From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Fri Sep 14 2007 - 10:06:06 CDT

On Fri, 14 Sep 2007, Audrey Salazar wrote:

hello audrey,

AS> Hello,
AS> I have two quick (I hope) questions about plugins in VMD that I hope someone
AS> could answer. The network administrator hopes to compile VMD on our cluster
AS> and in order to know how to respond to some questions he posed, I have two
AS> questions for the VMD listserv. I would appreciate any guidance that the
AS> VMD community might be able to provide.
AS> 1) If I were to decide at a later date that a plugin that I did not
AS> originally install is required for my work, would I need to recompile VMD in
AS> order to properly install the plugin?

no. the whole idea of plugins is to not have to recompile the parent
program. there is one caveat, however, the molfile plugins, i.e. the
interface to reading various file formats, are (usually) available in
two forms: they are linked into the vmd binary _and_ are available
as plugins. whether a plugin would override the linked in version,
depends on the major/minor version number in the plugin molefile_plugin
object that is registered. now, if you load molecules from the GUI
that should work fine, however, when you load molecules from the
command line, you may become victim to the fact that VMD starts the
reading very early on in the startup procedure and by that time, the
new plugins may not have been registered. most of the other plugins
are actually tcl/Tk scripts and are platform independent and don't
need recompilation.

AS> 2) Are there any plugins that are installed by default with VMD? I haven't
AS> seen a mention of it, but perhaps, I haven't looked in the right place.

many. everything in the Extensions menu are plugins. you can find
those (and others) in the plugins subdirectory of your VMD installation.

hope this helps.


AS> Thank you in advance,
AS> Audrey

Axel Kohlmeyer
   Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.