ParaViewWeb on EC2

We have built Docker images containing ParaView 5.5 which support ParaViewWeb applications. These images currently come in two flavors: One for NVidia GPUs w/ EGL rendering support, and another with support for OSMesa (including the llvm and swr rendering backends). You can find these images here. Each of the flavors mentioned above exposes Visualizer as a standalone deployment.

Example deployment on EC2

For this setup we have used an AWS EC2 instance with an NVidia GPU, and running Ubuntu 16.04. Below we describe the steps. Note that if your instance doesn’t have an NVidia GPU, you can still try the osmesa image. For that, just skip the instructions having to do with graphics card driver installation and nvidia-docker2 package installation, and use the osmesa run example at the bottom of this document. All the rest of the steps should remain the same.

Machine setup

Update system packages:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

Install graphics card drivers

sudo apt-get install nvidia-384
sudo reboot

Check graphics card driver installation:

nvidia-smi -q | head
==============NVSMI LOG==============

Timestamp : Thu May 17 19:51:05 2018
Driver Version : 384.111

Attached GPUs : 1
GPU 00000000:00:03.0
Product Name : GRID K520
Product Brand : Grid

To install Docker, first install their official GPG key:

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -

Check it by verifying the last 8 characters:

sudo apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88
pub 4096R/0EBFCD88 2017-02-22
Key fingerprint = 9DC8 5822 9FC7 DD38 854A E2D8 8D81 803C 0EBF CD88
uid Docker Release (CE deb) <>
sub 4096R/F273FCD8 2017-02-22

Now set up the “stable” repository:

sudo add-apt-repository \
"deb [arch=amd64] \
$(lsb_release -cs) \

Then update the package index and install Docker community edition:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docker-ce

Now we can install the nvidia-docker2 package, using a similar approach to the one just above. First install the nvidia-docker gpg key:

curl -s -L | sudo apt-key add -

Add sources from the nvidia-docker sources list to apt:

curl -s -L | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nvidia-docker.list

Update the package index again, install nvidia-docker2, then reload the docker daemon configuration:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-docker2
sudo pkill -SIGHUP dockerd

Verify that it’s working:

sudo docker run --runtime=nvidia --rm nvidia/cuda nvidia-smi
Unable to find image 'nvidia/cuda:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from nvidia/cuda
297061f60c36: Pull complete
e9ccef17b516: Pull complete
dbc33716854d: Pull complete
8fe36b178d25: Pull complete
686596545a94: Pull complete
f611dfbee954: Pull complete
c51814f3e9ba: Pull complete
5da0fc07e73a: Pull complete
97462b1887aa: Pull complete
924ea239f6fe: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:69f3780f80a72cb7cebc7f401a716370f79412c5aa9362306005ca4eb84d0f3c
Status: Downloaded newer image for nvidia/cuda:latest
Thu May 17 19:56:53 2018
| NVIDIA-SMI 384.111 Driver Version: 384.111 |
| GPU Name Persistence-M| Bus-Id Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan Temp Perf Pwr:Usage/Cap| Memory-Usage | GPU-Util Compute M. |
| 0 GRID K520 Off | 00000000:00:03.0 Off | N/A |
| N/A 37C P0 37W / 125W | 0MiB / 4036MiB | 0% Default |

| Processes: GPU Memory |
| GPU PID Type Process name Usage |
| No running processes found |

Setting up a world-facing WebServer

We installed Apache on the instance to act as the front-end for our webapps. All we needed was the apache2 package and some confguration.

sudo apt-get install apache2

Now we can configure that webserver. First enable some extra modules, saving the restart for last:

sudo a2enmod vhost_alias
sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod proxy_http
sudo a2enmod proxy_wstunnel

Create a simple virtual host configuration:

sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-pvw-forward.conf

Just paste this content there for a start:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/www
ErrorLog /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/logs/error.log
CustomLog /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/logs/access.log combined

<Directory /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/www>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
AllowOverride None
Require all granted

# Handle requests for visualizer
ProxyPass /visualizer http://localhost:8081/visualizer
ProxyPassReverse /visualizer http://localhost:8081/visualizer

# Handle launcher forwarding
ProxyPass /paraview http://localhost:8081/paraview

# Handle websocket forwarding
ProxyPass /proxy ws://localhost:8081/proxy


Now create the simple website directory structure and possibly add a basic landing page:

mkdir -p /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/www
mkdir /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/logs
vim /home/ubuntu/paraviewweb-docker/testsite/www/index.html

Here you could copy the following example landing page, though it’s not really necessary for validation of the ParaViewWeb Docker image:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1,maximum-scale=1">
<title>Test Web Site</title>
<h1> Test </h1>
<a href="visualizer">Visualizer</a>

Now disable the default site, and enable the one you created above, and finally restart the webserver:

sudo a2dissite 000-default
sudo a2ensite 001-pvw-forward
sudo service apache2 restart

All that’s left is to run the docker image as follows:

sudo docker run --runtime=nvidia               \
-p \
-v <host-data-directory>:/data \
-e "SERVER_NAME=<ec2-hostname-or-ip[:port]>" \
-e "PROTOCOL=ws" \
-ti kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-visualizer-5.5.0

Do not forget to replace <host-data-directory> with some real directory where your datasets are located, and replace <ec2-hostname-or-ip[:port]> with the actual hostname or IP address (and possibly port) of the instance.

Some other run examples follow. To run the osmesa image, you don’t need the nvidia runtime:

sudo docker run                                \
-p \
-v <host-data-directory>:/data \
-e "SERVER_NAME=<ec2-hostname-or-ip[:port]>" \
-e "PROTOCOL=ws" \
-ti kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-visualizer-osmesa-5.5.0

Additionally, extra arguments can be passed to the pvpython process that will be launched by providing the “EXTRA_PVPYTHON_ARGS” environment variable in the docker command. For example, you could pick the swr rendering backend while at the same time preventing loading of ParaView registry values like this:

sudo docker run                                \
-p \
-v <host-data-directory>:/data \
-e "SERVER_NAME=<ec2-hostname-or-ip[:port]>" \
-e "PROTOCOL=ws" \
-e "EXTRA_PVPYTHON_ARGS=-dr,--mesa-swr" \
-ti kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-visualizer-osmesa-5.5.0

Note in the above that the extra pvpython args are comma-separated, with no additional spaces inserted.

Try it out

If you chose to create a simple landing page, just point your browser at the running instance now:


Otherwise, you can point straight through to ParaViewWeb Visualizer:


Help and support

Please contact us if you need help with deployment or custom development.