Testing running an apache server with paraview in Singularity
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For instructions on using Paraview (the executable) directly from a Singularity container, see this post on AskCyberinfrastructre. Continue reading below for using ParaviewWeb via a Docker container, or Singularity container instance.


It was hard to get it working with Singularity (this is common, it's read only!) so let's start with a Docker container. We can use the container provided from this Dockerfile. Run the container, and note we are binding a port for the web socket as well.

You can do the below on Linux with Nvidia runtime:

docker run -p --runtime=nvidia -ti kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-egl-demo-v5.6.0 "ws://localhost:9000/"

On a computer without (like mine)

docker run -p -ti kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-osmesa-demo-v5.6.0 "ws://localhost:9000/" "-dr" "--mesa-swr"


Now that the above is working in Docker, we can try to get it working with Singularity. Since I don't have nvidia or gpu I'll be using the second container, kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-osmesa-demo-v5.6.0. First, build the image:

$ sudo singularity build paraview-web.simg Singularity

Make a folder to bind to on the host, along with other files that need write:

$ mkdir -p /tmp/apache2/run
$ mkdir -p /tmp/data
$ mkdir -p /tmp/apache2/logs
$ mkdir -p /tmp/wslink/logs
$ touch /tmp/wslink/proxy-mapping.txt

Start the container instance, here we are naming it "paraview." Since we need writable to /var/lock we must be sudo.

$ sudo singularity instance.start --bind /tmp/apache2/run:/var/run/apache2 --bind /tmp/apache2/logs:/var/log/apache2 --bind /tmp/wslink/logs:/opt/wslink-launcher/logs --bind /tmp/wslink/proxy-mapping.txt:/opt/wslink-launcher/proxy-mapping.txt --bind /tmp/data:/data paraview-web.simg paraview

You should now see the paraview interface running on


The mapping to /data is where local web applications will load files from.

Also note that you must stop local web servers, including any Docker applications running on that port. I'm not privy to how paraview works, but given this setup you should be able to figure it out from here. Here is how to shell into the container:

Huge thanks to @jourdain for his detailed help and instruction to figuring this out! :D

Interactive shell

I had needed to debug further to see how to get paraview working. Here is how to shell inside.

$ sudo singularity shell instance://paraview

Cleaning Up

And to stop the container, you also need sudo

$ sudo singularity instance.stop instance://paraview

I'm not sure if this is reasonable to run in user space because of needing write to /var/lock. Using sudo with singularity seems to defeat the purpose. If you figure out a good approach please send a pull request to this repository! Remember that to use nvidia, you would need to change the From line in the Singularity file to kitware/paraviewweb:pvw-egl-demo-v5.6.0 and then add --nv to take advantage of the libraries on the host.

Also note that if you are using Singularity 3.0 and up the instance group is now changed to "instance stop" and "instance start"