1. Installing and Starting VisIt¶
Pre-built binaries for VisIt are provided on the following platforms:
Redhat, TOSS, Ubuntu (fully supported)
Centos, Debian, Fedora (partially supported)
For an explanation of what fully and partially supported mean, see our section on supported platforms.
New versions are usually released every 2-3 months. Users can find releases at the VisIt releases page. See our section on managing GitHub notifications to get notified of new releases.
Download a binary release compatible with the machine on which you want to run VisIt.
If you are installing VisIt on Linux, you will also need to download and use the
Installing VisIt on platforms other than those listed here requires building VisIt from sources.
1.1. Installing on macOS¶
VisIt releases include an app-bundle for macOS packaged in a DMG image. Download and open the DMG file and copy the VisIt app-bundle to your applications directory or any other path.
If you have a previous version of VisIt already installed, you may be prompted by macOS to decide if you want to Keep both versions or Replace the old version with the new version.
If you choose Keep both, macOS will automatically adjust the name of the new version to something like
The space will cause problems and it will have to be removed by changing the name to something without spaces like
x.y.z is the version number of the installation.
If you do not have the necessary privileges to change the name, a system administrator’s help may be needed.
To run VisIt double click on the VisIt app-bundle.
Alternatively, VisIt can be run on macOS from the
Terminal using a command of the form:
Running from the
Terminal may work around issues accessing some folders on local storage or code signing and notarization.
visit-install script can also be used to install tarball packaged macOS binaries.
For this case follow the Linux installation instructions.
1.2. Installing on Linux¶
Installing VisIt on Linux (and optionally on macOS) is done using the
Make sure that the
visit-install script is executable by entering the following command at the command line prompt:
chmod +x visit-install
The visit-install script has the following usage:
./visit-install version platform directory
The version argument is the version of VisIt being installed. The platform argument depends on the type platform VisIt is being installed for. The platform argument can be one of the following: linux, linux-x86_64, darwin. The directory argument specifies the directory to install VisIt into. If the specified directory does not exist then VisIt will create it.
For example, to install an x86_64 version of VisIt 3.2.2, use:
./visit-install 3.2.2 linux-x86_64 /usr/local/visit
This command will install the 3.2.2 version of VisIt into the
Note that when you enter the above command, the file
visit3_2_2.linux-x86_64.tar.gz must be present in the current working directory.
visit-install script will prompt you to choose a network configuration.
A network configuration is a set of VisIt preferences that provide information to enable VisIt to identify and connect to remote computers and run VisIt in client/server mode.
VisIt includes network configuration files for several computing centers with VisIt users.
visit-install, you can launch VisIt using
For example, if you installed to
/usr/local/visit, you can run using:
We also recommend adding
visit to your shell’s path.
For bash users this can usually be accomplished by modifying the
PATH environment variable in
~/.bash_profile, and for c-shell users accomplished by modifying the
path environment variable in
The exact procedure for this varies with each shell and may be customized at each computing center, so please refer to your shell and computing center documentation.
1.3. Installing on Windows¶
VisIt release binaries for Windows are packaged in an executable installer. To install on Windows run the installer and follow its prompts.
The VisIt installation program adds a VisIt program group to the Windows Start menu and it adds a VisIt shortcut to the desktop.
You can double-click on the desktop shortcut or use the Start menu’s VisIt program group to launch VisIt.
In addition to creating shortcuts, the VisIt installation program creates file associations for
.session/.vses files so double-clicking on files with those extensions opens them with VisIt.
You can also run the installer from a command prompt, and pass it certain parameters to override defaults including running in silent mode. Available options are as follows:
-ALLUSERS Install for all users. Must be in admin-mode. Default : install for current user -SITE <site-name> Specifies host profiles to be installed (eg llnl). Default: None -PB <parallel bank> Specifies parallel bank (FOR LLNL host-profiles). Default: wbronze -DB <database reader> Specifies a default database reader for VisIt. (eg Silo, FLASH, etc). Default: None -DEV Install plugin development tools. Default: no plugin dev tools -LIBSIM Install libsim tools. Default: no libsim tools -AssociatePython Associate python files with VisIt. Default: don't set up association -AssociateCurves Associate curve files with VisIt. Default: don't set up association /S Make install silent. /D <installationdir> Change install directory to <installationdir>. Default is %PROGRAM FILES% for ALL USERS and %HOMEPATH% for single user. MUST BE THE LAST PARAMETER!
1.4. Startup Options¶
VisIt has many startup options that affect its behavior (see the Startup Options for complete documentation).