Is this the "Official Home of Coot on the Web™"?

Yes - welcome.

What does Coot stand for?

Crystallographic Object-Oriented Toolkit

What does it do?

Coot is for macromolecular model building, model completion and validation, particularly suitable for protein modelling using X-ray data.

Coot displays maps and models and allows model manipulations such as idealization, real space refinement, manual rotation/translation, rigid-body fitting, ligand search, solvation, mutations, rotamers, Ramachandran plots, skeletonization, non-crystallographic symmetry and more.

What's the latest stable release?


GTK4: 1.1.07

Where are the release binaries?

They are not available for Coot 1.1.x at the moment

Go the the bottom of the list for the newest release

What's it like?

Coot has some features that resemble those of Frodo, O, Quanta and XtalView's XFit. It is a completely independent system of course. Coot can now do many aspects of structure represention (for example ribbons or sophisticated colouring schemes).

Coot is under active development. New features are being added. There may be bugs.

Is there a Coot FAQ?


Is there a Coot Mailing list?

There is a Coot email list now hosted by the jiscmail service :

Is there Coot documentation?


The 2012 ACA Coot Basics can be found here.

The 2012 ACA Coot Extras can be found here.

The 2010 CCP4 Study weekend presentation can be found here.

How do I cite Coot?

Please see the FAQ. Get the paper.

I like to spell Coot with a capital "C" and lower-case "oot", with italics. I am not dogmatic about it.

OK, how does it look?

Like this:


How this picture was made

Hmm... very pretty. Any other piccies?

Try here.

What formats?

PDB, mmCIF, MTZ files, .phs and others.

It makes maps from MTZ and .phs files?


Can it read conventional CCP4 maps?


Can it read any other kind of map?

Yes, it can read CNS maps.

Is it scriptable?

Yep, hundreds of functions are made available to the user via SWIG and can be scripted in either Python or scheme.

Where do I get it?

See the sidebar.

Which binary should I use? See the FAQ.

How do I install it?

Read the README in the source tar file.

What libraries do I need?

Errg. Sounds complicated.

Yes, it is a bit. Binary distributions for a selection of systems are built every night.

There is an "autobuilder" build script which we use to make build the binaries.

I should add that Coot depends on many other projects, some general (GTK+, the GNU Scientific Library, python, guile, GL graphics libraries and toolkits) and others more specific to structural biology (mmdb, clipper) which are fundamental to the design and implementation of the program.

What is the licence?

Mostly GPLv3, some GLPv2+, some LGPLv3.

So I can just download it and use it, no questions asked?

Yep. Be my guest.

Even if I'm part of a Big Pharma?


On which platforms does it run?

Certainly on Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat Enterprise Linux, Microsoft Windows, MacOS X. You can get WinCoot here.

Getting the Coot binaries to run on RHEL, or SuSe might take a bit more effort. Please see the Coot FAQ.

Not to be confused with:

Alwyn Jones' O, Quanta, XtalView, CCP4mg.

What is the Coot holding in its beak, by the way?

It's biting off the gamma phosphate of an ATP.

And that's supposed to be an allusion to a biochemical process, is it?

Err.. yes.

Most likely to say:

"Now how does that Refmac button work again..?"

Least likely to say:

"On reflection, it'd have been much better to implement using Tcl/Tk."

Paul Emsley
Last modified: Tue 19 Dec 01:52:00 BST 2023