Usage of the NRP with NEST Desktop

When using the NRP with the NEST Simulator server, one can utilize convenient GUI called NEST Desktop. In this case both the NRP and the NEST Desktop act as clients to the NEST Simulator.


The joint usage of the NRP and NEST Desktop is currently available only for the special local docker installation.


  1. The first step is to install Docker with Docker Compose on your system (on Windows, install it in Windows, not in the WSL Ubuntu).

  2. Download the Docker Compose configuration file for the NRP with NEST Desktop.

    • The latest version is in the NRP Bitbucket here.

  3. Run Docker Compose, providing the path to the downloaded file:

    docker compose -f docker-compose_nrp-nest-desktop-insite.yml up

    The proper Docker images should be downloaded and the containers started.

  4. Open the URL localhost:9200/#/esv-private in the browser to access the NRP with the credentials nrpdemo:nestdesktop.

Usage example

  1. Open the NRP localhost:9200/#/esv-private and log in.

  2. Select the Templates tab and clone Holodeck Husky Braitenberg experiment with NEST-Desktop 3.2 experiment.

  1. Select the cloned experiment in the My experiments tab and click Open NEST-Desktop button.

  2. In the setting of the NEST Desktop check that the proper URLs for NEST and Insite are set.

  1. Download the NEST Desktop project configuration file and import it into the NEST Desktop.

  2. Modify the configuration of the neural network, if you want to, but take into account that it should be in line with the configuration of the experiment in the NRP, because there is no check that the loaded NEST network is compatible with the experiment configuration (the number and the role of the nodes). Check that all the stages except Simulate are selected and press the PREPARE button, this will configure the NEST neurons.


The configuration of the NEST should happen before launching of the simulation in the NRP.

  1. Launch the simulation in the NRP and press the Launch button there. The Husky Braitenberg vehicle should react to the red screen now and NEST Desktop should display the spikes activity.

  2. In order to further modify the network, Pause the simulation in the NRP, modify the network in the NEST Desktop, press PREPARE button in the NEST Desktop again, reload the brain in the NRP (Brain Editor) and then continue the simulation.


Once again, the configuring the network in the NEST Desktop should be done before launching/resuming the simulation in the NRP.