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Article ID: 908 - Last Modified:

My KNIME node descriptions are not displaying properly. What can I do?

KNIME node descriptions can fail to display on Linux if the xulrunner library is not installed or the version that is installed is incompatible with the current version of KNIME. You might see BrowserInitializer or HelpView warnings in the terminal window when KNIME starts.

To install xulrunner, do the following:

  1. Log on as root and start KNIME. You must have root privilege to do the installation.
  2. Choose Help → Install New Software.
  3. In the Install panel, choose the update site for your version of KNIME for "Work with", or click Add and add the KNIME update site (
  4. Deselect "Group items by category" in the lower part of the Install panel.
  5. In the search box, type "xul". You should see two entries, for the source and the binaries of xulrunner. Select both entries and click Next.
  6. Click Next in the next screen to finish the installation.

An alternative method is to install a compatible xulrunner in a separate location and point KNIME to this version. We recommend version 1.9.0.x of xulrunner, which is compatible with the latest few Schrödinger releases.

  1. Download xulrunner 1.9.0.x from
  2. Install this version of xulrunner in a non-default location.
  3. Edit the file knime.ini, which is in the top level of your KNIME installation. If you are using the Schrödinger installation, this file is in the following directory:
  4. Add this line to knime.ini:
    where xulrunner-location is the full path to the 1.9.0.x version of xulrunner that you just installed.
  5. Restart KNIME.

The node descriptions should now be displayed correctly.

If none of these solutions work, there is an HTML copy of the node descriptions in the Schrödinger installation. The index of node docs is in the file $SCHRODINGER/docs/knime/node_docs/knime_nodes/index.html, which you can open in your browser.

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