Installing Rasmol on a Silicon Graphics Workstation

Some observations from a user's perspective

21 Feb'95
Christoph Weber, OCI, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Although strictly valid for SGI systems only, the information herein may be of use for installing Rasmol on other (UNIX) systems.

Compiling and installing Rasmol is really quite simple. Roger Sayle, Rasmol's author, provides a thorough and complete INSTALL file for this task. There is also a README file that you should read before proceeding.

The current version (Feb. 3, 1995) is 2.5. You may want to upgrade, if you are using a previous version.

I have installed Rasmol on two SGI systems and here are my observations and hints resulting from the experience:

First, you should be aware that SGI systems do not come with compilers by default. You will need the software development option. If you're an academic site, you are probably on the varsity program, which means that you have access to licenses for this option. Ask your SGI coodinator.
Alternatively, find a SGI machine which has compilers and to which you have access. Make sure that your own machine and the machine on which you compile have the same IRIX version. Binaries compiled under IRIX 4.0.5 will run under IRIX 5.x, though somewhat slower, which is not necessarily what you want from an interactive molecular viewer (more on speed below). Binaries compiled under IRIX 5.x will NOT run under IRIX 4.0.5, however. As a last resort, you may contact me ( and I can email or ftp you a binary.

Second, you probably want the fastest possible code for this type of program. You can safely specify optimization as suggested in the 'Makefile'. If you have an R4000 (or higher) processor, you can specifically compile for this CPU to gain speed. To find out what type of CPU you have, type 'hinv'.

My 'Makefile' for an Indy R4000SC looks like this:

CC = cc
#CFLAGS_sun4    = -O4
#CFLAGS_sun3    = -O4 -f68881
#CFLAGS_hp9000  = -O +bfpa
#CFLAGS_sequent = -O -f1167
#CFLAGS_mips    = -O2 -Olimit 1000
#CFLAGS_gcc2.0  = -O2 -funroll-all-loops
#CFLAGS_esv     = -O2 -Olimit 800 -systype bsd43
#CFLAGS_hpux9   = -Ae +O2 +Onolimit
#CFLAGS_gcc = -O -fomit-frame-pointer -fstrength-reduce -finline-functions

CFLAGS = -O2 -Olimit 1000 -mips2

The -mips2 option is what makes the program run faster on the R4000 CPU (in my opinion, anyway, I haven't properly benchmarked it). For R3000 CPUs, just delete the -mips2 part.

Otherwise, you should just follow the directions in the INSTALL file and everything should work fine.

To make full use of the chemical, biological and structural information on the WWW, you need to update your .mailcap file, so that it reads:

# mailcap for Mosaic 2.x file types.  override the ones in
# /usr/local/lib/mosaic/mailcap-*
chemical/x-pdb;  /usr/local/bin/rasmol %s
chemical/x-peak; sendras %s 
chemical/x-csml; csml %s 

sendras and csml are scripts that interface with Rasmol as part of the evolving chemical MIME standard. Note, that csml requires wish, which is a part of tk/tcl.