From: John Stone (
Date: Fri Jun 18 2004 - 15:53:18 CDT

  I've just added some new code to the latest test version of
VMD 1.8.3 which makes it easy to disable VMD's use of almost
all of the OpenGL extensions and advanced features that might
cause problems on video boards that have flaky drivers that
are only tested with games or other simple OpenGL applications.

In order to try VMD in this minimalistic mode, you must set a
new environment variable prior to running VMD
(otherwise it will enable all of the graphics features as usual):


bourne shell/bash:

  You can set system-wide environment variables via the
  "My Computer" -> "Advanced" -> "Environment Variables" tab.

I've placed new binarires with this feature on FTP for
people that want to test it out on machines that have difficulty
running VMD 1.8.2 which uses all of the advanced OpenGL features by default.

The Linux binary was compiled on Redhat 9, so if you have an old version
of Linux, uhhh, well, I highly recommend that you consider upgrading to
something more recent!!! :-) (all new VMD binaries will be built this
way, so if you have an ancient Linux machine for running VMD, now is the
time to start thinking about upgrading so you can run VMD 1.8.3 when it
is finished....)

If people that have been having these problems can report back on their
findings with this test version, I would appreciate it. Depending on the
stability results when using the VMDSIMPLEGRAPHICS mode or the regular
mode, I may alter the default behavior of VMD so that there are less problems
on some of these increasingly common laptop chipsets that have troubles.

  John Stone

NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Email:                 Phone: 217-244-3349              
  WWW:      Fax: 217-244-6078