Open Babel

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Open Babel
A computer graphics image. On the left is a ball and stick molecule model. In the middle is an orange fish, tail down, face up. On the right is a space-filling molecule model.
Developer(s) Open Babel development team
Initial release 2 June 2005; 12 years ago (2005-06-02)
Stable release
2.4.0 / 25 September 2016; 8 months ago (2016-09-25)
Development status Active
Written in C++ (wxWidgets[1])
Operating system Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Platform IA-32, x86-64
Available in English
Type Cheminformatics, molecular modelling
License GPL 2.0

Open Babel is computer software, a chemical expert system mainly used to interconvert chemical file formats.[2] Due to the strong relationship to informatics this program belongs more to the category cheminformatics than to molecular modelling. It is available for Windows, Unix, Linux, macOS, and Android. It is free and open-source software released under a GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0.

The project's stated goal is: "Open Babel is a community-driven scientific project assisting both users and developers as a cross-platform program and library designed to support molecular modeling, chemistry, and many related areas, including interconversion of file formats and data."


Open Babel and JOELib were derived from the OELib cheminformatics library. In turn, OELib was based on ideas in the original chemistry program Babel and an unreleased object-oriented programming library called OBabel.

Major features[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Debian -- Details of package openbabel-gui in jessie". Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  2. ^ O'Boyle, N. M.; Banck, M.; James, C. A.; Morley, C.; Vandermeersch, T.; Hutchison, G. R. (2011). "Open Babel: An open chemical toolbox". Journal of Cheminformatics. 3: 33. PMC 3198950Freely accessible. PMID 21982300. doi:10.1186/1758-2946-3-33. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Guha, R.; Howard, M. T.; Hutchison, G. R.; Murray-Rust, P.; Rzepa, H.; Steinbeck, C.; Wegner, J.; Willighagen, E. L. (2006). "The Blue Obelisk - Interoperability in Chemical Informatics". Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. 46 (3): 991–998. PMID 16711717. doi:10.1021/ci050400b. 

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