A Chimera session (the state of Chimera during use) can be saved and restored. A session file consists of Python code that reconstitutes the state of Chimera by displaying data and performing other operations.

Molecular coordinate and sequence alignment data are included in the session file; however, volume data files must still be present to restart a session in which they were open. When a session with volume data is restarted, the user may be queried about file location(s) if the data or the session file have been moved since the session was saved.

Ways to save a session:

Ways to restart a session: If a session includes a structure that has duplicate atom names within the same residue, it will not restore correctly. Opening a session will not close any existing models. File... Close Session can be used to clear the contents of the existing session without exiting from Chimera.

Opening a session file creates a compiled version of the file (binary) with the same name except *.pyc instead of *.py. The binary speeds up session restoration and will be used (if present) even when the *.py file has been specified. Further, opening the *.pyc file directly will start the session even if the *.py file has been deleted. However, keeping the *.py file is recommended:

Merging Sessions

If models are already open when a session file is read, a user will be given the option to close the existing session (models and other data) before restoring the session from the file. Otherwise, the sessions will be merged.

When sessions are merged, models in the incoming session will be assigned new ID numbers. Regardless of how models were moved beforehand, a session will always restore in the position in which it was saved. It may be helpful in some cases to reset model positions right before merging in a session. Models opened from individual data files can be reset to their original positions with the command reset (without arguments). Models restored from a session file can be reset to their positions when the session was saved with reset session-start.

What Sessions Include

The following are saved in session files:

Not included:

UCSF Computer Graphics Laboratory / January 2008