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From the GNUPLOT home page:

is a portable command-line driven graphing utility for Linux, OS/2, MS Windows, OSX, VMS, and many other platforms. The source code is copyrighted but freely distributed (i.e., you don't have to pay for it). It was originally created to allow scientists and students to visualize mathematical functions and data interactively, but has grown to support many non-interactive uses such as web scripting. It is also used as a plotting engine by third-party applications like Octave. Gnuplot has been supported and under active development since 1986.

Version and Availability

Softenv Keys for gnuplot on philip
Machine Version Softenv Key
philip 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
▶ Display Softenv Keys for gnuplot all clusters
Machine Version Softenv Key
eric 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
qb 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
oliver 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
louie 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
poseidon 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
painter 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
philip 4.2.4 +gnuplot-4.2.4-intel-11.1
pandora 4.4.3 +gnuplot-4.4.3
supermike2 4.6.0 +gnuplot-4.6.0-gcc-4.4.6


GNUPLOT can be run interactively by typing:

$ gnuplot

Or, it can be run in batch mode by specifying a previously prepared processing script (e.g. generated by GNUPLOT during an interactive session, or prepared manually.):

$ gnuplot script_file

Viewing the graphical output on a cluster machine requires that an X-windows session has been established.

▶ X11 FAQ?

From *nix

Since ssh and X11 are already on most client machines running some sort of unix (Linux, FreeBSD, etc), one would simply use the following command:

% ssh -X -Y

Once successfully logged in, the following command should open a new terminal window on the local host:

% xterm&

An xterm window should appear. If this is not the case, email us.

From Mac OS X

An X11 service is not installed by default, but one is available for installation on the OS distribution disks as an add-on. An alternative would be to install the XQuartz version. Make sure the X11 application is running and connect to the cluster using:

% ssh -X -Y

From Windows

Microsoft Windows does not provide an X11 server, but there are both open source and commercial versions available. You also need to install an SSH client. Recommended applications are:

  • Xming - a Windows X11 server
  • PuTTY - a Windows ssh client

When a PuTTY session is created, make sure the "X11 Forwarding Enabled" option is set, and that the X11 server is running before starting the session.


Once Xming and puTTY have been set up and in stalled, the following will provide a simple test for success:

  1. start Xming
  2. start puTTY
  3. connect to the remote host (make sure puTTY knows about Xming for this host)

Once successfully logged in, the following command should open a new terminal window on the local host:

% xterm&

An xterm window should appear. If this is not the case, refer to "Trouble with Xming?" or email us.

Note About Cygwin

Cygwin is still a useful environment, but is to complicated and contains too many unnecessary parts when all one wants is to interface with remote X11 sessions. For these reasons, we recommend Xming and PuTTY as listed above.

Advanced Usage

The most important connection that is made is from the user's client machine to the first remote host. One may "nest" X11 forwarding by using the ssh -XY command to jump to other remote hosts.

For example:

1. on client PC (*nix or Windows), ssh to remotehost1

2. on remotehost1 (presumably a *nix machine), ssh -XY to remotehost2

3. on remotehost2 (presumably a *nix machine), ssh -XY to remotehost3


8. on remotehost8 (presumably a *nix machine), ssh -XY to remotehost9

9. on remotehost9, running an X11 application like xterm should propagate the remote window back to the initial client PC through all of the additional remote connects.


Last modified: August 21 2014 13:48:49.