Ubuntu – installing VisIt

software installation

I'm completely new to Linux systems. I just started using ubuntu couple of weeks ago. The reason is, I'm running some FEA simulation on FeniCS for my dissertation. However, so far I was able to install number of softwares like ParaView and others, and started writing some FeniCS programs. Currently I'm stuck trying to install VisIt which I really really need to view and visualize this enormous output I got from FeniCS.

I downloaded VisIt 2.12.3 from here

Then tried to follow many instructions to install it that I found online such as


In this page, you are told to run these 6 lines of commands

$ sudo apt-get install m4  
$ sudo apt-get install mesa-utils  
$ sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa-swx11  
$ sudo apt-get install tcl-vtk  
$ sudo apt-get install libxmu-dev  
$ sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf 

they run fine

after that nothing worked, although I changed the file names to match the ones I downloaded.

Anyway, I know I sound dumb and naive but can you guys give me baby steps to how to install it? I'm trying to work my way through ubuntu in order to finish my research and finally get over with this degree.

P.S. when I download Visit, two files are downloaded. One is the source file I guess and the other is a script or something


The instructions and the errors I got when followed them are:

from the link first

 $ mkdir VisIt

I did and moved to that directory

2 files downloaded from VisIt webpage to that directory



I ran this command

  $ chmod 755 visit-install2_4_1.sh

I got error " No such file or directory"

I matched the file naem, so I changed the command to

  $ chmod 755 visit2.12.3.tar.gz

runs fine


   $ sudo ./visit-install2_4_1 2.4.1 linux-x86_64-ubuntu8 /usr/local/visit

error "command not found"

I tried to match the file name again

   $ sudo ./visit2.12.3.tar.gz.part 2.13.3 linux-x86_64-ubuntu16 /usr/local/visit

I still got the same error. I changed the platform from ubuntu8 to ubuntu16 because I run ubuntu 16.04

Best Answer

I just installed visit 2.12.3 in Ubuntu 16.04. Here is how I did it. I would think with these instructions you could do the installation if you found anyone from the computer help center at your university to baby-step with you.

Download the executable: Linux - x86_64 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04, 3.13.0-91-generic #138-Ubuntu SMP, gcc 4.8

The download will appear into your Downloads folder as:


You also need the shell script that does the installation. Copy all the text from the following site into a blank document and save it as



The .tar.gz and the .sh files have to be in the same folder, so put them in the same folder.

Open up a terminal and cd (change directory) into that folder.

Next, set permissions so you can run the installation shell script.

chmod 755 visitInstallScript20171102.sh

I like to put something like visit in /usr/local/bin. So now run the shell script to install visit:

 sudo ./visitInstallScript20171102.sh 2.12.3 linux-x86_64-ubuntu14 /usr/local/bin/visit

The fourth term in this line has to match a certain part of the .tar.gz filename, so do not change it.

The system will request your password because you ran a command as sudo. Enter your password. You must be sudo in order to put something in /usr/local/bin.

Installation should now occur via the shell script you just ran.

Revert permissions on the shell script back to non-executable just to clean up after yourself:

chmod 664 visitInstallScript20171102.sh

Add visit to your PATH so you can easily run visit by opening a terminal and typing visit. Use a text editor to edit your /home/username/.bashrc file. Add the line:

export PATH="/usr/local/bin/visit/bin:$PATH"

Run visit by closing all terminals and starting in a new terminal: type visit and hit enter. Maybe restart your computer if it still doesn't run.

All I did so far with visit was start it up and make sure it at least starts up; it does. The deal.ii project has a video series and some of the videos show how to use visit. That is where I am headed.

Side note: visit does not run properly in i3 window manager; it hangs on startup. visit runs in default stock ubuntu 16.04. I really want it running in i3.

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