From: Joshua D. Moore (
Date: Thu Sep 20 2012 - 14:56:41 CDT

Thanks. I will try this.

Also can VMD render POVRay files which have text drawn from VMD's
"draw text" commands? I've been trying some tests, but I don't see
any of the text that I displayed within VMD in the generated *pov file
or in the rendered image. I noticed something on the development
page, that this was worked on??? for VMD 1.9 final release on March
14, 2011 which I am using.

I saw a few other posts for people using Axel's timeline scripts who
also had similar issues, but this was a couple years ago.

On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM, Axel Kohlmeyer <> wrote:
> I think you have to use the exec command and may need to put the entire command in double quotes or curly braces depending on what level you want the variable to be expanded. Axel
> ------Original Message------
> From: Joshua D. Moore
> Sender:
> To:
> Subject: vmd-l: VMD in Linux, assigning a variable using awk
> Sent: Sep 20, 2012 1:44 PM
> Hi,
> I want to assign a variable in VMD running in Linux from the command line.
> I can do something like
> animate goto start
> set startframe [molinfo top get frame]
> echo $startframe
> And VMD will return the frame number of the start
> But if I want to get a value out of a file using awk, such as the
> following I get a blank return.
> vmd > set frame 5
> 5
> vmd > echo $frame
> 5
> vmd > set time [awk NR==$frame time.txt]
> 0.006
> vmd > echo $time
> (returns a blank and should return 0.006)
> vmd>
> In a bash shell I would do the following.
> bash> time=$(awk 'NR==5' time.txt)
> bash> echo $time
> 0.006
> But I can't get VMD to store the variable. Can VMD return a variable
> using unix commands from within VMD (a Linux version of VMD of
> course)?
> What I want to do is to display some text that shows "time =
> something" in VMD to render a movie. My frames need to be spaced at
> uneven times, so I want to read the times from a file in a loop within
> VMD.
> Thanks in advance if you can help.
> Josh
> --
> Dr. Axel Kohlmeyer
> International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste. Italy.