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Shape Software - Installing Linux Versions

Shape Software programs are not open-source, so installing them starting from compilation is not possible.  This can lead to some compatibility problems with shared libraries, but perhaps not more so than other Linux installations.


First, move the ATOMS61.tar.gz installation file to a suitable directory and unpack it.


From a terminal window type


    tar xzvf atoms61.tar.gz


Capitalization of the filename may vary - you must type the exact name.  Now you will have a subdirectory ATOMS61. Change to this directory. 


Now try to run the executable or program file wxAtoms in the terminal window:




It this runs with no error messages, you have succeeded.  You can also try to run wxAtoms from the desktop by double-clicking on the file name or icon, but if it fails to start there will be no error messages - you must run from a terminal window to see the error messages.


This version is linked with versions of the shared libraries which are known to be compatible, that is it will try to find shared library links of the type "" where 3 is the specific major library version. 


If the program does not start, or if you have serious error messages, you can see all of the shared libraries which the program is trying to find with the command


    ldd wxAtoms



If there are messages indicating that some library or libraries cannot be found, there are two options.  First (preferred) you can install the requested library version(s) on your system.  There are many sources for such libraries, especially the GNU site ( - hopefully a search on the wwweb will find the library. 

Second, you can make a dummy link - if the program can't find "", make a link to, the library which is actually on your system, and call it "".  This is not guaranteed to work because even if the program starts there may be incompatibilities between the shared libraries and/or the compiled program code.




Linux versions all use the GTK environment (Intel x86 processor).  

ATOMS and SHAPE for Linux specifically require the Mesa OpenGL libraries, including libOSMesa.  This is because they use OSMesa (off-screen rendering) for printing and raster file output in 3D mode, and OSMesa requires the other Mesa libraries (not generic OpenGL).  If you get a message indicating that some OpenGL-related or Mesa component is missing, try installing Mesa V6.0.1 (  Some earlier versions of Mesa including V6.0 have had problems with printing and raster files of 3D drawings (that is, the problems are in OSMesa).


ATOMS and SHAPE are specifically linked to the version of OSMesa in the Mesa V6.0.1 distribution.  If you have some other version and not this one on your system you can make a dummy link as decribed above.  Generally, however, OSMesa versions are compatible with specific versions of libGL and libGLU, so links to these libraries may also need to be altered.


Having an incompatible link between OSMesa and GL/GLU will not cripple the program completely, it will just affect raster and printer output in the 3D display mode.


The wxWindows library is statically linked, so this is not required to be present on your system.  


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Shape Software
521 Hidden Valley Road
Kingsport, TN 37663 USA
Phone (423) 239-4771
Fax (423) 239-6360
or (423) 239-3003