UCSF ChimeraX Early Access ChimeraX docs icon ChimeraX home icon

UCSF ChimeraX is the next-generation visualization program from the Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics at UC San Francisco, following UCSF Chimera. Development is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS P41-GM103311).

Features

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

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

Missing Features

While ChimeraX has several completely new features and other advantages, it will not substantially replace the functionality in Chimera for quite some time. It currently has a limited set of features and few user-interface dialogs; most capabilities are implemented as commands only. Missing features include distance and angle measurements, support for reading/analysis of molecular docking results, trajectory analysis (other than simple playback), bond rotation, virtual mutation, structure building, interface to homology modeling, display of sequence conservation, and many others. Chimera capabilities grew significantly over several years, and likewise, ChimeraX will contain more and more of these important features as development proceeds.

Downloads

Daily Builds

Daily builds are generated automatically each night from the development source code (see the change log). While a given build may have unforeseen problems, these are often fixed by the next day.

Operating System Distribution Notes
Mac OS X 10.10 64-bit chimerax-0.1.daily.dmg
fetching build information...
Download is a disk image containing the application.
Tested on MacOS 10.12.
Linux 64-bit chimerax-0.1.daily.tar.gz
fetching build information...
Download is a tarball of the chimerax application directory.
ChimeraX executable is chimerax/bin/ChimeraX.
Tested on Ubuntu 16.10 and Fedora 25.
See Linux notes below.
Windows 10 64-bit chimerax-0.1.daily.exe
fetching build information...
Download is a Windows installer.
Tested on Windows 10.
See Windows notes below.

Alpha Releases

Alpha releases are snapshots of the application that have been gently tested. They are provided so that users can fetch the same version of the application over time. To try out the latest features, please use the daily builds.

Alpha Release 3 (October 3, 2017)

Alpha Release 3 uses a new session format. Old session files should still work, but sessions saved using this release will not open in earlier releases. Some other additions include limited undo capability, support for surface textures, atom specification by distance from other atoms, and Colorbrewer color palettes.

Operating System Distribution Notes
Mac OS X 10.10 64-bit chimerax-0.1.alpha3.dmg
built: 2017-10-03 02:42:50 PDT
committed: 2017-10-02 20:26:55 PDT
md5: d0f04c996b10c28be1cd15bab34a0ccd
Download is a disk image containing the application.
Tested on MacOS 10.12.
Linux 64-bit chimerax-0.1.alpha3.tar.gz
built: 2017-10-03 02:55:48 PDT
committed: 2017-10-02 20:26:55 PDT
md5: 51eeb92c784adee1bbbe665ad3c68e79
Download is a tarball of the chimerax application directory.
ChimeraX executable is chimerax/bin/ChimeraX.
Tested on Ubuntu 16.10 and Fedora 25.
See Linux notes below.
Windows 10 64-bit chimerax-0.1.alpha3.exe
built: 2017-10-03 02:17:28 PDT
committed: 2017-10-02 20:26:55 PDT
md5: 6261b297f738fa7906f312a512f0d03a
Download is a Windows installer.
Tested on Windows 10.
See Windows notes below.

Older Releases

Linux Notes
The Linux version of ChimeraX is compiled on Debian 8 using gcc 4.9. It also runs on Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10. It does not run on RHEL/CentOS 7 as is. To get it to run on RHEL/CentOS 7, a user reported that he compiled and installed gcc 4.9 — we have not yet verified that fact. Others have kindly provided the resulting library files here, which may allow running ChimeraX without having to compile gcc yourself. The gcc 4.9 runtime should also be in the Red Hat Developer Toolset, but that has not been confirmed. Other Linux distributions have not been tested and might require additional libraries to be installed.

Windows Notes
ChimeraX requires Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, which is typically already present on computers with up-to-date patches. In the future, this will be included as part of the installer.