APBS Installation

Please register before installing APBS.

The best way to install APBS is via the binary installation, which you can download here, under “APBS Downloads”.

We currently offer binaries for the Ubuntu platform on a variety of architectures as well as command-line binaries for WinXP and Mac OS X. Binaries can be downloaded from the APBS download page. For all other systems, please install from source on your particular platform and feel free to contact the APBS users mailing list for more help and/or to request a binary for that system.

Version Notes

This release is 1.4.1 and is only available for download as a binary release. The source for the release is on github in the "1.4.1-binary" branch; there are no plans to merge the branch, and it contains instructions if anyone wants to build the release from source.

Attention Windows Users

If you are using APBS on a Windows system, you may not want to install it in a directory with spaces in the path name (e.g., C:\Program Files\) as this can cause problems with some visualization programs.

The windows release is for Windows 7 and is 64-bit only. It installs to C:\APBS by default and provides a batch file that creates a shell with the correct path.

For all platforms besides Windows, APBS binaries are provided in compressed tar format (*.tgz). On most systems, the binaries can be unarchived by simply double-clicking or opening the archive. This can also be accomplished on the command line by:

The OS X build is built for Mavericks, available as a .dmg (disk image) file with an APBS Application Bundle; Just open the .dmg file and drag the app to the "Applications" folder. Running the App Bundle opens a Terminal window with the appropriate path to the APBS binary.

gzip -dc apbs-#.#.#-XYZ.tgz | tar xvf -

where XYZ is the particular architecture of the binary you downloaded and #.#.# is the version number. Note that this will expand into a directory called apbs-#.#.#-XYZ. The contents of this directory can be placed anywhere on your system that you prefer (and have access to) and follow the structure:

  • [bin] – contains the main APBS executable
  • [share/apbs] – contains additional APBS-related files
  • [doc] – the APBS programmer guide
  • [examples] – APBS examples
  • [tests] – the APBS test suite
  • [tools] – useful programs to help process APBS input and output
  • [include] – header files for building software that calls APBS
  • [lib] – libraries for building software that calls APBS

APBS Directory Structure

The APBS installation process (whether compiled from source or installed as pre-compiled binaries) will create several directories under ${APBS_PREFIX}:

  • [bin] – where the main apbs binary resides
  • [share] – contains the documentation (user guide, tutorial, programmer’s guide) as well as a number of examples and test cases for APBS
  • [include] – contains header files for using APBS libraries with other applications
  • [lib] – contains library files for using APBS libraries with other applications
  • [tools] – which contains a number of “helper” applications for use with APBS

At this point you are ready to use APBS, either by calling the binary directly or adding the above directory to your path. As mentioned above, there are also several tools provided with APBS that remain in the APBS directory; these are described in later portions of this manual. You may wish to copy these to a global location (or the same place as your APBS binary) at this time.

Developmental Version

For the adventurous, you can download and build the source from our github repository.