From: Josh Vermaas (
Date: Tue Oct 21 2014 - 11:53:38 CDT

Hi Mike,

Could you be more specific? I'm not sure what specific features you are
missing or what the behavior is you are describing. For instance, I have
encountered not being able to delete text from the terminal (backspace
entering in the literal backspace character, and not deleting it like I
wanted). The way I fixed it specifically for my case was to use the bash
rather than the csh vmd startup script (the default almost always
installs a csh script on a linux system to start vmd), as my install of
Ubuntu uses bash as the default shell, and some csh environment
variables being set/not being set/something else entirely unrelated got
in the way of rlwrap passing along readline facilities properly. If this
is the case, the terminal environment when not using python will also be
messed up (ie, typing arrows or backspace into the terminal window will
give you something like ^A or ^D instead of moving your cursor around).
Is this the case? If so, you just need to change the Makefile or the
configure script (which generates the makefile) so that it will use bash
version rather than the csh one. Grep around for the statement: "Info:
/bin/csh shell not found, installing Bourne shell startup script
instead", and you shouldn't have a problem figuring out what to change.

If that isn't it, a better description of the problem or what
specifically is missing would be appreciated, because it works for me.
Can you run a dumb script through vmd? Something like python's helloworld?

print "Hello World"

If this works and prints things like you'd expect, your compilation is
probably alright in how it interfaces with python, and that's 99% of the

vmd -dispdev text -python -e

-Josh Vermaas

On 10/21/2014 10:13 AM, Woodson, Michael wrote:
> Hi, I am trying to compile VMD against my native version of Python,
> 2.7. It seems to have mostly worked, it compiled and installed without
> any errors. When I call vmd - python, though, the text editor that
> starts up doesn't allow bash-style line editing. If I import the
> readline module manually, I can repeat previous lines, but not edit them.
> When using python in a shell, it uses $PYTHONSTARTUP to import
> readline and other modules, but I don't know how to set this in VMD,
> or if there even is an equivalent.
> Is this just how the text interpreter works in vmd, or did I screw
> something up during installation? And if the latter, what can I do to
> get line editing?
> thanks!
> Mike W.