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New ARC Connect service provides desktop graphical interface for HPC resources

Users of ARC-TS computing resources can now use desktop versions of popular software packages like Matlab and R while accessing the Flux shared computing cluster. The new service, called ARC Connect, provides an easily accessible graphical user interface that simplifies doing interactive, graphical work backed by the high performance and large memory capabilities of the Flux cluster.

Using ARC Connect may benefit you if you need to:

  • Very easily interactively use graphical software on HPC clusters (Flux, Armis).
  • Do high performance, interactive visualizations.
  • Share and collaborate with colleagues on HPC-driven research.
  • Use HPC in teaching.
  • Access ARC HPC clusters from off-campus without using the U-M VPN.


  • Remote desktop sessions (VNC) for using Flux graphically and interactively.
  • Jupyter notebooks for Python and R (other languages coming soon).
  • RStudio interactive development environment for R.

Users can run desktop applications such as MATLAB or RStudio as if running on a laptop, but with all the power of Flux, as opposed to using them in batch mode or via text-only interactive sessions. Users can also use notebooks which require more processing power or memory than are available on their local computer or tablet (currently, Python and R notebooks are available).

ARC Connect is an enhanced version of the TACC / XSEDE Visualization Portal, and has been made possible at the University of Michigan through a collaboration between ARC Technical Services and the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas.

For information on how to use ARC Connect, visit arc-ts.umich.edu/arc-connect. If you need further help, contact hpc-support@umich.edu.