This software requires MacOS X 10.3.9 or higher.

OpenDX is a uniquely powerful, full-featured software package for the visualization of scientific, engineering and analytical data. Its open system design is built on a standard interface environments. And its sophisticated data model provides users with great flexibility in creating visualizations.

With OpenDX, you can create the visualizations you want to create. OpenDX has been designed to be the place where the art of science and the science of visualization come together. It's the place where they're combined into one powerful, flexible framework that lets you "Simply Visualize."


In order to install this software, simply drag the OpenDX folder to your favorite location, such as the Applications directory. The OpenDX application can be launched by double-clicking on the OpenDX icon or any OpenDX network or data file. This will start an application that tries to first launch an X server and then launch the OpenDX application. There are many X servers that currently exist (XDarwin, XDarwin+OroborOSX, Apple's X11, Tenon's Xtools, and eXodus) that can be used. We can not program for every combination of every X server, thus our application launcher only tries to launch Apple's X11 or XDarwin and then start OpenDX. If you are running some other X server, make sure that your X server is running before you try launching OpenDX. You can always leave your X server running in the background at all times if you wish.

If you need to be able to run OpenDX from the command line, make sure to install the cmdlaunch.pkg located in the "Command Line Support" folder.

Special notes for the MacOS X version of OpenDX:

The folder named Application Macros contains the macros that are installed each time OpenDX is run. These macros are the standard set of macros that come installed with OpenDX. You can add to this folder other macros that you design, but all users will see these macros. If you wish to install macros to be included only when you run OpenDX, install them in ~/Library/Application Support/OpenDX/macros.

When selecting context-sensitive help within OpenDX, it will launch your preferred web-browser to display the pages. There is a bug in MacOS less than 10.4.2 that stops DX from sending the # sign with the URL. This causes all web pages to open at the top of the page and not necessarily at the correct location. You may have to scroll down in the page to see the information you were looking for.

OpenDX consistently consists of two processes that communicate over a network. Even if you only plan to run it on your single machine, it will still communicate this way. Knowing this, the machines local network can complicate matters. VIS, Inc. has done their best to solve the networking issues with the MacOS, but there can be complications. If you start dx and it hangs, you may check the Console (available within /Applications/Utilities) to see if there are any dx relevant messages. If you see something like an ssh message, you may have a networking issue. You can probably solve this problem by adding the word local to the Search Domains of the Network System Preference Panel, which will tell the OS to look on the local network before searching any place else.

To launch just the Visual Program Editor and not the OpenDX startup interface, hold down the command key and then double-click on the OpenDX icon.

Setting up special environment variables:

You can add other command line options and set environment variables to be used every time OpenDX starts by placing variables in ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist as discussed in <>. For example, DXMACROS, DXMDF, and DXARGS could be set. To set the working directory to /home/user, add the DXARGS variable set with <string>-directory /home/user</string>.

Note about Apple's X11

Apple's X11 X-server has been released with MacOS X 10.3. We feel that this is the best X server available with which to run OpenDX.

OpenDX is very window intensive. Having to click on each window becomes quite annoying, thus you can set a no-click-to-focus for X11 applications. From an xterm or terminal execute: defaults write wm_ffm true. For other options, refer to <>

Java Explorer

You can investigate the use of Java Explorer by first starting the Java Explorer server (double-click the startserver.command file in the JavaExplorer folder,) then open the Status.html file in JavaExplorer/htmlpages. If it appears that it is not working, please look at the console for any messages that may be given before requesting assistance.

Thank You

As more information becomes available, we will post information on our home page at <>. After checking to make sure there is no additional help listed on or web pages, please report any problems or bugs to