[Chimera-users] [Chimera Help] Multiple Instances

Tom Goddard goddard at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Apr 22 11:59:56 PDT 2009

Hi Chris,

Eric's suggestion sounds good if you start all the Chimera instances 
from one process (maybe with popen) that can then hold on to the sockets 
used to feed commands to each Chimera.  The alternative approach used 
for a web browser to send a file to an already running Chimera works by 
executing a command "chimera --send myfile" which sends the file to the 
instance of Chimera on the local machine (and owned by the same user) 
that most recently had the focus, as described in the documentation:


That would probably be troublesome to use in your situation.  While you 
could probably give the focus to the specific Chimera instance before 
sending the file (using an operating system specific call), it would 
only work after that Chimera actually processes the focus event.  It 
would be hard to know how long to wait before sending the file.


Eric Pettersen wrote:
> On Apr 21, 2009, at 8:59 PM, cdlau at ucsd.edu <mailto:cdlau at ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Madam/Sir,
>> I found this from a response 5 years ago in 2004
>>>  As it works now, if you wish to send commands to an already running
>>> Chimera, you cannot specify which instance of Chimera.  So it is not
>>> possible to communicate with multiple instances of Chimera as you might
>>> want to support multiple web sessions.  Dan Greenblatt may have ideas
>>> for addressing this.
>>>     Tom
>> I was wondering if this is still the case.  I am interested in running
>> multiple instances of Chimera on a Tiled Wall Display and have global
>> control over all the instances.  Does anyone have any suggestions or
>> resources for me to look into?
> Hi Chris,
> The quote refers to the situation where a user has started multiple 
> Chimera sessions and then executes a Chimera script from a web page. 
>  The script might run in any of the Chimera instances.
> If _you_ start multiple Chimeras you can absolutely control which one 
> does what as long as the commands aren't coming from a web page. 
>  There is a ReadStdin extension that you can use to have each Chimera 
> read commands from standard input 
> (documentation: http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/current/docs/ContributedSoftware/readstdin/readstdin.html) 
> <http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/current/docs/ContributedSoftware/readstdin/readstdin.html%29>. 
>  It reads Chimera commands but you can use the "open" command to run 
> Python scripts.
> Let me know if this isn't sufficient for your needs.
> --Eric
>                         Eric Pettersen
>                         UCSF Computer Graphics Lab
>                         http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu
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