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My university gave me access to the institutes mainframe via Putty for programming purposes.I dont know anything about servers or these connections but I was wondering if it was possible for me to render on it? Or even run programs if possible.

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  • $\begingroup$ Depending on how powerful their mainframe is, and if you can get blender to work on it, you'll have some awesome processing power! $\endgroup$ – X-27 Dec 8 '15 at 15:06
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Yes, this is absolutely possible. With SSH, you can access the command line remotely (as SSH is Secure Shell). If you have the command line blender installed on the server, you can run a command to render a .blend file.

In some situations we want to increase the render speed, access blender remotely to render something or build scripts that use blender command line.

One advantage of using command line is that we don't need the X server (in case of Linux) and as a consequence we can render remotely by SSH or telnet.

To render an image:

blender -b file.blend -o //file -F JPEG -x 1 -f 1

To render a movie:

blender -b file.blend -x 1 -o //file -F MOVIE -s 003 -e 005 -a 

From http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Render/Command_Line

On CentOS, you would downloaded either by source, or with yum install blender. The yum method is better as it installs dependencies too. Root privileges might be necessary however. Contact administrator if you don't have them and ask him to install it. There are also pre-compiled binaries on Blender.org to eliminate the dependency issue.

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  • $\begingroup$ I dont think command line blender is installed on that server. How can it be installed? The server runs CentOs $\endgroup$ – Avagantamo Dec 8 '15 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Avagantamo On CentOS, install it with yum install blender (root privileges might be necessary). Or, you can get the source code at blender.org, but the package manager installs dependencies, so its better $\endgroup$ – TheBro21 Dec 8 '15 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ If you don't have root permissions, you can download a pre-compiled binary archive from blender.org, which should just work™ out of the box. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 8 '15 at 20:16
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There are some more ways of working via ssh remotely on a university's server (beyond the remote shell).

Those might involve:

  • X forwarding: Run a graphical application remotely, visual display locally. Requires X servers on both ends. That might be complicated to set up when you have a Windows machine on your end. (Maybe setting up a Linux VM or dual boot is an option?)
  • NX/FreeNX client: Run a graphical session remotely, stream the display. Requires NX server to be running remotely and configured to give you access. Windows client software should be available.
  • VNC client: Run a graphical session remotely, stream the display. Requires VNC server to be running remotely and configured to give you access. Windows client software should be available.

You might want to ask someone who knows how this works and what ways are available to you at your site and at that host specifically.

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