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       molecule - draws 3D molecular structures


       molecule  [-display  host:display.screen]  [-window]  [-root]  [-visual
       visual] [-delay microseconds] [-wander] [-no-wander] [-spin axes] [-no-
       spin]  [-timeout seconds] [-labels] [-no-labels] [-titles] [-no-titles]
       [-atoms]  [-no-atoms]  [-bonds]  [-no-bonds]   [-shells]   [-no-shells]
       [-molecule file-or-directory] [-verbose] [-wireframe] [-fps]


       The   molecule  program  draws  several  different  representations  of
       molecules.  Some common molecules are built in, and  it  can  read  PDB
       (Protein Data Base) files as input.


       molecule accepts the following options:

       -window Draw on a newly-created window.  This is the default.

       -root   Draw on the root window.

               Install a private colormap for the window.

       -visual visual
               Specify  which  visual  to use.  Legal values are the name of a
               visual class, or the id number (decimal or hex) of  a  specific

       -fps    Display a running tally of how many frames per second are being
               rendered.  In conjunction with -delay 0, this can be  a  useful
               benchmark of your GL performance.

               Print debugging info on stderr about files being loaded, etc.

       -wander Move the molecules around the screen.

               Keep the molecule centered on the screen.  This is the default.

       -spin   Which axes around which the molecule should spin.  The  default
               is  "XYZ",  meaning rotate it freely in space.  "-spin Z" would
               rotate the molecule in  the  plane  of  the  screen  while  not
               rotating it into or out of the screen; etc.

               Don’t spin it at all: the same as -spin "".

       -labels Draw  labels  on  the  atoms (or the spot where the atoms would
               be.)  This is the default.

               Do not draw labels on the atoms.

       -titles Print the name of the molecule and its chemical formula at  the
               top of the screen.

               Do not print the molecule name.

       -atoms  Represent  the  atoms  as  shaded spheres of appropriate sizes.
               This is the default.

               Do not draw spheres for the atoms: only draw bond lines.

       -bonds  Represent the  atomic  bonds  as  solid  tubes  of  appropriate
               thicknesses.  This is the default.

               Do  not draw the bonds: instead, make the spheres for the atoms
               be  larger,  for  a  "space-filling"  representation   of   the

       -shells Draw  transparent  electron shells around the atoms.  This only
               works if bonds are also being drawn.

               Do not draw electron shells.  This is the default.

               When drawing shells, how transparent  to  make  them.   Default

               Draw  a  wireframe rendition of the molecule: this will consist
               only of single-pixel lines for the bonds, and text labels where
               the atoms go.  This will be very fast.

       -timeout seconds
               When  using  the  built-in  data  set, change to a new molecule
               every this-many seconds.  Default is 20 seconds.

       -molecule file-or-directory
               Instead of using the built-in  molecules,  read  one  from  the
               given  file.   This  file  must  be  in PDB (Protein Data Base)
               format.  (Note that it’s not uncommon for PDB files to  contain
               only  the  atoms,  with  no  (or  little) information about the
               atomic bonds.)

               This can also be a directory, in which case, all  of  the  .pdb
               files  in  that  directory  will  be loaded.  A new one will be
               displayed at random every few  seconds  (as  per  the  -timeout

       When  the  molecule  is  too large (bigger than about 30 angstroms from
       side to side), the -label option  will  be  automatically  turned  off,
       because  otherwise, the labels would overlap and completely obscure the

       When the molecule is around 150 angstroms from side to side,  wireframe
       mode will be turned on (because otherwise it would be too slow.)


       DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.

               to  get  the  name of a resource file that overrides the global
               resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.


       X(1), xscreensaver(1)

       Documentation on the PDB file format:


       A good source of PDB files:



       Copyright  ©  2001-2005  by  Jamie  Zawinski.  Permission to use, copy,
       modify, distribute, and sell this software and  its  documentation  for
       any  purpose  is  hereby  granted  without fee, provided that the above
       copyright notice appear in all copies  and  that  both  that  copyright
       notice  and  this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.
       No representations are made about the suitability of this software  for
       any  purpose.   It  is  provided  "as  is"  without  express or implied


       Jamie Zawinski <>