WinSAGE at SuperComputing 2007
WinSAGE at Calit2, UC San Diego


SAGE is a graphics streaming architecture for supporting high-resolution, scalable and collaborative scientific visualization environments with potentially hundreds of megapixel of contiguous display resolution. It is primarily designed to be run as a thin middleware on cluster driven tile-displays. It allows users to treat the high-resolution distributed displays as one contiguous desktop where users can move/resize application windows. SAGE is network centric and the applications running on these displays need not run locally. The applications can be run on remote machines or clusters and can stream their pixel framebuffers to SAGE enabled tile-displays.

The group responsible for the core development is at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

This webpage supports the Windows 32-bit versions of software used for building and configuring scalable tile-displays. The Windows port was done at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research under a grant by Microsoft Research. The software has been tested on Windows XP based tile-displays driven by a high-bandwidth backplane (1Gpbs) and bundles in SAGE application binaries/source for remote presentation, large 2D/3D dataset visualization and HD video playback and streaming amongst others.


1. Binary (Win32 only)

SAGE v2.0 (Binaries install package)

SAGE v2.0 Source and VS2005 projects

2. Sample datasets

Sample data for SAGE


Display Configuration Screenshot
Instructions on how to install and configure software and hardware can be found here: Building Windows Viz-Walls. Users are highly encouraged to go through the documentation before starting their installs. Following are the steps and explanation of the SAGE install.

Step 1     : Download the SAGE setup zip file from the website. Unzip the files into a directory and run SAGE_setup.exe.

Step 2: The setup will guide you through either a master node install or tile node install. You have to do at least one master node install. Choose a network mounted directory for the destination. This directory should be visible under the same path on all the machines (master and tiles). Typically this path may look like Z:\sage\. Do the tile node install on all machines you wish to use for displaying SAGE. It’s possible to install master and tile node on the same machine however this is usually redundant and usually done for testing.

Step 3: Reboot all the machines to make sure it works. To verify that the SAGE remote execution daemons are running in the back ground on all the tiles, run Start -> SAGE -> Test Connection to Tiles. You should see a status window open on all the tile nodes. If you see these, the installation was successful and SAGE can spawn processes across the cluster. If these daemons are not running, SAGE will not work.

Step 4: SAGE has configuration files that need to be created/edited before you can run anything. Go to Start -> SAGE and run “Configure SAGE”. This utility will allow you to create a .tcfg file for your tile display. Make sure to enter correct IP addresses for all tiles and the master node and then save the .tcfg file and enable it using the “Save and Use Configuration in SAGE” button. Some sample .tcfg files can be viewed through the utility too.

Step 5: If you created a valid tile-config, you should be able to launch/stop SAGE using the “Start Sage” and “Stop SAGE” commands in the Start -> SAGE menu. The command will launch processes on all tile nodes and then give you an option for connecting to a live SAGE session. For controlling the local SAGE session, choose the hostname of your master node from the list that pops up.

Step 6: Once SAGE is running, you can go to Start -> SAGE -> Applications and start SAGE applications. The placement/size of the applications can be done through the SAGE UI. To stop applications, simply close their windows and their representative windows under SAGE UI.

Extra steps needed for some applications

  1. For the movie player (VLC), the video output plug-in needs to be set to “OpenGL video output” to get it to work with SAGE. For this go to “Settings” -> “Preferences” ->”Output modules” and click on the “Advanced options” check box. This will allow out to choose the output module for VLC. From the drop down box, pick “OpenGL video output”. Then save the settings and restart the movie player.
  2. If the “Image Viewer” application does not work, install ImageMagick’s libraries (Q16 variant) on the head node.
  3. Some sample datasets/files can be downloaded from the website to test the installation of Rasmol, Tiffviewer etc.


Requirement to Report Publications

NCMIR is required to submit annual progress reports that include publications that derived any benefit from the resources of the center. Please be advised that if you download and use NCMIR software and the results obtained through its use contribute to any publications, you will need to report the publication(s).

Acknowledgement Format

When acknowledging the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research in publications or presentations please cite the following: "(Software Name)" presented here was produced at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at San Diego, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a National Center for Research Resources program grant P41 RR04050 awarded to Dr. Mark Ellisman.

No Commercial Use

NCMIR software is not intended for commercial purposes and may not be used for commercial gain.

Open Source Licensing

This software is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

The software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The software provided herein is on an “as is” basis, and the University of California has no obligation to provide maintenance, support, updates, enhancements, or modifications.

See the GNU General Public License for more details. For a copy of the GNU General Public License, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

NCMIR hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the programs.

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