ParaView/ParaView And Mesa 3D tmp

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I'm updating this page and will replace the original and remove this page when finished.--Burlen 16:11, 17 November 2013 (EST)

ParaView requires an OpenGL library for rendering. Most operating systems provide a default OpenGL library. If you're running a Winodws or Mac OSX operating system, this page is not for you, download and install the latest drivers for your given hardware or use the default OS provided drivers. On Linux the default OpenGL drivers are typically provided by Mesa. Mesa is an open source OpenGL implementation that supports a wide range of graphics hardware each with it's own backend called a renderer. Mesa also provides several software based renderers for use on systems without graphics hardware. If you have Linux and have not installed any OpenGL libraries you're probably already using Mesa. On Linux systems with graphics hardware the easiest way to install Mesa is through your distro's package manager. Most distros also provide packages for Mesa's software based renderers as well. However, note that some features may be disabled by package maintainers to avoid patent or other licensing restrictions, if that is the case you may want to build Mesa from source. The easiest way to get On systems equipped with GPU's, to attain the best performance it's critical to install the vendor provided driver. If you're running Linux and Vendor drivers are also typically of a much higher quality than Mesa's which can be quite buggy and can change release by release. For systems, such as supercomputers without specialized graphics hardware, one has to rely on software-based rendering alternatives such as Mesa's OSMesa renderer.

Mesa can be configured to work within different environments ranging from software emulation to complete hardware acceleration when supported GPUs are present.

When to use Mesa

Some of the use-cases when one would build ParaView with Mesa are:

  1. You are building on a machine where X Window System is not available.
  2. You are building on a machine that has X, but you does not have graphics hardware or you still want to use software emulation for various reasons.

In case of (1) you'll have to build with OSMesa support. With newer versions of Mesa (>= 7.9), ParaView can be built with OSMesa only when the Qt GUI is disabled. Refer to #ParaView with Offscreen Mesa

In case of (2) you can configure Mesa with X support. Unlike with OSMesa, in this configuration, one can build both the server-executables as well as the Qt client, and both will use Mesa for rendering. Refer to #ParaView with Mesa.

ParaView with Mesa

This section describes the compilation process for machines with X. With newer versions of Mesa (>= 7.9) it is NOT possible to build with OSMesa support as well.

Configuring Mesa

Download Mesa libraries from Mesa3D website. For ParaView, only MesaLib package is required.

Configure and build Mesa based as described on Mesa3D website.

The recommended steps are:

 ./configure --with-driver=xlib --enable-osmesa --prefix={MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}
 make
 make install

Configuring ParaView

Configure ParaView as described on ParaView:Build And Install. The only cmake variables that need to be updated are:

 OPENGL_INCLUDE_DIR = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/include
 OPENGL_gl_LIBRARY = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/libGL.[so|a]
 OPENGL_glu_LIBRARY = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/libGLU.[so|a]
  • IF AND ONLY IF* Mesa version < 7.9, one can also set the following cmake variables and build ParaView with OSMesa support. In this case, pvserver --use-offscreen-rendering will use OSMesa.
 VTK_OPENGL_HAS_OSMESA = ON
 OSMESA_INCLUDE_DIR = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/include
 OSMESA_LIBRARY = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/libOSMesa.[so|a]

The rest on the configure and build process for ParaView remains as described on ParaView:Build And Install.

ParaView with Offscreen Mesa

If you Mesa version < 7.9, simply follow the instructions described in the previous section. However, if you have Mesa version >=7.9, it's not possible to build ParaView with onscreen and offscreen Mesa support at the same time. Without onscreen support, one cannot build the Qt application. So if you need the Qt application as well server executables with offscreen support, you'll have to do two separate builds when using Mesa version >=7.9.

The following discussion only applies to Mesa >= 7.9 (although it should work with older versions too).

Configuring Mesa

Download Mesa libraries from Mesa3D website. For ParaView, only MesaLib package is required.

Configure and build Mesa based as described on Mesa3D website.

The recommended steps are:

 ./configure --with-driver=xlib --prefix={MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}
 make
 make install

Alternatively, one can use the following configure line. The only difference is that it does not build a libGL.[so|a] file. This keeps us from accidentally linking with that library which can result in segfaults when running ParaView.

 ./configure --with-driver=osmesa --prefix={MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}
 make
 make install

Configuring ParaView

Configure ParaView as described on ParaView:Build And Install. The only cmake variables that need to be updated are:

 PARAVIEW_BUILD_QT_GUI = OFF
 OPENGL_INCLUDE_DIR = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/include
 OPENGL_gl_LIBRARY = <empty>  -- ENSURE THAT THIS IS EMPTY.
 OPENGL_glu_LIBRARY = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/libGLU.[so|a]
 VTK_OPENGL_HAS_OSMESA = ON
 OSMESA_INCLUDE_DIR = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/include
 OSMESA_LIBRARY = {MESA_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/libOSMesa.[so|a]
 VTK_USE_X = OFF

Some of these CMake variables don't show up until a few configure steps and it can be tricky to change their values afterwords. So when running cmake for the first time, one can use the following command:

 ccmake -D PARAVIEW_BUILD_QT_GUI:BOOL=OFF -D VTK_USE_X:BOOL=OFF -D VTK_OPENGL_HAS_OSMESA:BOOL=ON {PARAVIEW_SOURCE_DIR}

The rest on the configure and build process for ParaView remains as described on ParaView:Build And Install.