AmberTools is a free, useful standalone package and a prerequisite for
installing Amber itself.
The AmberTools suite is free of charge, and its components are mostly
released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). A few components are
included that are in the public domain or which have other, open-source,
licenses. The libsander and libpbsa libraries use the LGPL license.
Option 1: Getting source code
This is the traditional way AmberTools has been distributed. It is
recommended for most users, and is the
requried path if you also want to get Amber. AmberTools is distributed in source code format, and must be compiled in
order to be used. You will need C, C++ and Fortran90
The Reference Manual is available
in pdf format, and included in the distribution. It may help you to
see if AmberTools meets your needs.
To download version
18 of the AmberTools distribution, please fill in the following
form and click the "Download" button. The file size you should get is
380918731, and the
Note: Installation instructions are in Chapter 2 of the
2018 Amber Reference
Manual. More detailed instructions for many machines may be found at
Jason Swails' blog page. We also have
simplified requirements for MacOS, Linux and
Option 2: Binary distribution via conda.
This is a relatively new option: Users of the conda python system can
install a serial, binary (pre-compiled) distribution as follows:
conda install ambertools=18 -c
This should work for Linux and MacOS systems, with python versions 2.7 to
3.6; but it is experimental, and does not provide access to parallel or
gpu-optimized codes. This provides a simple way to get started with
AmberTools, and to install it into many workflows, but it is not a substitute
for the full source-code distributions listed above.
Option 3: Binary distribution without conda.
Non-conda users can follow:
# Or: curl http://ambermd.org/downloads/install_ambertools.sh -O
bash install_ambertools.sh -v 3 --prefix $HOME --non-conda
To see more options:
bash install_ambertools.sh -h
The caveats listed above for Option 2 are relevent here as well.
How to obtain Amber18
Amber18 facilitates faster simulations (on parallel CPU or GPU hardware)
and is distributed with a separate license and fee structure.
Click here for the
Amber 18 License Agreement (PDF).
Print this form, fill it out, sign and return (with your payment) to the
address given at the bottom of the license agreement. Once your order is
processed, you will receive download information via email. PDF versions of
the Reference Manual are included in the download.
Please note: The Amber18 license is a site license, valid for any
number of users and any number of computers. The computers may be located
anywhere (such as in the "cloud", or at remote computing centers.) There are
restrictions on using the codes on behalf of others who do not have an Amber
license; see the license document for details.
Also note: Each release of Amber (which happens every two years) is
treated as separate product, and requires a new license form and a new fee.
- Academic/non-profit/government: $500 (US dollars).
- Industrial (for-profit): $20,000 for new licensees, $15,000
for licensees of Amber 14.
- Porting and demonstration licenses are available, as are
licenses for computing centers are available: see the
License Agreement for
- Custom payment schedules or subscription-based approaches can be arranged:
please send email to
for more information.)
- People who
licensed Amber 16 after February 1, 2018 are eligible for a free upgrade to
Amber 18. (This is not automatic: if you wish to obtain
the new version, you need fill out and submit a new License Agreement,
indicating that you are eligible for the upgrade.)
Payment for all orders for Amber must received prior to
shipment of the Software. Payment must be via check, money order, or credit
card (Mastercard/Visa/American Express). Make payments to: Regents, University
of California. We are sorry, but purchase orders and wire transfers can no
longer be accepted.
Once payment is received, an email will be sent to the address provided by
the customer on the License Agreement
containing a username and password, along with instructions on how to
download the software.
Waivers for the license fee are available for scientists outside of
North America, Western Europe and Japan. Please send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining your situation, and your need
for the pmemd program (all other parts of Amber are available for