Evaluation for Linux HyperChem


Note: You can see new FAQ results concerning the current version by going here. 


Overview: This evaluation copy of HyperChem for Linux 1.0 is the first version of our new Linux product, i.e. it is Release 1.0.0.  One can expect new, free Maintenance Releases periodically.  They will be referred to as Release 1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc., as the last digit denotes relatively minor changes that generally do not add significant functionality.  Each of these will still be referred to as Release 1.0.


The shipping Release 1.0 is thought to be stable and has no known bugs.  If issues arise they will be discussed on this web site.can be foundcomplete although not thoroughly tested.  We hope that you will choose to evaluate it and purchase this new product.  Please pass your thoughts and experience back to us at support@hyper.com.  It is only with help from people like you we can be certain that HyperChem for Linux is a robust and reliable product.


Note: The current product and download is only for 32-bit Linux!  We would expect to have a 64-bit version shortly.




The link at the bottom of this page will download the Release 1.0 version of HyperChem for Linux.  This will place a single compressed tar file:




onto your Linux machine.  This single file is all you need to install HyperChem.  Note: you cannot download (or see the download) if you are not logged in.


Files that will get installed:


The files that are included with the Linux distribution of HyperChem can be inspected by the following command, executed from the directory where chem.tar.tgz resides:


   tar -ztvf chem.tar.tgz


From this you will see that the installation consists of the seven computational modules mmplus, newton, eht, ndo, tndo, gauss, and dft that are place in the directory:




These modules are "backend" modules that do the number crunching for HyperChem, such as molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics calculations.  They are binary executables.


In addition, HyperChem needs various parameter and other important files, as it executes.  These are placed in a directory:






The manual consists of a chem.chm file that is place in the directory:




This file is on-line help in the format of a Windows HtmlHelp (*.chm) file.  On Linux it can be read and perused by using the utility, xchm.  The xchm package can be downloaded on your Linux machine using apt-get, the Semantic Package Manager, or other Linux software for adding the additional software packages to your machine.  The chem.chm file is then read into the xchm software to be perused at will.  This form of manual or help file is independent of HyperChem itself and is not accessed directly from HyperChem.




HyperChem is capable of running scripts (HyperChem Command Language - HCL).  These are placed in a *.scr file and read from the File menu.  Also individual one-line script commands can be executed in a dialog box available form the menus.  A directory of sample script files is included in the directory:






Finally, the product consists of an executable file  "chem" and a set of initialization values that come from a text file "chem.ini" that is read by chem when it begins and is written by chem as it exits.  The two files go together and get installed at "." or the location where the tar command that extracts the files is run.  This would normally be at your home directory, such as /home/myself.




Finally, the above files all get installed, performing an installation, by running the following command (as Super-User):


   tar -zxvf chem.tar.tgz -P


If you do not know how to obtain "superuser status", contact your system administrator to execute the command for you.  The principal need for superuser status is to place the backend files and runfiles in a protected global location that multiple users can access.  If only you are going to use HyperChem you may still need a system administrator to extract files to these global location and then possibly move them to your local directories.   The "capital P" option is required to obtain correct permissions on the installed files.


If the downloaded tgz file is in a location other than your local directory, you will need to modify the above command to name the location of the downloaded file. For example, if the file exists in the directory  /etc/download, then the above command is replaced by:


   tar -zxvf /etc/download/chem.tar.tgz -P




HyperChem for Linux is a licensed product such that the downloaded product requires a time-limited license (softlock license) to run.  The product can be installed by anyone, anywhere but requires a license to run.  A license allows the software to be executed on a particular machine for a specific period of time.  A purchased product generally is not time-limited but runs only on one machine at a time.  Site licenses allow the software to run on any machine with an appropriate IP address.


To license your evaluation copy of HyperChem for Linux, make an attempt to run the software with the command,




from the directory where it resides.  A dialog box will appear that contains a 7-digit Lock Code that is a fingerprint identifying your machine.  Send this 7-digit code by e-mail to license@hyper.com along with a request for a specific evaluation license.  Mention the Serial Number 7339999 in your request.  We will send you back a 20-character License Code that you should type into the same dialog box mentioned above.  This will allow your copy of HyperChem for Linux to run for a specified time period on that specific machine.  When you exit HyperChem, the License Code will be stored in the chem.ini file and HyperChem will run as long with that license as long as the time limit on the license has not expired.


The time-limit on the license is 10 days.  The license clock begins at the time the license is sent to you.       


Linux Execution Issues: 

This is the first Linux version of HyperChem and and as such there are a number of issues, mostly associated with Linux itself that may keep it from running satisfactorily on your machine.  We try to discuss here the major execution issues associated with versions of Linux, libraries, drivers, and specific hardware.  One of the major reasons for a possibly extended Beta Test period might be to fully sort out these issues that Linux has associated with its characteristics.  One of these issues is that, at last count, there were over 300 different registered distributions of  Linux.  This is very unlike the issues that developers of a binary commercial product face with Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac.


Versions of Linux


HyperChem for Linux was developed on Fedora Core 11, a popular an ubiquitous version of Linux.  A distribution that installs Fedora Core 11 and its the programming tools should run HyperChem correctly.  If a distribution of openSUSE 11.1 includes the Gnome Tools, it also runs correctly.  Our first impression of earlier Ubuntu versions prior to Ubuntu 9.1 was not good.    It seemed to be missing many of the libraries HyperChem needs and even has a bug in its libraries that cause an OpenGL screen not to refresh properly.  However, we have had good success running HyperChem on Ubuntu 9.1. We have also had no problems running HyperChem on Mint.  We are still spending much time understanding what HyperChem needs to function properly on each of the various versions of Linux. If you have specific information in this regards, we would be delighted to hear it as we cannot extensively test every version of Linux.


As noted above, the current product and download is only for 32-bit Linux.


Graphic Drivers


HyperChem uses OpenGL graphics and works best with a good driver for a good graphics card.

Many standard Linux distributions are weak in such support.  It may be necessary to install a specific graphics driver in order to have HyperChem make effective (or even satisfactory) use of its OpenGL graphics.   


Fedora Core


For example, Fedora Core 10 or 11, where HyperChem was developed, generally requires downloading a graphics driver. The standard graphics cards that most people use come either from NVIDIA or ATI.  At the current time, an ATI diver does not even seem to be available for Fedora Core 10.  The drivers for NVIDIA cards have to be downloaded subsequent to installing Fedora Core 10.  The particular driver needed depends upon the specific NVIDIA card.


For GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, and 200 cards, use the following command:


   su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs'


For GeForce FX cards, use the following command:


   su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-173xx xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-173xx xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-173xx-libs'


For GeForce4 and below, use the following command:


   su -c 'yum install kmod-nvidia-96xx xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-96xx xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-96xx-libs'


ATI drivers may be available for Fedora Core by the time you read this.


Other versions of Linux besides Fedora Core may provide appropriate graphics drivers but this cannot be assured and it may be necessary to search the web for appropriate drivers.  HyperChem should run with any driver but may not run well unless the driver and associated card support better graphics than the lowest possible entry level.


The situation with graphics drivers that HyperChem needs to support its OpenGL rendering is getting better and it is likely that new Linux distributions will have what HyperChem needs or at least make it easy to obtain.  




HyperChem requires a number of libraries that at this stage are dynamic libraries rather than static libraries.  Thes dynamic libraries (*.so) need to be part of your Linux distribution.  These libraries may not be part of a standard installation of your version of Linux and you may have to install them later.  It is probably best if at the time you install Linux, that you request the addition of various programming tools to have some level of confidence that these libraries will be part of you Linux machine.


The libraries that are needed are:









We are particularly pleased that on new distributions, like Ubuntu 9.1, no additional libraries need be installed over those that the standard installation makes available.  HyperChem just runs!  




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