The How-to-Get Up-and-Running Page

(C) 1980-2016 A.L.Spek, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.

References: A.L.Spek (2003) J. Appl. Cryst. 36, 7-13 & A.L.Spek (2009) Acta Cryst. D65, 148-155.


PLATON is free of charge for Academics (as all Academic scientific software should ideally be .....).

For-profit organisations should contact (E-mail address below) or forward a filled out application form (docx) before copying the programs. A PDF version of this form may be found here

Note: All HTTP traffic is logged!

PLATON/UNIX Sources (Fortran & C), executables and test data can be found on the:
PLATON MS-WINDOWS WEB-SITE (Thanks to Louis Farrugia, Glasgow, Scotland)
PLATON rpm's for Fedora Linux (Thanks to Pascal Parois, Glasgow, Scotland)>

Note: A Fortran-95 compatible compiler will be needed (e.g. gfortran, ifort).

In order to get a copy of the program source you will have to download (and gunzip) the two files

  1. platon.f.gz (Complete Fortran source of PLATON - about 115000 lines of code)
  2. xdrvr.c.gz (C-interface to X-window library Xlib)
and compile and link them into an executable with the name 'platon' (see example file with the name compile) and when desirable, a soft link of pluton to platon.

Alternatively, download platon.tar.gz which contains all files in the generic 'unix' directory (will compile without any change on DEC, SGI, SUN, Max-OSX and LINUX platforms).

For the Validation feature, a copy of the file check.def will be needed. (Also included in 'platon.tar.gz).


On most UNIX implementations a compile line like the one given below should be sufficient:

gfortran -o platon platon.f xdrvr.c -lX11

Sometimes additional directions should be added on the compile line to indicate the location of libraries such us X11: -L /usr/X11/lib or -L /usr/X11R6/lib.

Some compilations crash when there is no sufficient space in /tmp. Use a cshell command such as

setenv TMPDIR .

instead (or any other directory with enough scratch space).

Some compilers only function when the source code platon.f has been split in smaller pieces (try parts of 10000 lines each) to be compiled separately.


The platon executable is best moved to a globally accessible directory

e.g. mv platon /usr/local/bin

In addition a link ln -s pluton platon in the same directory will give a direct path to PLUTON.

Some environment variables can be set (for programs etc. that are not in standard locations)

Finally, check whether things work with sucrose.spf. with:

platon sucrose.spf

which should bring up the PLATON Main Selections Menu.

Click on CALC ALL

Three listing files are produced: 'sucrose.lis' (lineprinter format) ,a PostScipt version in A4-format sucrose.lps and a PDF version..


Last change 13-Jan-2016. e-mail to Ton Spek