Open Babel is an open source, collaborative, free and multiplatform library software that has been designed to act as a chemical toolbox specially engineered to recognize numerous languages of chemical data. It is simply dubbed “The Open Chemistry Toolkit.”
Features at a glance
With Open Babel, users will be able to search, analyze, convert, and store data from chemistry, molecular modeling, biochemistry, as well as other related areas. It supports a wide range of common chemical file formats, including Mol2, SDF/MOL, PDB, XYZ, SMILES, and CML.
In addition, Open Babel provides a full featured programmer's toolkit, chemical MIME support, SMARTS matcher, flexible atom/bond typer, hydrogen deletion and addition, bitvector class, matrix and vector transformations, as well as a molecular test suite.
Under the hood and supported operating systems
Open Babel is written entirely in the C++ programming language. It’s a true cross-platform software that supports GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, SGI, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Both 32-bit and 64-bit computers are officially supported at the time of writing this.
Getting started with Open Babel
First of all, we strongly recommend you to install Open Babel by using the pre-built binary packages from the default software repositories of your Linux distribution. If your GNU/Linux system doesn’t have the Open Babel software in its repos, then you’ll have to compile and installation the application using the universal sources archive provided on Softpedia.
Download the tarball (tar.gz archive), extract it on a location of your choice, open a terminal emulator, navigate to the extracted folder and execute the “cmake .” command (without quotes) to configure the project. Then, you must run the “make” command, without quotes, of course, to compile it. Please make sure that the CMake tool in installed on your operating system prior to the above instructions.