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Step-by-step Installation Instructions for OpenBabel on Linux

These instructions describe the installation procedure for OpenBabel 2.0.2. For more recent releases, the version number will be different and you should take this in account when reading the instructions below. In addition, these instructions assume that you have root access. An alternative procedure may be used if this is not true.

(1) You should download OpenBabel 2.0.2 for Linux by clicking on "Download" under the picture of the fish on the left hand side of this page and choose openbabel-2.0.2.tar.gz. You should save this into a folder called 'openbabel' somewhere on your computer.

(2) Open a command window, change directory into 'openbabel', and decompress the downloaded file with following command:

tar zxvf openbabel-2.0.2.tar.gz

This will create a folder called 'openbabel-2.0.2'.

(3) You now need to configure and compile openbabel. To do this, change directory into 'openbabel-2.0.2'. Run the following commands, one after the other

./configure | tee configure.out
make | tee make.out

If there are any errors at this point, send an email to the openbabel-discuss mailing list ([email protected]) and attach the files 'configure.out' and 'make.out'.

(4) If you have root permissions, you should install openbabel globally. As root, run the following command:

make install

(5) If you want to use OpenBabel from Python, you now need to compile the python extension. This may require an extra Python package depending on your Linux distribution. For example, for Debian you need the 'python-dev' package (installed using 'apt-get'); for SUSE, you need 'python-devel' (installed using YaST).

Change directory to 'openbabel-2.0.2/scripts/python' and run:

python build

(6) To install the python interface globally, as root type:

python install

(7) It's all done. Test out the 'openbabel' module by trying some of the Python code here.