Host Profiles and Development

When you run VisIt in client/server mode, it uses host profiles to determine the command line arguments that should be added for launching components on the remote system. When you run an installed version of VisIt, VisIt reads the installed host profiles, which have complete information about how to launch on the remote system. It is common that you'll make some changes to the host profiles to edit various properties such as your username. These changes are stored in your ~/.visit/hosts directory and only the settings that you changed are stored.

When you switch back to a development build that has not been installed, you'll find that when you open up the Host Profiles window that your host profiles are missing most of their information. This happens because VisIt is only reading the minimal host profile differences from your ~/.visit/hosts directory! Of course, this is very bad since the host profiles are incomplete and do not contain most of the information needed to run client/server. You'd run into this situation if you're wanting to test client/server between a local RC build and an installed remote server, a perfectly valid use case.

In order to correct the situation, you'll need to coax the development build of VisIt to look for the complete host profiles. You can accomplish that using the following steps (for LLNL computers):

  1. cd src
  2. mkdir .visit
  3. mkdir .visit/hosts
  4. cp resources/hosts/llnl/*.xml .visit/hosts
  • Note that in step 1 above, you can also cd into your out of source build directory.

Note that you're creating a .visit directory peer to the bin directory. This mimics the pattern of directories found in a VisIt installation so you can trick the development build into reading the complete host profiles. We do it like this instead of symlinking to resources/hosts because the resources/hosts directory has profiles for all of the contributed VisIt site installations and you would not want that. Another reason is that if there are files other than XML files, the host profiles will not be loaded.