URI into a modern browser (tested on Firefox and Chrome/Chromium) e.g.

https://gui3.rc.ufl.edu/4207/?password=REDACTED

As a result the browser tab becomes a 'desktop canvas' and the GUI program window should be visible and can be resized or maximized to the limits of the browser tab window as normal.

Stop a GUI Session

To stop a session either close the application, which will cause the SLURM job to automatically terminate, or cancel the session on the command-line with

gui stop SESSION_ID

E.g.

$ gui stop 3
Current GUI sessions:
______________________________________________________________________________
#:  JobID    Application   Type  State       Reason
1: 38005270  rstudio       gui   RUNNING     
2: 38005271  rstudio       gui   RUNNING     
3: 38005272  rstudio       gui   COMPLETING  Stopping session and cleaning up
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Connection URLs:
1: https://gui3.rc.ufl.edu/4207/?password=REDACTED
2: https://gui3.rc.ufl.edu/5713/?password=REDACTED
______________________________________________________________________________

Please copy a connection URL and paste it into a modern web browser's
location bar on your LOCAL computer located on campus or connected via VPN

This is all it should take to use the 2nd generation setup.

Hardware Accelerated GUI

To use hardware acceleration for applications launched with gui/2 use the --gpu argument with 'gui start'