Free Molecular Visualization Programs
for Unix and/or Linux

free molecular visualization programs, free molecular viewers, list of molecular visualization programs, list of molecular viewers, molecular rendering, protein visualization tools, molecular visualization resources, download page, download source, download executable, download binary, AMMP, B, BRAGI, Cn3D, Deep View Swiss-PDBViever, DINO, Flex, garlic, gdpc, Ghemical, gOpenMol, Grasp, ICMlite, Jmol, Kinemage, mdxvu, Mercury, MOIL-View, MOLDEN, MOLEKEL, MOLMOL, MolScript, Moviemol, NAMOT, QMOL, PREPI, PyMOL, RasMol, Raster3D, spock, VEGA, Viewmol, WinMGM, VMD, XMakemol, XmMol, XMol, Ymol, biological macromolecule, protein structure, DNA structure, PDB, unix, linux, free software download, open source software, Damir Zucic.
This page contains the list of free molecular visualization programs, complete with links. Only freely available programs which run on unix or unix compatible platform are listed. Some of these programs are available only as binary code for some specific platform(s).

Most programs were found using AltaVista, Lycos and Google, while some others were suggested by readers of this list. Thanks to all of them!

Some of the programs listed below have a very limited license. Be sure to read the license before using such program!

The time-limited trial versions of commercial programs were omitted from the list.

The programs listed here were not evaluated and no comparison was made.

If you have your own free molecular visualization program for unix or linux, or if you know for such program which is not included in the list below, please send an e-mail message to Damir Zucic ( . Please send corrections and changes to the same address.

Last updated: September 20, 2002.

The information contained here was valid before that day. As developing is going on, it is likely that some additional libraries may become necessary for some of the programs listed here. However, it is almost certain that libraries listed here will be required in future versions too.

AMMP libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXmu,
libXm, libSM, libICE, libNoVersion
Stand alone program,
modified GNU GPL license.
(where is it now?)
Java based package. Your browser should support
Java Virtual Machine.
BRAGI It seems that this program
is still under development.
The license has to be negotiated.
Chimera Needs Python, Tcl/Tk, Tix, Togl, PIL,
Numeric, Grail, Pmw, msms, VRML,
JPEG, Info-ZIP, TR, ScientificPython;
still under development.
Stand alone program,
online registration required.
Requires many libraries.
Cn3D libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXmu, libXp
Both browser plug-in
and stand alone program.
Deep View
libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXmu, libXi, libXp, libMesaGL,
libMesaGLU, libpthread, libz
Stand alone program,
IRIX or linux required.
DINO libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXmu, libXi, libgdbm, libGL, libGLU
Stand alone program.
Flex libc, libm, libX11,
libxview, libolgx, xlibflexdraw
Stand alone, binaries for
DEC/alpha, DEC/MIPS,
garlic libc, libm, libX11 Stand alone program,
GNU GPL license.
Ghemical requires g++ compiler, f2c compiler, glut,
GNOME, gtkglarea, mpich, MPQC ...
Stand alone program,
GNU GPL license.
gdpc libc, libm, libX11, libXext, libXi,
libgtk, libgdk, libgmodule, libglib,
libdl, libpthread
Stand alone program.
gOpenMol libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXmu, libXi, libdl, libXaw, Tcl/Tk,
+ Mesa or Open GL libraries
Graphics interface to the
OpenMol set of programs;
GNU GPL license.
Grasp This program has been written
for Silicon Graphics computers.
Under special circumstances,
the $500 fee will be waived.
ICMlite Binaries: SGI, DEC Alpha, SUN, Linux;
libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXmu, libSM, libICE, libpthread
Stand alone program,
free for academic use.
Jmol Java-based application. Stand alone program
(Java-based application).
Kinemage libc, libm, libX11,
libXt, libXm
Stand alone program.
mdxvu libc, libm, libX11,
precompiled for some systems
Stand alone program.
Mercury libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXmu,
libXi, libXft, libXRender, libMesaGLU,
libMesaGL, libSM, libICE, libjpeg,
libpng, libmng, libdialogs, libwidgets,
libqt, libqtspecific, libguiindep,
libtoolkit, libcsd, libCif, libKCC-eh,
libz, libfreetype, liblcms
Stand alone program, read
conditions of use carefully.
MOIL-View FORTRAN program, binaries available
for Silicon Graphics workstations.
Stand alone program,
registration expected.
libc, libm, libX11
Stand alone,
free for academic use.
MOLEKEL libc, libm, libX11, libXext, libXmu, libXi,
libMesaGL, libMesaGLU, libtiff, libjpeg
Precompiled for SGI IRIX,
linux PC and SunOS,
registration required.
MOLMOL libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXm,
libGL, libGLU, libGLcore, libC, libgen,
libgen, libpng, libz
Stand alone, binaries for
DEC/MIPS, DEC/alpha,
SGI, SPARC and RS/6000.
MolScript libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXmu,
libGL, libGLU, libGLcore, libmedia, libC,
libgen, libvice, libjpeg, libpng, libz
Stand alone, online
registration required.
Moviemol libc, libm, libX11, libXext,
libYgl or OpenGL
Stand alone program.
NAMOT libc, libm, libX11,
libxview, libolgx
Stand alone program.
QMOL libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXm, libGLw, libMesaGL, libMesaGLU,
libstdc++, libSM, libICE
Stand alone program.
PREPI Precompiled binary for
Silicon Graphics IRIX.
Stand alone, registration
required (written agreement).
PyMOL libc, X libs, libpng, zlib, python, Mesa Requires Python, an intepreted
programming language.
RasMol libc, libm, libX11
libXext, libXi
Stand alone program.
Raster3D Mixed FORTRAN 77 and C code,
requires both compilers.
Stand alone program.
spock libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXmu,
libXm, libXi, libXpm, libMesaGL,
libMesaGLU, libSM, libICE, libjpeg,
libtiff, libcrypt, libz, libNoVersion
Stand alone program,
free for some users,
registration required.
VEGA libc, libm, libz, liblocale No OpenGL support
for linux version.
Viewmol libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext, libXm,
libXi, libXp, libGL, libGLU, libtiff,
libtiff, libpthread, libdb, libdl, libutil
Graphical front end for
comp. chemistry programs,
GNU GPL license.
WinMGM libc, libm, libMesaGL, libsubplex,
libchelpers, libmgmcalctools,
libmolecules, libmolenergy
Stand alone, some custom
libraries required.
VMD Statically linked binaries for AIX,
HPUX, IRIX, linux, Solaris and TRU64.
Stand alone, online
registration required.
XMakemol libc, libm, libX11, libXt,
libXm, libXpm, libGL, libGLU
Stand alone program,
GNU GPL license.
XmMol libc, libm, libX11, libXt, libXext,
libXm, libXp, libSM, libICE;
Motif or openMotif required.
Free for academic use,
registration required
(written agreement).
XMol Precompiled binaries for SGI,
Sun-3, Sun-4 and RS/6000.
Some other binaries may be
found in some other archives;
development seems to be halted.
Ymol libc, libm, libX11,
Stand alone program.