[Chimera-users] Virus Images for the MSD Database

Tom Goddard goddard at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed May 23 09:07:03 PDT 2007

Hi Jawahar,

  Unfortunately Chimera is not able to save images without displaying 
the graphical user interface.  The image saving code grabs the image 
directly from the main window OpenGL graphics buffer, so it also will 
not work if the main window is covered or iconified.  Greg Couch once 
made a special version of Chimera for Linux using the OSMesa graphics 
library that could do all the graphics off-screen including saving 
images.  But I don't see that version in the Chimera download archive, 
and I believe it was made more than a year ago.  We recently added 
raytraced image capture using POVray.  Since that does not use the 
OpenGL graphics it should be able to work in nogui mode but a Chimera 
bug report indicates that does not work


and is expected to be difficult to fix.  Unfortunately the only option 
at this time is to have the Chimera window appear to save an image.


Jawahar Swaminathan wrote:
> Dear Tom,
> We are interested in making virus capsid pictures for the MSD Database 
> atlas pages using chimera. For this purpose, I was recently provided 
> with a script from Cathy Lawson (RCSB) which makes really pretty 
> images of viral capsids. I attach the script given by Cathy below.
> However, since we would want to run chimera in an automatic manner 
> (ideally with the --nogui) option, I've been trying to run the script 
> with --nogui and this appears to conflict with the module tkgui which 
> is called in the program.
> So my question: is it possible to make images without necessarily 
> opening up a GUI ?
> I would be really grateful if you could clear this us..
> best regards,
> Jawahar Swaminathan
> PDB Depositions
> Macromolecular Structure Database

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