Announcing PyMOL v0.56 (+ Windows Installer)
- From: "DeLano, Warren" <warren (- at -)
- Subject: Announcing PyMOL v0.56 (+ Windows Installer)
- Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 12:11:49 -0700
PyMOL v0.56 has been released http://pymol.sourceforge.net .
An illustrated manual is available on the web page, and the program is
now considered late beta-test quality.
PyMOL is a full-featured molecular graphics and animation program, and
will eventually support building and molecular modeling. PyMOL lays the
groundwork for a completely free and open-source replacement for
packages such as Grasp, Molscript/Raster3D, O, Midas, Insight II,
Cerius2, Sybyl, and Quanta. Why pay MSI or Tripos for expensive tools if
you can accomplish the same task with free software? Plus, you can
deploy PyMOL on every machine in your lab or company for no cost other
than hardware (approx. $100/PC for an nVidia Gefore2/MX video card).
PyMOL has most of the visualization features you would expect for maps
and molecules, with the exception of cartoon ribbons, which require
Molscript for generation of the 3D geometries as Raster3D input files. I
am still looking for donation of unrestricted source-code for a
high-quality ribbon-rendering algorithm (any volunteers?).
PyMOL is an optimal solution for generating PowerPoint figures on your
Windows desktop (PNG files directly import into PowerPoint) and can also
be used for live 3D molecular graphics on an LCD projector if you have a
Dell or Toshiba laptop that contains an nVidia GeForceGo chip. I have
confirmed that a DELL Inspiron 8000 will significantly outperform an SGI
Octane/MXE for molecular graphics.
Although there are other similar efforts underway (Birdwash, CCP4-3d,
MolKit, etc.), PyMOL is currently ahead of the other efforts in terms of
visualization capabilities and accessibility to non-developers under
Windows. Right now, PyMOL is the most powerful molecular graphics
program based entirely on free and unrestricted source-code (No GPL!).
Unlike RasMOL, PyMOL is targeted towards the needs of professionals, not
undergraduates, and supports features such as robust molecular editing,
animations, scripting, ray-tracing, and programmable extensibility.
Python lovers will be happy to learn that PyMOL uses an embedded Python
interpreter as its native API, and maps it to an expandable,
hyper-efficient command language. Pure Python-based interfaces to
programs such as Amber, CNS, CCP4, GAMESS, or your own projects can
easily be developed as needs arise (for example, in graduate student
A Windows installer can be found at:
and requires Python 152
Source code for unix can be obtained and compiled through the publicly
accessible CVS repository. Linux RPMs will be released by the end of
Please see the web site for additional information:
mailto:warren (- at -) sunesis.com
Warren L. DeLano, Ph.D.