Molecular Modeling programs on different platforms - table correct?

Dr. Peter Gegenheimer pgegen at
Fri Sep 20 19:02:50 EST 1996

In <51cnf2$mr0 at>, mathog at writes:
>Periodically I check the status of various molecular modeling/molecular
>display/related programs with respect to portability.  This is my latest
>table - if anybody sees any errors or wants to add something, please chime
>Listed alphabetically 
>             MIPS      ---DEC Alpha----         Intel
>What         SGI       DU            WNT      Windows   GraphicsType
>Biosym       Yes       No*           No*           No*       GL
>Grasp        Yes       No            No            No        GL
>MidasPlus    Yes       No            No            No        GL
>molmol       Yes       Yes           No            No        X11
>O            Yes       No            No            No        GL
>rasmol       Yes       Yes           ?             Yes       X11/Windows
>Setor        Yes       No            No            No        GL
>VMD          Yes       No            No            No        GL
>XtalView     Yes       Yes           No            No        GL/X11
>* Separately licensed "Axxess" product lets Biosym run as an X11 client.
>Kind of amazing to me that more of these have not been ported to other
>platforms, for instance Alpha/Linux or WNT.  Looks like the only really 
>portable one is Rasmol.  In terms of horsepower the SGIs are at least twice
>as expensive as these alternatives.  I guess the ports will only come when
>the grants start coming back marked with "buy cheaper platforms".  
>If I get a vote, I cast it for moving to WNT.  Not that I'm a big fan of
>that OS, but realistically, WNT workstations would be a lot more readily
>accepted by our undergrads then the current set of SGIs are, and getting
>other software for WNT machines (word processors and so forth) would be one
>heck of a lot easier and lots cheaper than it is for SGIs. 
>David Mathog
>mathog at
>Manager, sequence analysis facility, biology division, Caltech 

Thanks for the comparison! You omitted Molecular Images, by Duncan McRee ( ;  MISoftware at which is available for Win 3.x, NT, and Mac. It's superb -- the best PC-based program I've seen, although I haven't tried Alchemy or HyperChem. 

I'd like to mention that I run the Win3.1/Win32S versions of Molecular Images, RasMol 2.6, and the Berkeley-enhanced RasMol, under OS/2 Warp. I am encouraging a port of Molecular Images to OS/2, since CHARMm is available for OS/2. I'd expect somewhat better performance under OS/2 than Win-NT. More software runs under OS/2 Warp than any other desktop OS, because Warp supports Win32s, OS/2, and (with the Executor emulator, now for WIn3.1 and soon native for OS/2) the MacOS. 

OS/2 Warp 4.0 is in its 4th generation (NT 4.0 is really the 2nd version), and is a very stable and reliable OS. Both Warp and NT support OpenGL, and I know Warp supports an excellent X-terminal server program.

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