From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2022 - 21:23:42 CDT

  I tend to agree with Giacomo's comments about recent Apple choices.

VMD depends entirely on cross-platform GUI toolkits provided by
FLTK and Tcl/Tk (Python Tkinter is also based on Tk). The stability
issues we all observe on MacOS are in part a result of Apple no
longer participating in the development of open source cross-platform

If you run VMD on Linux you won't have any of the weird MacOS issues.
I don't blame the developers of Tcl/Tk or FLTK, they are having to
reverse engineer MacOS windowing system components to make their code
work, so it's nearly a miracle it works as well as it does.

The latest stable release of Tcl/Tk is still 8.6.12 (Nov, 2021), and
that's what all of the current MacOS builds of VMD are using.
FLTK 1.4.x continues to advance, but it is still considered
experimental, and VMD Mac builds are using the most stable
FLTK 1.4.x snapshot I managed to find from a while back.

As these GUI toolkits provide newer releases or even experimental
snapshots that help improve the situation on MacOS, I will
make updated VMD builds to take advantage of those changes.

  John Stone

On Thu, Sep 08, 2022 at 10:02:34PM -0400, Giacomo Fiorin wrote:
> Many of those issues are macOS specific. Check on the mailing list
> archive for past messages from John Stone regarding Apple/macOS creating
> extra work for him and others. Breaking backward compatibility to boost
> hardware sales is a core principle of Apple's business model.
> Giacomo
> On Thu, Sep 8, 2022 at 12:18 PM Klimkowski, V <[1]>
> wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks very much to JC, Josh & Giacomo for their specific advice, as
> well as encouragement to install VMD 1.9.4 (latest alpha) rather than
> 1.9.3 on the older workstation I described. I'll be following up with
> that as soon as I get sudo privileges there.
> I actually have been using the alpha version (1.9.4a55-x86_64-R11) on
> my MAC but was hesitant to try it on this older workstation. On my
> MacBook Pro (Monterey 12.5.1) I have experienced some inconsistent
> problems with the windowing system (expandable lists not responsive,
> apparent scroll bars not showing up) in the ffTK plugin & possibly other
> plugins. Also, sometimes (inconsistently) when I "Quit VMD" I get an
> error message. Hopefully these are MAC specific. I will try send my
> observations to the developers.
> Thanks again for the helpful responses. Best,
> Joe
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: Gumbart, JC <[2]>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 7, 2022 11:13 AM
> To: Klimkowski, V <[3]>
> Cc: [4] <[5]>
> Subject: Re: vmd-l: Most relevant VMD install
> Trick question - none! You should always try to use the latest build,
> the 1.9.4alpha in this case. Probably you won**t need (or be able to
> use) the real-time ray tracing, so the first of the two linux builds
> listed should be fine. FFTK is notably improved between 1.9.3 and the
> latest alpha.
> Best,
> JC
> On Sep 6, 2022, at 9:52 PM, Klimkowski, V <[6]>
> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I have been using VMD for a few years now installed on my MAC
> laptop. Mostly for visualization & developing isosurfaces of Spatial
> Distribution Functions created from MD of Deep Eutectic Solvents.
> Recently an older Linux workstation became available to me that has
> Gaussian03 installed. I've decided I'd like to use this to do Force
> Field parameter development with the ffTK incorporated in VMD. Many of
> the DES components we study get moderate to high penalties scores when
> processed through the CGgenFF website, so I can make good use of this
> facility.
> My question is which of the six available binary distributions of
> VMD version 1.9.3 is the best for the workstation configuration I
> have. Here are the machine specifications:
> Dell Precision T5400
> OS: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS
> Memory: 3.8 GiB
> Processor: Intel® Xeon(R) CPU E5410 @ 2.33GHz * 4
> Graphics: NV84
> GNOME: 3.28.2
> OS type: 64-bit
> Disk: 78.2 GB
> Please let me know if you have other questions. Any recommendations
> from the group are really appreciated. Thank for your consideration,
> V Joe Klimkowski, PhD
> Chemistry Research Affiliate
> Butler University
> Indianapolis, IN
> References
> Visible links
> 1.
> 2.
> 3.
> 4.
> 5.
> 6.

Research Affiliate, NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801