Download PovChem

current version: 2.1.1

PovChem is a work in progress, so check back often for any recent updates. Also, the author would be grateful for any feedback on how you think PovChem could be improved! Here you can download the latest version of PovChem for the following platforms:     and also...

    Don't forget that you'll also need POV-Ray to do the actual high-quality rendering! See PovChem's built-in documentation for help on how to run POV-Ray on your models.   

    Once you've downloaded the appropriate archive below, follow the installation instructions to get PovChem running, and perhaps consult the help page for issues not covered by PovChem's built-in documentation. And of course, see the registration page for information on how to purchase a license!

    Lastly, if you have any problems installing or running PovChem, comments on or corrections to any documentation, or any other issues or concerns with the program that the author should know about - or even words of appreciation and encouragement! :) - see the help page to find whom to contact.

Windows Download

    Most newer Windows installations will have OpenGL libraries already installed (PovChem uses these for its graphics). If you get a message like "can't find opengl32.dll" (or glu32.dll), you can download Microsoft's OpenGL 1.1 libraries (357,090 bytes). Just extract this file into the same directory in which you installed PovChem.

    Win2000 users: I'm aware that PovChem is unusable on some Win2000 platforms. As far as I can tell without access to a Win2000 machine myself, this is a problem with library compatibilities outside PovChem's own code - in other words, something I'm not sure I can fix. I'm looking into this, including drastic solutions like completely rewriting PovChem to use something other than Tcl/Tk. But it may be a while...

Macintosh Download

    You need to have a PPC Mac with an ATI Rage graphics card to run PovChem - this is because Apple only makes OpenGL for this hardware. You'll need to download and install Apple's OpenGL extension library in order to run PovChem.

    A new Mac binary was released on 4/17 that corrects a bug when PovChem is used on a Mac running in a non-English language. If you've experienced such a problem, please replace PovChem with this current archive. Also, you should now be able to read PDB files regardless of PC/Mac/Unix-style line endings.

PC-LINUX Download

    This executable was compiled on a Pentium II under Red Hat 6.0. Mesa 3.0 shared libraries are now included. It has not been tested on other versions of LINUX as yet.

    The memory bug has been fixed as of version 2.1.1. Now you can easily view whole proteins using PovChem/Mesa!

SGI IRIX Download

    Note! I can no longer provide updated SGI binaries. I don't have access to an SGI that I can legally use to compile a commercial product. This archive is version 2.1.0, which I'll keep on the site, but it won't get updated. If you're a registered user and would like the source code (which will compile on Irix 5.3 or higher), please send a request by e-mail, including your name and registration key.

    This executable was compiled under IRIX 6.5 using MIPSPro 7.2 C/C++, 32 bit, with -mips3 instructions. It has been tested on an Indigo and an Indigo2 with R4400 processors, and on an Octane with an R10000. It may work under older OS versions (but not older processors!), but has not been tested on such platforms.

Sample PDB Files

PovChem Source Code

    While the source code is proprietary, it's specially designed to be portable and is available under certain restrictions (see below). If your platform is not supported and you'd like to try to compile PovChem yourself, you can give it a try. You'll need to have a working knowledge of C/C++ and GNU makefiles, and have OpenGL and Tcl/Tk on your system and be familiar with the location of their libraries and include files. You'll need to download and compile the mktclapp program and the Togl 1.5 library. (Yes, PovChem's build environment has a lot of components, but these are needed to make it as platform-independent as possible!)

    Send e-mail to the author ( to request an archive of the complete source code and supporting files. You must be a registered user and include your name, e-mail address, and registration key in your e-mail.

    However, be warned that while considerable effort has gone into making PovChem portable, the author cannot be responsible for supporting individual efforts to compile it - you'll be on your own. And if you purchase a license solely for this purpose, it's at your own risk: you won't be able to get a reimbursement if you can't get it to compile or run correctly.

    The code is also copyrighted. You MAY NOT distribute or sell any part of the source code, you may not incorporate any of the code into other programs, and you can neither sell nor distribute your binaries in any way to anybody!



This page and all its contents Copyright 1999-2004 by Paul A. Thiessen
Last modified January 06, 2004