Binary program packages of OVITO for Linux, Windows, and macOS can be downloaded from


OVITO requires a 64-bit operating system and runs on processors with x86-64 architecture. The graphical user interface of OVITO requires 3D graphics hardware with support for the OpenGL programming interface (OpenGL 2.1 or newer). In general it is recommended that you install the latest graphics driver provided by your hardware vendor before running OVITO as some older drivers may not fully support modern OpenGL specifications, which can lead to compatibility problems.

Installation steps


Extract the downloaded .tar.xz archive file using the tar command, e.g.: tar xJfv ovito-3.0.0-x86_64.tar.xz. This will create a new subdirectory containing the program files. Change into that directory and start OVITO by running the executable ./bin/ovito.


Run the installer program ovito-x.y.z-win64.exe to install OVITO in a directory of your choice. Note that Windows might ask whether you really want to launch the installer, because it was downloaded from the web and it is not digitally signed.


Double-click the downloaded .dmg disk image file to open it, agree to the program license, and drag the Ovito application bundle into your Applications folder. Then start OVITO by double-clicking the application bundle.

Running OVITO on a remote machine

Note that the OVITO desktop application cannot be run through an SSH connection using X11 forwarding mode, because it requires direct access to the graphics hardware (so-called OpenGL direct rendering mode). Thus, if you try to run ovito in an SSH terminal, you will likely get failure messages during program startup or just a black application window.

It is possible, however, to run OVITO through an SSH connection using a VirtualGL + VNC setup. For further information, please see the website. In this mode, OVITO will make use of the graphics hardware of the remote machine, which must be set up to allow running applications in a desktop environment. Please contact your local computing center staff to find out whether this kind of remote visualization mode is supported by the HPC cluster you work on.

Installing the Python module

The OVITO Pro program packages ship with an integrated Python interpreter ("ovitos") that gets installed alongside with the graphical desktop application, allowing you to execute Python scripts written for OVITO. Optionally, it is possible to install OVITO as a Python module into an existing Python interpreter on your system in case you would like to make use of OVITO's functionality in scripts written for other interpreters (e.g. the system Python interpreter or Anaconda). Please refer to the scripting manual for more information on the setup procedure.


If you run into any problems during the installation of OVITO, please contact us via the online support forum. The OVITO team will be happy to provide help.

Building OVITO from source

OVITO Basic is available under an Open Source license and you can download the source code to build the program yourself, for example to develop new plugin functions for OVITO. See the developers section for further instructions.