The VMD Installation Guide, User’s Guide, and Programmer’s Guide are available which describe how to install, use, and modify VMD. All three guides are available from the main web site. Online help may be accessed via the “Help” menu in the main VMD window or by typing help in the VMD command window. This will bring up the VMD quick help page in a browser, and will lead you to several other VMD help files and manuals.
Quick Installation Instructions
Detailed instructions for compiling VMD from source code can be found in the programmer’s guide.
The Windows version of VMD is distributed as a self-extracting archive, and should be entirely self-explanatory.
The native MacOS X version of VMD is packaged as a disk image and is extracted by opening the disk image, and dragging the “VMD” application contained inside into an appropriate directory.
For quick installation of the binary distribution for Unix do the following:
- Uncompress and untar the distribution into a working directory, being sure to do this and subsequent steps as a non-root user. In this working directory, there are several subdirectories such as bin, src, doc, data, as well as this README and a configure script. Change to this working directory after the unpacking is complete.
- Edit the file ‘configure’; change the values for the $install_library_dir and $install_bin_dir to a directory in which vmd data files and executables should be installed, be sure that you installing into a clean target directory and not overwriting an existing version of VMD (which would otherwise give problems):
- $install_bin_dir is the location of the startup script ‘vmd’. It should be located in the path of users interested in running VMD.
- $install_library_dir is the location of all other VMD files. This included the binary and helper scripts. It should not be in the path.
- A Makefile must be generated based on these configuration variables by running “./configure”.
- After configuration is complete, cd to the src directory, become root or use sudo if necessary, e.g., for installation of VMD into /usr/local or other permission-protected system directories and type “make install”.
- This will install VMD in the two directories listed above. Note that running “make install” twice will print error messages because you are attempting to overwrite some read-only files. Similarly, if you have incorrectly specified the target installation directories or attempt to overwrite an existing VMD installation, you will get error messages.
- When installed, type ‘vmd’ to start (make sure the $install_bin_dir directory is in your path).
VMD requires several libraries and programs for several of its functions. In particular, it uses GL or OpenGL based 3-D rendering, and will require that you have the appropriate GL or OpenGL libraries on your system. Other programs are required by some of VMD’s optional features.
Please visit the VMD web site for more information: http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/