From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2010 - 08:49:30 CST


On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 9:01 AM, Michael Mwalaba <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am installing VMD on LINUXAMD64. After unpacking, configuring and making install a message pops up saying, "Info: /bin/csh shell not found, installing Bourne shell startup script instead
> Make sure /usr/local/bin/vmd is in your path.
> VMD installation complete.  Enjoy!".
> This indicated that I had done it, but upon running vmd it says, "[: 338: i686: unexpected operator
> [: 338: i686: unexpected operator
> exec: 459: /usr/local/lib/vmd/vmd_LINUX: not found
> ".
> Upon checking my /usr/local/lib/vmd/ directory for sure I can't find /usr/local/lib/vmd/vmd_LINUX. Instead what I am finding close to that is /usr/local/lib/vmd/vmd_LINUXAMD64. I made a copy of this and edited it to /usr/local/lib/vmd/vmd_LINUX, and running vmd the message I get is

this is wrong and should be undone right away.
> "[: 338: i686: unexpected operator
> [: 338: i686: unexpected operator
> /usr/local/lib/vmd/vmd_LINUX: 1: Syntax error: ")" unexpected".
> The README in the vmd-1.8.7 working directory under 'Required Libraries' tells me I require the approriate GL or OpenGL libraries on my system, I wonder whether this is what I don't have, I don't know? What could be the problem, please help.

the problem is, that the bourne shell version of the startup script
that ships with version 1.8.7 has a small issue that makes it incompatible
with your /bin/sh which is a derivative of /bin/ash and not /bin/bash.

there are two workarounds:
a) just edit your vmd launch script to have
as first line.
b) install tcsh or csh and then install vmd again.
that will install the csh version of the launch script
which has been more thoroughly tested.


> Cheers,
> Mike

Dr. Axel Kohlmeyer
Institute for Computational Molecular Science
Temple University, Philadelphia PA, USA.