VMD is a molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3-D graphics and built-in scripting. VMD supports computers running MacOS X, Unix, or Windows, is distributed free of charge, and includes source code.
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Modern computers include a massively parallel graphics processing unit (GPU) designed to perform geometry and lighting calculations at blistering speeds. State of the art GPUs can perform 0.5 teraFLOPS with their hundred cores. The tremendous computational power of GPUs was untapped by scientific computations because it could only be accessed with difficulty until now. As reported in the Journal of Computational Chemistry, recent advances allowing GPUs to be used for general purpose computing have boosted the performance of a number of molecular modeling applications, including NAMD simulations and VMD electrostatic potential calculations. The accelerated versions of these applications run five to one hundred times faster than on the best CPU-based hardware, allowing a single desktop computer equipped with a GPU to provide processing power equivalent to an entire, large computing cluster. More information on GPU acceleration of molecular modeling applications is provided here.
Other Spotlights
Placement of ions in the ribosome


Molecular representations
VMD plugin library
Molecular file formats
GPU-accelerated computing
Interactive molecular dynamics
Programs that use VMD
VMD research publications
How to cite VMD
VMD citation list (17,617 as of Mar'16)


Download (all versions)
VMD 1.9.2 (MacOS X, Unix, Windows)
VMD 1.9.1 (MacOS X, Unix, Windows)
VMD script library
License, Copyright and Disclaimer

Documentation and Support

User and installation guides
Quick help
VMD-L mailing list
Bug List

News and Announcements

Immersive Molecular Visualization with Omnidirectional Stereoscopic Ray Tracing and Remote Rendering, HPDAV 2016
High Performance Molecular Visualization: In-Situ and Parallel Rendering with EGL, HPDAV 2016
Evaluation of Emerging Energy-Efficient Heterogeneous Computing Platforms for Biomolecular and Cellular Simulation Workloads, HCW 2016
Example VMD VR/3-D YouTube videos
Atomic Detail Visualization of Photosynthetic Membranes with GPU-Accelerated Ray Tracing, J. Par. Comp. 2016
Chemical Visualization of Human Pathogens: the Retroviral Capsids, SC'15 Viz. Showcase (YouTube)
VMD 1.9.2 image making tutorial video (YouTube)
Multilevel Summation Method for Electrostatic Force Evaluation, JCTC 2015
Updated Gromacs plugins for VMD 1.9.2
VMD 1.9.2 Released
Visualization of Energy Conversion Processes in a Light Harvesting Organelle at Atomic Detail, SC'14
Petascale Tcl with NAMD, VMD, and Swift/T, HPTCDL'14
GPU-Accelerated Analysis and Visualization of Large Structures Solved by Molecular Dynamics Flexible Fitting, FD169, 2014.
Methodologies for the Analysis of Instantaneous Lipid Diffusion in MD Simulations of Large Membrane Systems, FD169, 2014.
Past announcements


Winning SC'14 chromatophore light harvesting visualization
VMD movie gallery on YouTube
Gallery of Posters, Images, and Movies made with VMD
VMD running in the NanoDome at Temple University


VMD User Survey Results
VMD development status and pre-release test downloads
CVS source code access
VMD Programmer's documentation