Docker saves the day – Roadmaps – rivem

rhino b14 roadmap - detail
rhino b14 roadmap – detail

Docker saves the day!

Here is a great example of how Docker can help save a NATURE paper!


Problem: Professor wants to use a specific virology program called rivem (links below.) However, this only works on a Linux system.

Solution: download a small, 64Mb, Ubuntu Docker image and run the rivem program inside a Docker container!

This requires just a few steps:

  • Step 1: download the program: rivem
  • Step 2: download relevant 3D PDB data, e.g. rhinoviruses B14, A16, and C15 from the Protein Data Bank
  • Step 3: download the ubuntu docker image from with command:  docker pull ubuntu
  • Step 4: start the image with a shared directory containing the PDB data, for example:

docker run -it --rm -v $HOME/dockershare/:/data ubuntu

  • step 5: go to the appropriate directory and run the rivem command to create the roadmap
  • Step 6: relish in the result!:
rhino b14 roadmap - small
rhino b14 roadmap – small


  • rivem is available from Purdue
  •  Missing image of manual at Purdue is visible on this version of the rivem manual from the author now at UTEP


Xiao C, Rossmann MG, Interpretation of electron density with stereographic roadmap projections. J Struct Biol. 2007 May;158(2):182-7. Epub 2006 Oct 24. PMID:17116403  PMCID:PMC1978246  DOI:10.1016/j.jsb.2006.10.013

Chapman MS, Mapping the surface properties of macromolecules. Protein Sci. 1993 Mar;2(3):459-69.
PMID: 8384042 PMCID:PMC2142375  DOI:10.1002/pro.5560020318

Rossmann MG, Palmenberg AC. Conservation of the putative receptor attachment site in picornaviruses. Virology. 1988 Jun;164(2):373-82.PMID:2835857  DOI:10.1016/0042-6822(88)90550-8