This page contains details and links to more details about visualization software installed on NERSC platforms. A sibling to this page is located on the NERSC Web site at

A list of NERSC systems and software version numbers for visualization applications is available at at and for graphics libraries (primarily NCAR) at

A list of software/application action items may be viewed only by staff members.

Visualization Software at NERSC

Visualization Applications
AVS5 The Application Visualization System. An interactive application supporting 2D/3D scientific visualization. Allows you to create custom applications by "wiring together" separate modules into a dataflow network application. You can write custom modules to implement new features. davinci
AVS/Express AVS/Express is a Rapid Application Development environment used to build applications for interactive 2D/3D scientific visualization. It runs on Unix/Linux and Windows platforms. davinci
EnSight EnSight Gold is a interactive visual data analysis application that provides a wide variety of tools and techniques for manipulating and viewing complex scientific data. It provides loaders for common scientific data formats, provides a point-and-click interface to the visualization and data manipulation tools, supports pipelined rendering so that you'll get full hardware acceleration on your desktop, and permits use of parallel platforms at NERSC to perform visualization. davinci
gnuplot Gnuplot is an interactive, command-driven function and data plotting application. Use it for creating 2D and 3D plots. bassi, davinci, franklin, jacquard
IDL IDL, the Interactive Data Language, is a powerful, flexible application used to perform data analysis, visualization, and various types of numerical operations on data. It can perform 2D/3D visualization, and supports a wide range of commonly used scientific data formats. It is extensible through the use of user-written code expressed in the IDL language. bassi, davinci, franklin, jacquard
VisIt VisIt is an open-source, multi-platform visualization application. It supports distributed computation models to process large data sets. davinci
2D Viewers and Image Manipulation Applications
GhostScript and GhostView GhostScript is a postscript and PDF interpreter that performs rasterization, conversion and display tasks. GhostView is a GUI-based application for displaying PS and PDF files, and it uses the GhostScript interpreter engine. davinci, jacquard
The Gimp The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is an interactive image manipulation application. It contains many "painting" operations, and is useful for performing a variety of raster image operations, including image resizing, format conversion, color/contrast manipulation, etc. davinci
ImageMagick ImageMagick is a suite of image manipulation tools. davinci, jacquard

ferret Ferret is an interactive computer visualization and analysis environment designed to meet the needs of oceanographers and meteorologists analyzing large and complex gridded data sets. davinci
garlic Garlic is a freeware molecular viewer for use on Unix platforms. no longer available
gsharp Gsharp is a commercial 2D/3D interactive and script-driven plotting application. no longer available
grace Grace is another point-and-click/script-driven 2D plotting application. In addition to plotting, it includes some numerical and analysis capabilities. bassi, davinci, jacquard
grads The Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) is an interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data. davinci
OpenDX Another dataflow application where you link together modules to create interactive visualization applications. no longer available
paraview ParaView is a point-and-click 3D scientific visualization application that supports most of the common visualization techniques (isocontouring, volume rendering) on structured and unstructured grids. Its implementation uses distributed memory parallelism, and is focused on visual data analysis of large scientific datasets. davinci
rasmol RasMol is a molecular graphics program intended for the visualisation of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. The program is aimed at display, teaching and generation of publication quality images. davinci
vmd VMD is a 3D molecular visualization application. davinci, jacquard
2D Viewers and Image Manipulation Applications
XV XV is an interactive image manipulation and format conversion application. Its primary strengths are the ability to perform color/contrast adjustments, and a nice user interface.

June 2005: Due to security vulnerabilities, XV is no longer available on davinci. Instead, use the "display" utility, which is part of the ImageMagick distribution that is installed on davinci.