The Linux remote desktop server built on open source technology.

This article outlines 10 high-level reasons for using ThinLinc to enable interactive High-Performance Computing. Some of the reasons are very specific to using ThinLinc as a way to access an HPC system, while others apply to any use case of ThinLinc. If you have questions or would like to learn more about using ThinLinc in combination with an HPC system, please contact us.

Attract new users


1. Attract new users to HPC systems with a graphical user interface

  • Providing users with a familiar desktop user interface decreases the learning curve significantly.

  • Using “ssh” to access HPC systems is pretty foreign to new users. Offering a graphical way to connect to the HPC systems can help attract new users.

2. Access HPC systems from any device by providing an HTML5 client

  • No need to install an application like Putty, users can access the HPC system using any modern web browser.

  • This is particularly important for devices that have no easy access to an SSH terminal, like Chromebooks.



Make HPC systems more convenient


3. Provide users with a persistent environment for weeks

  • If you have multiple terminals open and configured to help you monitor your jobs and look at results, it is very convenient if that all stays open and functional for weeks.

  • It is very convenient to disconnect and reconnect to your session and start right where you left off.

4. Simplify file management on HPC systems with a graphical file manager and editor

  • Managing files on the command line is hard, especially for new users. Providing users with a familiar file manager and graphical editor can make things a lot more convenient.

5. Make it easier for HPC users to run graphical tools for data analysis and data pre- and post-processing

  • Having an easy way to run Jupyter notebooks, Visual Studio Code, graphical editors or even just look at charts created with gnuplot can make it a lot easier to set up jobs or look at result data from jobs.

6. Simplify the usage of HPC client server applications like Comsol Multiphysics, Ansys/Ensight, Schrödinger and others

  • Running client server applications that are designed for HPC environments is so much easier if the client runs in or close to the HPC system, where building SSH tunnels is not required to connect from client to server.



 Add new capabilities to HPC systems


7. Leverage HPC systems to run graphical applications like MATLAB or SPSS

  • Leverage existing HPC systems to give users access to applications that can take advantage of high-powered nodes, but also require a graphical user interface.

8. Enable interactive visualization tools like Paraview and VMD

  • Interactive visualization tools really benefit from an environment with low latency access to input data as well as a performant graphical environment for the visualization.



Easy to deploy


9. ThinLinc uses only SSH

  • ThinLinc uses only SSH as the communication protocol between to communicate between the endpoint device and the HPC system.

  • This makes it easy to set up and integrate into an existing HPC system.

10. Support for 2-factor authentication build in

  • ThinLinc leverages Linux PAM to support all major 2-factor authentication solutions for increased security.