ISOLDE: Bringing structural biology to life

Obtaining ISOLDE

(NEW: since ISOLDE 1.0b3, regular development builds are now available. To get them, just install the latest ChimeraX daily build and install ISOLDE as per below.)

ISOLDE is designed as a plugin to UCSF ChimeraX, and should be installed via their internal package management framework. To obtain it, follow the instructions below.

NOTE FOR UBUNTU USERS: due to differences in compiler versions, ISOLDE will not work with the Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 ChimeraX .deb packages. You will need to use the "Generic Linux 64-bit" ChimeraX tarball.

  1. Go to and download the 0.9 release for your operating system (for ISOLDE 1.0b3), or the latest daily build (for the latest ISOLDE dev version). (Important note: ISOLDE 1.0b3 will not work with later ChimeraX daily builds)
  2. Install and run ChimeraX
  3. Go to Tools/More Tools... in the ChimeraX menu (Important note for ChimeraX 0.9 release: due to a bug in the ToolShed's version control, you will need to install Clipper for yourself first. Just follow steps 4-5 replacing "ISOLDE" with "Clipper".)
  4. Find the ISOLDE link in the browser window that opens
  5. Click the big blue "Install" button on the right hand side, and wait for it to download/install. When complete, you will see a message in the ChimeraX log window.
  6. ISOLDE should now appear in the menu under Tools/General/ISOLDE

If you encounter issues during installation, please first check to see if your problem is covered here. Otherwise, please contact me.

ISOLDE is developed and maintained by Tristan Croll in the lab of Randy Read at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and supported by Prof. Read's Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship 209407/Z/17/Z. Development and testing has been aided by the generous donation of a GTX Titan Xp GPU by NVIDIA Corporation.

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