How do I use ANSYS?

ANSYS must ALWAYS be run using torque. You can run ANSYS in an interactive mode via a GUI that is called the launcher, or in a non-interactive (batch) mode. In both cases you start ANSYS using the qsub command.

Running ANSYS interactively (using the launcher)

You desktop PC will act as the X-server for the ANSYS launcher. Exceed is the ACCC-supported X-server package. However, you are not required to use Exceed; there are other Window-based X-server packages that will work just as nicely.

Step 1: Start X-server

ansys-startmenu

    If you've successfully started the server, you will see the following on the task bar:

    ansys-taskbar

    Step 2: Get IP Address

    On argo, enter the following command, replacing xxxxx with your NetID:

    who -u | grep xxxxx

    The resulting output, what appears in parenthesis, is the fully-qualified domain name of your PC. Instead, convert the name to an IP address. As an example, the output is jsmith.cc.uic.edu. To convert it, use the nslookup command on argo:

    nslookup jsmith.cc.uic.edu

    In the resulting output, the line that contains what you want is started with the word Address:

    Name: jsmith.cc.uic.edu
    Address: 128.248.5.191

    Step 3: Create a script

    Create a script like the following script (name it whatever you want; in the example, it is named runansys), replacing the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with the IP address that you acquired following the commands given in step two:

    #!/bin/bash
    export DISPLAY=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:0
    /usr/local/bin/xansys

    Remember to include the colon zero combination :0.

    The above script uses the bash shell (the first line: #!/bin/bash). If, instead, you want to use the C-shell, then make two changes:

    • Change the first line from #!/bin/bash to #!/bin/csh
    • Change the second line, the starting with the word export, to setenv DISPLAY xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:0 (again replacing the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with your IP address)

    There is absolutely no performance difference between the C-shell and the bash shell; it's a matter of what you are most familiar using.

    Step 4: Submit your script for execution

    Use the following command to submit the script, replacing the XXXXXXX with the name of the appropriate queue. If, for example, you are a student, then XXXXXX is either student_short or student_medium (which queue you should use depends on how long you will run ANSYS); if faculty/staff, then staff:

    qsub -V -l nodes=1 -q XXXXXXX runansys

    Examples:

    qsub -V -l nodes=1 -q student_short runansys
    qsub -V -l nodes=1 -q student_medium runansys
    qsub -V -l nodes=1 -q staff runansys

    Instead of including the number of nodes and the queue on the qsub statement, you may identify them in the script. For example:

    #!/bin/bash
    #PBS -l nodes=1
    #PBS -q student_short
    export DISPLAY=128.248.5.192:0
    /usr/local/bin/xansys
    

    As a result, the format of the submit statement should be amended to just:

    qsub -V runansys

    In fact, you may place the -V option in the script:

    #! /bin/bash
    #PBS -l nodes=1
    #PBS -q student_short
    #PBS -V
    export DISPLAY=128.248.5.192:0
    /usr/local/bin/xansys

    As a result, the qsub statement is now:

    qsub runansys

    IMPORTANT POINT

    ANSYS is not distributive/parallel. That means it runs on only one node and only one processor on that node. Requesting more than a single node and/or a single processor does nothing to improve performance; it wastes resources that some other argo client could use. Do not specify a value for nodes greater than one; all of the following are examples of what not to do:The same is true for the ppn value (don't include it):

    -l nodes=2
    -l nodes=3
    -l nodes=4
    
    -l nodes=2:ppn=2
    -l nodes=2:ppn=3
    -l nodes=2:ppn=4
    -l nodes=3:ppn=2
    

    In fact, there is no need to include a -l nodes=1 component on either the qsub statement or in the script. The default value, when -l nodes=1 is not given, is one. The same is true for ppn; when not specified, the system assumes one.

    If you see the following on your screen, you have successfully started ANSYS:

    ansys-launcher

    The WorkBench

    The WorkBench is no longer accessible from the launcher. Prior to version 12, the WorkBench was an option in the Simulation Environment Drop-Down Menu. That is no longer the case. Instead, to get to the workbench, replace the following line in your script:

    /usr/local/bin/xansys

    with the following two lines:

    cd /ansys_inc/v121/Framework/bin/Linux32
    ./runwb2

    Running ANSYS without the GUI

    This section is being updated

    ANSYS and Exceed

    If you run ANSYS through Hummingbird, Communications Ltd.'s Exceed™ product, ANSYS Inc. recommends that you adjust the Window Manager settings in order for the online help system to work properly. The setting varies depending on the version of Exceed you are running. Note that changing this setting may affect other applications that you run through Exceed; please check with your system administrator before making any changes.

    1. Right-click on the Exceed icon in the Windows Task Bar.
    2. Select Tools>Configuration.
    3. Double-click on the Screen Definition icon.
    4. Change the Window Manager to Native (for Exceed 6.2) or Default to Native (for Exceed 7.0).
    5. Double-click the Performance icon.
    6. Select Draft Mode, Batch Requests, and Save Unders
    7. Set Maximum Backing Store to Always.
    8. Set Default and Minimum Backing Store to When Mapped.
    9. Click OK. Exceed will now ask if you want to perform a server reset. Click Yes.

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    Last updated: 

    September 20, 2016

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