From: John Stone (
Date: Mon Aug 02 2010 - 11:34:31 CDT

  Generally speaking, the Mesa libraries are currently an imperfect
OpenGL implementation, and as a result they can create problems even
when displaying to remote clients. You may also be having issues with
the X-Win32 X server, as I have heard of problems with that from folks
at LLNL. The final version of VMD 1.8.7 uses a few more of the
advanced OpenGL rendering features than VMD 1.8.6 (or 1.8.7a5) did,
and that is likely related the issues you're having with remote display.

The long and the short of it is that VMD requires a correctly functioning
OpenGL implementation, whether local or remote, and many of the
win32 X-windows clients and emulators of various kinds have bugs that
prevent various things from working. These problems are not unique to
VMD, they typically also break other sophisticated OpenGL programs,
particularly those that, like VMD, make use of GLSL shaders and other
advanced features.

  John Stone

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 05:15:48PM -0400, David Hoover wrote:
> We have installed vmd_LINUXAMD64 v1.8.7 on a RHE5L system, and we port
> the graphics via X11 out to client machines using xming, X-Win32, or
> some other X11 server. Most everything seems ok, but surface rendering
> is broken, giving either jagged lines or only a partial surface. If VMD
> is installed on the client machines (Windows, Mac, Linux, whatever), the
> surfaces are displayed correctly. Does it matter that the libraries on
> the RHE5L machine are not strictly OpenGL, but are from Mesa, since the
> rendering is being done on the client machines?
> As an aside, a colleague has a slighly older version of VMD (June 1
> 2009, 1.8.7 beta 5) which does not have problems rendering surfaces when
> used the same way. Moreover, this version of VMD is run on RHE4L, and
> doesn't require three libraries required by the later version of VMD
> (,, What happened between June
> and August of 2009 to VMD?
> David Hoover
> Helix Systems Staff

NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Email:                 Phone: 217-244-3349
  WWW:      Fax: 217-244-6078