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VMD is a visualisation program for displaying, animating, and analysing molecular systems using 3D graphics, and built-In tcl/tk scripting.

Using VMD on ARCHER2

VMD is available through the vmd module.

module load vmd

Once the module has been added the VMD executables, tools, and libraries will be made available.

Without anything else, this allows you to run VMD in "text-only" mode with:

vmd -dispdev text

If you want to launch VMD with a GUI, see the requirements on the next section.

Launching VMD with a GUI

To be able to launch VMD with it's graphical interface, your machine needs to support the x11 "X windows system". Most Linux and *NIX systems support this by default. If you're using Windows (through WSL, for example), you will need an X11 display server, we recommend XMing. For macOS, we recommend XQuartz, but please be aware that there's some extra configuration needed, please see the next section

To launch VMD with a GUI, once you have a running X11 display server on your local machine, you'll need to connect to ARCHER2 with X11 forwarding enabled, please follow the instructions in the logging in section. Once you're connected to ARCHER2, load the VMD module with:

module load vmd

and launch VMD with:


Using VMD from macOS

If you're using macOS and XQuartz, before you're able to launch VMD with a GUI, you will need to change the XQuartz configuration. On a local terminal (that is, not connected to ARCHER2), run the following command:

defaults write org.xquartz.X11 enable_iglx -bool true

then, restart XQuartz. You will now be able to launch VMD's GUI without a segmentation fault.

Compiling VMD

The latest instructions for building VMD on ARCHER2 may be found in the GitHub repository of build instructions.