Case Study HPC Center High-Performance Computing (HPC)

ThinLinc at Chile’s National Laboratory of High Performance Computing (NLHPC)

Feb, 09, 24
Written by: Aaron Sowry

Chile’s National Laboratory of High Performance Computing (NLHPC), in the Center for Mathematical Modelling at the University of Chile, is home to the Guacolda-Leftraru supercomputer. At an estimated 266 TFLOPS it is one of the most powerful supercomputers in South America, used by a range of scientific and academic organisations around the country.

During August 2023, NLHPC began testing ThinLinc as a means of providing graphical access to their HPC cluster. The goal here is to provide users with interactive remote-desktop sessions for running applications such as Matlab, Rstudio and VMD, rather than having to submit jobs via the command line. This expands the potential number of users who can make use of the cluster by providing a familiar graphical environment to work in, with everything pre-installed and configured ready to run:

Screenshot of the ThinLinc Linux Desktop at NLHPC – Customized Menu with Scientific Linux Applications and the Terminal

Screenshot of the ThinLinc Linux Desktop at NLHPC – Customized Informative Messages to the Users

Eugenio Guerra, Head of Operations and Support at NLHPC, has been leading the ThinLinc proofof-concept installation with assistance from Cendio, inspired by a similar setup at Indiana University in the US. Feedback from testers so far has been positive, and there are plans to scale up the system during 2024 to accommodate more users.

“ThinLinc is a great option for users who prefer or require an interactive GUI to perform computational work in. Session persistence is also a huge advantage here, as users can simply reconnect at any time and pick up where they left off. Browser-based access means there is nothing for users to install, so switching between devices is easy.” says Guerra

A 2019 survey at Indiana University garnered 324 individual responses, from a total of almost 1,700 ThinLinc HPC users. The survey found that 81% of respondents were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the remote desktop services, and 75% of respondents reported that the remote desktop services are extremely or moderately important to their ability to use HPC resources.

NLHPC Director Ginés Guerrero recognises this potential for ThinLinc to simplify access to HPC resources, and expand the services which they offer to their users. “By having control over the entire environment, such as which application versions are installed and how they are configured, we hope to reduce the number of support issues and improve end-user experience. We can make sure everything just works”, Guerrero explains. “Eventually, we hope to integrate ThinLinc as an option on our new dashboard ( which will act as a portal for users accessing the HPC cluster”.

NLHPC Dashboard

On top of these benefits for system administrators and end-users, graphical access to HPC resources offers several distinct advantages:

  • Live rendering of models and simulations means they can be viewed and manipulated in real-time, without the need to transfer large amounts of data between client and server
  • Data never leaves the server room, enabling the creation of secure enclaves for processing of sensitive information
  • Performance is sustained even on poor network connections and low-powered client devices, making interactive and persistent HPC sessions possible from almost anywhere

HPC runs on Linux, and Linux is at the heart of computing in Latin America. Cendio is one of the oldest Linux-focused companies in the world, and we see great potential for synergy between ThinLinc and HPC in Latin America. We are confident that NLHPC are showing the way forward for other HPC centers in the region, and look forward to being a part of their future success.

First released in 2003, ThinLinc is a Linux-based remote desktop server from the Swedish company Cendio. ThinLinc, the premier software solution for GUI remote access to Linux desktops and applications, is globally recognized and utilized by numerous high-performance computing (HPC) centers worldwide. For more information visit, or join the conversation on our community forum at For sales enquiries contact, or for technical support contact