General information

EnSight (actually "EnSight Enterprise") is a program for the visualization of scientific data, with a focus on problems from the engineering sciences. In addition to the traditional repertoire of visualization techniques, flow visualization in particular is supported. Rendering tasks can be parallelized and distributed to several processors.
EnSight was developed and distributed by CEI until mid-2017, but in the meantime it belongs to the ANSYS product range and is included as HPC version in the academic campus license of the LRZ.  Thus, a sufficient number of EnSight licenses is available as long as the ANSYS campus program is maintained.

Starting EnSight

EnSight on the LRZ RVS systems

EnSight can be used on the remote visualization systems of the LRZ, which enable the user to use the acceleration of applications by high-end graphics cards on central systems also at the workstation. However, due to the operating system version it can only be started on the RVS systems of the Linux cluster, but not on the RVS systems for SuperMUC users. The best way to find out how to use the RVS systems is to go to and follow the instructions under "Linux Cluster".

Before the call, appropriate environment variables must be set. This is done by loading a prepared module with the command
module load ensight

Then start EnSight with the command
vglrun ensight

EnSight on institute computers

It is possible to install EnSight on institute computers and access the floating licenses installed in the LRZ from there. Since EnSight is now part of ANSYS, its use is subject to the terms and conditions of the LRZ Campus Agreement for ANSYS products as described in the section "Terms and Conditions of Contract and License" on There is currently no charge for the use of EnSight, but eligibility is limited to certain facilities and home use is excluded.

If you are already using or obtaining ANSYS via the LRZ, this already includes access to EnSight. For all other interested parties there is a form that you can send to Jutta Dreer (Dreer_AT_lrz_PUNKT_en).

Activating EnSight in the ANSYS Workbench

On computers with an ANSYS installation, it is possible to call EnSight as part of the ANSYS Workbench, if the EnSight extension is activated. To do so, select "Manage Extensions" from the "Extensions" menu and click on EnSight (this may even be the only entry). After that, EnSight is offered under "Component Systems".

Using EnSight


EnSight is actually a distributed application: A server process handles the computationally intensive parts and input/output of the data, while the client process handles graphics-intensive parts and the user interface. Normally, the client only receives those parts of the data set that are needed for a display, i.e. in particular not all the information about the elements. Which data is transmitted depends on the "Element Representation Attributes" (full, border, feature angle, nonvisual, bounding box). Without any special precautions (i.e. a simple call to ensight as described above) both processes automatically start on the same platform.
Multiple models can be loaded into EnSight simultaneously. They are then each referred to as a case and a separate server is started for each case for processing. Accordingly, additional data records are loaded with Case -> New. The description of a case includes model parts ("parts", which in turn consist of "nodes", "elements" and "attributes") and variables ("variables"). All operations in Ensight refer to those parts of the model that you have selected.
During the session, new parts are created (e.g. isosurfaces, streamlines), which are always assigned to a parent.

Data import

EnSight can read a whole range of formats from the engineering sciences. The best way to find out more is to visit
With the help of supplied libraries and source code examples for readers, the user can handle formats that cannot be read by default. See the original documentation.
Instead of the entire model, individual parts can be selected when loading. Parts of the model that have not yet been loaded are called LPARTS (loadable parts).

Working in parallel

EnSight can process large data sets in parallel. These can be partitioned by the user or automatically and are processed in parallel in several servers, which can be distributed, for example, to different nodes of a system. An SOS (server-of-servers) summarizes the results and then serves as an interface to the client. This is done with shared memory parallelism and a maximum of 128 processors.

Command language for scripts

EnSight uses a command language in which the current session is logged. The corresponding file (typical extension .enc) can be modified and then used as a basis for further batch jobs.

Call with processing of a script (interactive session on the RVS machines of the LRZ):
rvglrun ensight -p mysession.enc

Call with processing of a script without graphic output, e.g. for a batch job:
ensight -batch -p mysession.enc

or by specifying the resolution of the output images
ensight -batch 1024 768 -p mysession.enc

Python scripts can also be used:
ensight -p


For more detailed information, you should refer to the extensive original documentation provided via the online help in EnSight. If you want to read the manuals without having to prove a license (highly recommended!), you can find several manuals as .pdf files in the installation directory of the software (under $CEI_HOME/ensight/doc/Manuals).


In case of problems please contact Jutta Dreer (Dreer_AT_lrz_PUNKT_en) or describe your problem via the service desk of the LRZ at

  • No labels