ParaView:Build And Install

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This page describes how to build and install ParaView. It covers both the release and the development version. Also, it covers both Unix type systems (Linux, HP-UX, Solaris), as well as Windows.


ParaView build process requires CMake version 2.0.6 or higher and working compiler. On Unix like operating systems it also requires Make, while on Windows it requires Visual Studio (6, 7, or 7.1).

In order to run ParaView in parallel, MPI [1], [2] is also required.

Download And Install Cmake

CMake is a tool that makes cross platform building simple. On several systems it will probably be already installed. If it is not, please use the following instructions to install it. If the CMake does not exist on the system, and there are no pre-compiled binaries, use instruction on how to build it.

Use Binaries

There are several precompiled binaries available at CMake download page.

On Unix like operating system

Let say on Linux, download the appropriate version and follow these instructions:

cd $HOME
mkdir software
cd software
tar xvfz ../cmake-2.0.6-x86-linux.tar.gz
tar xvf cmake-2.0.6-x86-linux-files.tar
  • Now you have directory $HOME/software/bin and inside there are executables cmake and ccmake.
  • You can also install CMake in the /usr/local or /opt by untaring into different directory. The rest of instructions will assume it is in $HOME/software/bin.

On Windows

On Windows if you are not administrator

Build Your Own CMake

On Unix like operating system

Download the source code

cd $HOME
tar xvfz cmake-2.0.6.tar.gz
mkdir cmake-2.0.6-bin
cd cmake-2.0.6-bin
../cmake-2.0.6/bootstrap --prefix=$HOME/software
make install
  • Again, you can install it in /usr/local or /opt by changing the prefix.

On Windows

To build CMake on windows, previous version of CMake is required. This can be downloaded from CMake download page.

Build ParaView

Download ParaView Source Code

If you are trying to build ParaView release, download it from the release page. For development version, please follow instructions for checking out from CVS.

Download The Release

You can always download the binaries from ParaView download page. This page contains binaries for several platforms and the source code for the releases.

Checkout Development Version From CVS

On Unix like operating system

mkdir $HOME/projects
cd $HOME/projects

cvs login
cvs co ParaView

On Windows

If you have Cygwin or Mingw shell, then use them and follow instructions for Unix like oprating system. If you are on Windows and do not have Cygwin or Mingw shell, please download a CVS client. We recommend TortoiseCVS, which is a GUI for CVS on Windows.

Configure ParaView With CMake

  • Always use separate build directory. Do not build in the source directory

On Unix like system

  • Use ccmake (Curses CMake GUI) from the CMake installed location.
mkdir $HOME/projects/ParaView-bin
cd $HOME/projects/ParaView-bin

$HOME/software/bin/ccmake $HOME/projects/ParaView

Brpv ccmake.png

About CCMake (Curses CMake GUI)

  • Iterative process
    • Select values, run configure (c key)
    • Set the settings, run configure, set the settings run configure etc.
  • Repeat until all values are set and generate option is available (g key)
  • Some variables (advanced variables) are not visible right away
  • To see advanced varables, toggle to advanced mode (t key)
  • To set a variable, move the cursor to the variable and press enter
    • If it is a boolean (ON/OFF) it will flip the value
    • If it is string or file, it will allow editing of the string
    • For file and directories, <tab> key can be used to complete
  • To search for the variable press '/' key and for repeat search, press 'n' key.

On Windows

  • Use CMakeSetup from the CMake install location.
  • Make sure to select the appropriate source and the build directory
  • Also, make sure to pick the apropriate generator (on Visual Studio 6, pick Visual Studio 6 generator). Some CMake versions will ask you to select the generator the first time you press Configure instead of having a drop-down menu in the main dialog.

Brpv cmakesetup.png

About CMakeSetup (Windows CMake GUI)

  • Iterative process
    • Select values, press Configure button
    • Set the settings, run configure, set the settings run configure etc.
  • Repeat until all values are set and Ok button becomes available.
  • Some variables (advanced variables) are not visible right away
  • To see advanced varables, toggle to advanced mode ("Show Advanced Values" toggle).
  • To set value of a variable, click on that value.
    • If it is boolean (ON/OFF), it will change the value.
    • If it is file or directory, an ellipsis button appears ("...") on the far right of the entry. Clicking this button brings up the file or directory selection dialog.
    • If it is a string, it will become editable string.

ParaView Settings

Variable Description
BUILD_SHARED_LIBS If ON, use shared libraries. This way executables are smaller, but you have to make sure the shared libraries are on every system on the cluster.
VTK_USE_MPI Turn this to ON to enable MPI. Other MPI options will not be availabel until you turn this on.
MPI_LIBRARY Path to the MPI library (such as /usr/lib/ Should be found by default, but you may have to set it.
MPI_EXTRA_LIBRARY Path to extra MPI library (such as /usr/lib/ If the MPI distribution is MPICH, this may not be found. It is ok for this one to be set to MPI_EXTRA_LIBRARY-NOTFOUND.
MPI_INCLUDE_PATH Path to MPI includes (such as /usr/include/mpi). Again, should be found by default.

Finish Configuring ParaView

Using CCMake

  • Once all configuration options are set, you should be able to just run <generate> (g key).

Using CMakeSetup

  • Once all configuration options are set, you should be able to just run <generate>, by clicking "OK" button.

Build ParaView

You can now build the ParaView using the apropriate build system.

Using Make

CMake will now generate Make files. These makefiles have all dependencies and all all rules to build ParaView on this system. You should not however try to move the build directory to another location or on another system.

Once you have makefiles you should be able to just type:

  • If you are on multi-processor system (let say 4 processor), you can type:
 make -j 4

Brpv make.png

Using Visual Studio

CMake will now create Visual Studio project files. You should now be able to open ParaView project file. Make sure to select apropriate build type (Debug, Release, ...). To build ParaView, simply build the ALL_BUILD target.

Brpv visualstudio71.png

Install ParaView

ParaView can be run directly from the build directory. That said, for production environments, it should be installed on some system location.

Using Make

On Unix like operating systems it is /usr, /usr/local, /opt, or something similar.

To install ParaView, simply run:

 make install

Make sure to have write access to this location. If you do not, it may be necessary to run install as an administrator. For example, on Unix you would do something like:

  <root password>
  make install

Using Visual Studio

On Windows, this locations is something like c:\Program Files\ParaView.

To install ParaView, simply run INSTALL target within the build system.