From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Apr 09 2015 - 21:16:22 CDT

  I had a series of productive debugging emails with Adrian Roitberg
tonight and I think we might have a workaround for the recent problems
people have had with MacOS X Yosemite after the recent 10.2.2 update
on certain varieties of Mac laptops.

It seems that the graphics problems that occur may be caused by the
native Apple-provided file browser window when loading molecules in VMD.

An unusual feature of VMD is that there is a way to control what
GUI is used for file browsing. On MacOS X, we use a code path that
ends up invoking the OS-provided file browser menu by default.
This can be overridden and you can force VMD to use a different
FLTK-based file browser menu instead. To enable this, you can either
add this command to your personal .vmdrc if you already have one,
or you can edit .vmdrc inside the application bundle
so it does runs this command by default during VMD startup:

To test it before making any changes, just open VMD, and run that
command in the VMD text console or the Tk console...
Once the command has been run, VMD will use a different file browser
menu the next time you load molecule files using the graphical interface.

You can also set the environment variable in your .bashrc with:

I am very interested in hearing feedback from people that have
Mac machines with MacOS X Yosemite 10.2.2 that have been having
problems after the Apple software update. If this workaround is an
effective cure for other users, I will post it on the VMD web site.

  John Stone

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