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UCSF ChimeraX is the next-generation visualization program from the Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics at UC San Francisco.

See also: Change Log, Download & Citation Counts


Compared to Chimera, ChimeraX has a more modern user interface, better graphics, and much faster handling of large structures. For more information, see:

Missing Features

ChimeraX has several completely new features compared to Chimera (see advantages), but not yet all of its commonly used capabilities. Some features are implemented as commands only, not (yet) as graphical interfaces. Missing features include dock prep, scale bar (except in the daily build), saving and restoring scenes, animation GUI, 2D label GUI, independent centers of rotation, calculating axes for helices or other sets of atoms, “worms” to show residue attributes, modeling loops and missing segments (except in the daily build), combining models (except in the daily build), joining models, trajectory analysis other than simple playback, calculating a multiple sequence alignment from a multiple structure superposition, and many others. Chimera capabilities grew significantly over several years, and likewise, ChimeraX will contain more of these important features as development proceeds.

Although similar in many aspects, ChimeraX is not backward compatible with Chimera and does not read Chimera session files.

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Common Platform Issues

Generic Linux Notes
The Generic Linux version does not run on Red Hat/CentOS 7, for those you need to install the CentOS 7 rpm. The Generic Linux version of ChimeraX is compiled on Debian 8 using gcc 4.9. In past, it has worked on newer versions of Ubuntu (≥ 16.04) and Fedora (≥ 25), but that is not regularly tested. Running the generic version will probably require additional libraries and/or older versions of libraries to be installed.

Windows Notes
ChemOffice 2002 supplies an ancient version of the OpenGL library that prevents ChimeraX from starting up. To fix it, you'll need to remove or rename its opengl32.dll file; typically found in "C:\Program Files (x86)\ChemOffice2002\Common\DLLs\opengl32.dll".