From: Justin Gullingsrud (
Date: Fri Dec 08 2000 - 14:08:55 CST

A new feature in VMD 1.6 will be the addition of an embedded Python
interpreter in VMD, with the ability to run scripts, import existing
modules, and control VMD. The Python interpreter co-exists with the
Tcl interpreter which is also part of VMD; you can use either
interpreter, or both, and switch between them.


Nearly all the VMD Tcl functions will have functional Python analogues
when VMD 1.6 is released. Support for the Tkinter GUI module will
also be provided. Complete documentation for the available Python
commands can be found in the User's Guide. VMD 1.6 will use Python
2.0. All of the Python modules for VMD will work without installing
Python on your system; of course, if you do have the Python libraries,
you can tell VMD where to find them and incorporate into your VMD
scripts. Again, see the documentation for more information.


Binaries for IRIX6, Linux-Mesa, and Linux-DRI are now available from the
TB ftp site,, in the directory pub/mdscope/vmd/python/.
The binaries are a beta version of VMD, not a final release. Installation
proceeds in exactly the same way as previous versions. You may need to set
an environment variable to direct the VMD Python interpreter to the location
of your Python libraries; e.g.
        setnev PYTHONPATH /usr/local/lib/python2.0
                - or -
        setenv PYTHONPATH /home/justin/vmd/Python-2.0/lib_LINUX/lib/python2.0

        setenv PYTHONHOME /usr/local
                - or -
        setenv PYTHONHOME /home/justin/vmd/Python-2.0/lib_LINUX

For PYTHONPATH, use the location of the actual python libraries. For
PYTHONHOME, use the directory in which python was installed (the prefix
directory in the configure script).

Try it out and let us know how it goes!


Justin Gullingsrud      3111 Beckman Institute
H: (217) 384-4220       I got a million ideas that I ain't even rocked yet...
W: (217) 244-8946       -- Mike D