From: John Stone (
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 02:53:39 CDT

Dear VMD-L,
  I wanted to let people know that all of the new test versions of
VMD 1.8.7 now incorporate built-in support for the new 3DConnexion
"SpaceNavigator" Spaceball-like input devices. The Windows versions
of VMD have always worked with these devices when using the 3DConnexion
driver, but I have now added support in all of the Unix/Linux
versions of VMD as well. The new code also supports the open source
"spacenavd" driver in addition to 3DConnexion's commercial drivers.
Soon I plan add support in the MacOS X builds as well, but that requires
entirely different interface code.

I invite interested users to send me an email and I'll provide
the test builds and preliminary instructions on how to use the devices
within VMD. I've added many new capabilities to the Spaceball interfaces
in VMD, so they can now be used to controller a much more diverse range
of functionality within the program. The new versions also retain
direct serial I/O support for the old Spaceball 2003/3003/4000FLX
devices, which also benefit from the user interfaces and programmability.
I'm interested in getting feedback from the users on the new code
to further tweak and improve it so that the final release of
VMD 1.8.7 has excellent Spaceball support all around.

  John Stone

On Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 06:23:01PM +0100, Carsten Olbrich wrote:
> Dear all,
> we bought a SpaceNavigator (PE) (3DConnexion) and I still try to get
> this device working in Linux (SuseLinux 10.1).
> It works fine in Windows with the corresponding driver and I don't
> need to configure anything corresponding to VMD.
> In Linux it looks different:
> - I managed to install the driver and all example programs, which
> are distributed with the driver, work fine but not VMD.
> Therefor I added following to .vmdsensors: device spacenav
> sballtracker://local//proc/bus/usb/005/036
> But VMD doesn't respond on moving the device.
> - I also tried to use VRPN (Version 7.14) with this configuration:
> vrpn_3DConnexion_Navigator device0
> The client "vrpn_print_devices" program can connect to the
> vrpn_server and prints for instance
> Analog device0_at_localhost:
> 0.09, 0.07, -0.47, 0.19, -0.17, 0.16 (6 chans)
> Analog device0_at_localhost:
> 0.01, 0.07, -0.47, 0.19, -0.17, 0.16 (6 chans)
> Analog device0_at_localhost:
> 0.01, 0.07, -0.07, 0.19, -0.17, 0.16 (6 chans)
> if I move the device.
> Then I added following to .vmdsensors:
> device spacenavtracker vrpntracker://exciton/device0
> device spacenavbuttons vrpnbuttons://exciton/device0
> The chose the tracker and the buttons in the TOOLS menu but
> nothing happens except the message:
> vrpn: Connection request received: 45092
> vrpn_Connection: VRPN Note: minor version number doesn't match:
> (prefer 'vrpn: ver. 07.14', got 'vrpn: ver. 07.03 0'). This is not
> normally a problem.
> I hope someone might help me to get our SpaceNavigator working.
> Regards,
> Carsten

NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
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