Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
PDB Tools Fork
Branch: master

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.


                               Release 0.1
                             April 22,  2008

pdb-tools is a set of python scripts that manipulate wwPDB macromolecule
structure files.  There are many programs, both open source and proprietary,
that perform similar tasks; however, most of these tools are buried within
programs of larger functionality.  Thus, relatively simple calculations often
involve learning a new program, compiling modules, and installing libraries. To
fill a niche (and get the tasks done that I needed done), I started writing my
own toolset.  This has evolved into the pdb-tools suite.  The suite of programs
is characterized by the following philosophy:

    1) Each program should run as a stand-alone application with a standard,
       GNU/POSIX style command line interface.
    2) Each program should be written in such a way to allow it to be used
       as a library of functions for more complex programs.  
    3) Programs should require a minimum of external dependencies.  (Thus, 
       Python's builtin list types are used over the faster, albiet "external"
       array types).

Most of the scripts will run "out of the box" using a python interpreter.  The
command line parser is designed to be flexible.  It will take an arbitarily 
long list of pdb files, pdb ids, text files with pdb ids, or some mixture of
all three.  If the pdb file or id is not in the working directory, scripts will
attempt to download the pdb file from RCSB (  Available
options for each script can be accessed by typing --help.

Depending on the type of operation being done, a program will either write 
output files in the working directory or will print to stdout.  This can be
caught with a ">" redirect and placed in a file.  All structure outputs are
written in standard pdb format.  All data outputs are in fixed-width column 
format.  They were designed to be read by the statistics package R 
(; however, they should be easily parsed by other
graphing programs.

External dependencies:

Several of the programs in this suite are designed as interfaces to other,
more complicated, programs that must be downloaded and installed separately.  
These programs need only be installed if the scripts listed below are needed:

To use CHARMM with pdb-tools, define the environment variable $CHARMM to point
to the directory containing the charmm binary, and $CHARMM_LIB to point to the
directory with the CHARMM topology and parameter files.



For both of these programs, simply make sure that dssp and naccess are in the
path. requires the user to compile the fortran programs in the satk
directory.  This can be done by editing the satk/Makefile to point to a valid
fortran compiler, then running "make" in the satk directory.  This has been 
tested using the g77 compilers.  For more information on the programs, see the
README file in the satk directory.

Using independent scripts as libraries:

Each program is written with a main() function that parses the command line and
cycles through a list of pdb files.  This then calls a function that is named
in the same way as the script itself: the script would have a 
function pdbTest.  This function is the core of the script.  It can be called 
from another script, requring only to be passed a list of lines from a pdb file
and any other arguments/options specified in that function definition.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.