Molecular Graphics Visualisation tool.
Biocomputing Research Unit
University of Edinburgh
This posting is to announce the public release of the RasMol 2.1,
molecular graphics visualisation program. The package has been developed
in the BRU over the last few years, and following the recent collapse of
commercialisation negotiations is now being offered FREE!! It was claimed
in a recent conference to be the fastest available uniprocessor program
for drawing shadowed spacefilled molecules. On a SparcStation it can shadow
a 10,000 atom protein in less than 10 seconds.
RasMol is an X Window System tool intended for the visualisation of
proteins and nucleic acids. It reads Brookhaven Protein Databank (PDB)
files and interactively renders them in a variety of formats on either an
8bit or 24bit colour display. The complete source code and user documentation
for both the UNIX/X11 version and the IBM PC/MS Windows 3.1 version may be
obtained by anonymous ftp as RasMol2.tar.Z from ftp.dcs.ed.ac.uk
[22.214.171.124] in the directory /pub/rasmol. A compressed version of the
PostScript user reference is also available in the same directory as
The program is intended for teaching and generating publication
quality images. The program has both a menu system and a full featured
command line interface. Different parts and representations of the
molecule may be coloured or displayed in a number of formats independently.
Currently supported formats include wireframe, ball and stick, backbone
and space filling spheres. The space filling spheres may even be shadowed.
The molecule may be manipulated using scroll bars, the command line or
from a dials box if attached. The resulting image may be saved at any
point in PostScript, GIF, PPM, Sun rasterfile or Microsoft BMP formats.
For more details see the RasMol user reference.
The current version of the program has been tested on sun3, sun4, hp9000,
sequent and mips (dec,sgi and E&S) machines compiled under both gcc and the
native compiler. The version for Microsoft Windows requires version 7
of the Microsoft Optimizing C Compiler and the SDK. Binaries for the IBM PC
and compatibles will be made available if there is sufficient interest.
The source code is public domain and available under the terms of the
GNU public license agreement. Any comments, suggestions or questions about
the package may be directed to "rasmol at dcs.ed.ac.uk".
Roger Sayle JANET: ros at uk.ac.ed.dcs
Department of Computer Science UUCP: ..!mcsun!uknet!dcs!ros
University of Edinburgh ARPA: ros%dcs.ed.ac.uk at nsfnet-relay.ac.uk
Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK. Tel: (+44) 031 650 5163 (direct line)