FastX is a commercial solution that enables users to start an X11 desktop environment on a remote system. It is available on the Rivanna frontends. Using it is equivalent to logging in at the console of the frontend.
We provide downloadable installation packages on all Rivanna frontends. You must be able to transfer files from Rivanna to your local computer. On Mac OSX and Linux you can use scp in the terminal. On Mac OSX packages such as Fugu (be sure to obtain the 1.21pre1 version ) are available for a graphical interface. Several packages such as WinSCP are options for Windows. Navigate to /share/apps/templates/fastX_clients and choose the correct installer for your operating system.
You will need the UVa Anywhere VPN client to use the FastX client from off Grounds.
Creating a Connection
When you open the software you will see a mostly blank screen.
To set up a new connection profile, click the + icon.
Select ssh as the connection method.
We recommend that you always use a named frontend so that you can reconnect to old sessions, rather than accidentally creating multiple sessions on multiple frontends. Choose
Don't change the Port, sci or FIPS entries.
The system will respond with "This host is not recognized," click Continue. Type your Eservices password.
Select the + icon again.
Choose Gnome, KDE, or xterm. We are using Gnome for this example.
When the desktop appears you are logged on. You can navigate starting from your home folder, or from Places.
When you are done with your session go to
System->Log out <your id>
This should terminate your session properly.
If your session is interrupted you can reconnect by starting FastX and double-clicking on the session name.
Once you have saved a session, when you open FastX you will see a pane with your options. Double-clicking a session will bring up the pane where you can choose Gnome, KDE, or a terminal.
Using FastX with an Interactive Job (ijob)
If you wish to run a graphical user interface for a system that will require more memory or time than is permitted on the frontend, you may run it through an interactive job (an ijob). First, start FastX, preferably in terminal mode. From your terminal window, run
ssh -Y localhost
It is important to include the -Y option, and it must be -Y. From the prompt obtained through the ssh, start your ijob
ijob -A <myacct> -p <partition> -t <time> -c 1
Once your interactive job has begun you may then start your graphical program as usual. We recommend ending the commmand with an ampersand & to return the prompt.
If FastX disconnects, it will display a message box offering you the option to see details. Click this button and scroll all the way to the bottom of the text box that will open. If you see Error 1, it is a network problem. If you see Error 254 it is a problem of too many logins/processes, which means you probably have too many unterminated sessions. If you have too many logins you may try to kill your processes. Check which frontend you are using. Log in with an SSH client.
On Mac OSX you can use the built-in SSH command-line client. Open a Terminal and type
If you are able to connect, run
kill -9 -1
to kill all your processes on that frontend. If you are not able to connect please contact us for assistance.