From: Paulo E. Abreu (
Date: Tue Sep 07 2021 - 04:04:30 CDT

Hello John
Thanks for your answer about the status of VR in linux VMD and sorry for
bothering you with my questions once again.
I am contacting you directly (hope you dont mind) as this is not
specifically VMD related.
I have bought the HP Reverb G2 hardware and a new laptop so I can do some
demonstrations for high-school students.
The availability and the price was what led us to buy this VR gear. We will
be using this under windows as it seems simpler to set up and work with VR
gear in that OS.
Is there a possibility of using VMD with this VR in windows ?
Do you know of other chemistry related software that can be used (free)?
The only thing I have found so far is nanobiome (which offers a 30 day
trial) and a very limited free/personal version.
I just want to do some demonstrations where I show a protein and then
interact with the system (which I can do with protein VR) but I
haven't found any free program that allows me to build a molecule.
Sorry for all the questions but I really haven't found anything useful and
I really dont know if the CAVE version of VMD can be used with windows and
with this system.
Thanks a lot for the time,
Paulo E. Abreu

On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 10:10 PM John Stone <> wrote:

> Hi,
> Sorry for the delay, I'm currently swamped with the VMD survey and
> a funding proposal.
> At present, VR on linux is in a generally immature state of development.
> I was able to use early versions of OpenHMD to do research with the
> early Oculus DK1 and DK2 hardware when the HMD hardware and protocols
> were much more open than they are now (post-Facebook acquisition):
> Later generation hardware including both Oculus and HTC Vive HMDs,
> and many of the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) hardware have become nearly
> entirely closed source/proprietary. As a result, Linux libraries like
> OpenHMD have had to make progress through reverse engineering methods, and
> this has left most of the HMDs with only partial support (orientation
> only, no 3-D position tracking, no support hand controllers, etc).
> You can see the current state of the hardware support matrix in OpenHMD
> here:
> One item of good news is that Khronos has ratified the OpenXR specification
> for cross-platform VR, and there are some working group members that
> care about Linux there, and through some very very complicated tricks,
> I'm told that people have managed to get an OpenXR build to work to
> some degree on Linux. The "tricks" involve doing things like running
> closed source Windows tracking daemons on a linux machine via emulation
> or VMs, and similar. The complexity of the steps involved is currently
> high enough that I only know that two people have managed to get something
> limping along, and both of them work full-time on VR.
> At present, this situation with closed source drivers/protocols/etc
> is (harshly) limiting the viability of Linux as a VR platform.
> There is hope that this will change in the coming year, but it'll
> likely be a slow evolution.
> Once there are enough pieces working that I can begin taking reasonable
> steps with OpenXR on Linux, I will pursue this more vigorously.
> If too much time passes while we wait for Linux HMD support improve,
> then I may end up being forced to do VMD VR development on Windows
> instead,
> but that's far less convenient for me so I'm hoping that things don't
> go that way. ;-)
> If I see any significant evidence that things are starting to move forward
> with Linux HMD drivers I'll be happy to make some noise here on VMD-L.
> I've got a bunch of colleagues that work in different sci-viz subdomains
> that are also keenly interested and watching for this too...
> Best,
> John Stone
> On Tue, Jun 01, 2021 at 07:46:01PM +0100, Paulo E. Abreu wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I am planning on buying a set of VR glasses to use for demonstration
> > purposes (for students with 16-18 years) and I would love to use it
> under
> > linux if possible.
> > Does anyone have access to VR glasses and have been using them with
> VMD ?
> > I have been looking into Steam Index and HTC Vive Pro as they seem to
> have
> > some kind of support under linux. Any suggestions/experiences from
> people
> > who have been doing it would be greatly appreciated.
> > Thanks a lot,
> > Paulo
> > --
> > Paulo E. Abreu
> > Professor Auxiliar
> > Departamento de QuÃmica
> > Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
> --
> 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

Paulo E. Abreu
Professor Auxiliar
Departamento de Química
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra