Free 3D Bliss? Your linux helpdesk here!

This thread is a linux help desk by your truly. Ask, and we will do my best to help.

Its my way of supporting what I have found to be among the greatest inventions of the 20th century: the free and open GNU/Linux operating system. And to support what I think is the greatest thing since LJ Lapre made his L-systems generator with GUI: Blender! and to support Blenda community effort (I call her ‘Blenda’ :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Blender, Gimp, bit of Inkscape, SVG scripts with Ruby - thats my bliss!

Linux is for you if you:

  • Need a stable and easy to install/use system?
  • Need a system for serious 3D work & study, CGI work/art?
  • Tired of all the security concerns/problems, spyware, worms etc?
  • Need a solid platform for developing Blender or Blender plugins?
  • Need a free system or like open source programs (like Blender)?
  • Want to test the OS before you install? (LiveCD)
  • Just want something better than XP?

But you will need to be able to:

  • Be prepared to put in about half of the time that XP would need.
  • Know you can do it.
  • Have an internet connection most of the time.
  • Google for yourself.
  • Find help, ask questions, read instructions and tutorials.
  • To learn a new operating system (dont worry, its not harder than XP is).


  • When you ask for help, post clear details, otherwise it may not be possible. If its a error, quote the error message. If its an install problem, post your hardware brand and model and version.
  • Any and all discussion about XP vs Linux, Sell your MS stock quick and similar topics. belong in another thread 100%.

I started to move into Linux in 2003. Now I run Blender 2.41 on Debian Linux. I always wanted it to be effortless, clicking with mouse type ‘automagical’ stuff - Didnt want to have to learn C programming! Debian has been pretty nice in that respect.

Debian linux is in my opinion the most advanced, reliable and easy to use or all the distros. It is an absolutely huge distro, comprising of over 50 000 programs. It uses a powerful package management system called apt, and I can install any program auto-magically by typing 3 words (‘apt-get install blender’ installed this blender for me, for instance). No more downloading and zipping and copypasteing.

I recommend two Linuxes
Ubuntu is a great choice for most people. Its very easy to install and use, nice hardware support, everything is polished so its like a ‘commercial OS-feel’ (like XP). Under the hood it still packs the punch of Debian, plus it has a great community to support it.

Kanotix is the Power-Users dream. According, kanotix “is a rock-solid Linux based on Debian-Sid, which contains the newest packages and recognizes more modern hardware than any other operating system in use today.” I still go to the Kanotix chat for support even if I dont run Kanotix atm :stuck_out_tongue: As a Live-CD this is great for repairing or partitioning compus or recovering data.

Xubuntu is a Ubuntu with a minimal no whistles lightweight desktop. It runs faster on older computers. Still the same Debian power under the desk.

Most people simply need to download a Live-CD-image, burn it on a CD, and boot the computer from the CD to see if the OS works on their compu.

A Live-CD doesn’t install the OS, simply loads it to ram, so user can see what the OS looks like. Live-CD OS will be a lot slower as everything is loaded from CD but otherwise identical.

You can also see what the desktop looks and feels like, see what programs are installed, which is important for me (I cant stand Gnome, but I like KDE and Enlightenment Desktops).

On LiveCD Kanotix you can use the klik-system to install Blender into ram and test it, too! If the Live-CD works, then its safe to install on the hard drive.

I suggest that anyone wanting to run ‘dual’ XP-Linux compu install each OS on a separate hard drive. You can also dual boot from a single hard drive, but that needs some setting up because XP isnt very well made in this respect.

Nice post, i vote for sticky. At the same time, may I suggest adding Gentoo to the list? It is by far the fastest OS I’ve used and is actually quite easy to install,maintain and use. Plus, it gives the user the most control. (although not as newbie friendly as ubuntu.)

xiaxuele - Glad you like it! Gentoo is ok in my books, but I dont have experience with it so I cant talk about it much, but hey join up and feel free to offer Gentoo help on this thread. :cool:

Gentoo is at its purest ‘fully compiled’ so that you can build it from the scratch, compile all the code yourself and thus know every single part on the OS since you built and installed them. You can really learn a lot just by going through the install process. It is very popular and powerful linux distro from USA.

pikseli: hope this thread takes off, it could be very helpfull, i’ve just changed over to ubuntu linux from win, i’ve been wanting two for ages but i could never get linux to boot off my sata2 hdd despite posting my problem on many forums, but i’ve got a ide boot drive now, so finaly get it to work.

Note, ubuntu 6.06 comes on a live cd/install cd mix, ther is no seperation in this release (as far as i know). All distro’s (xubunto, ubunto and kubuntu), apart from server, come on a live cd, and you install from there. Also, do you know why blender 2.41 is still on apt? why not 2.42?

xiaxuele: i disagree about gentoo, i had it installed for about two hours hours just before i installed ubuntu, butit took me 5 hours to install in the first place, as none of the servers where online. i don’t know if that because i am in New Zealand or not, but on the forums a lot of people(mostly defecting users having a rant) have been complaining about it to. Finaly got it installed with only the live cd sources, and then tried to emerge update. got the same server problems, and then got 5 hundred thousand blocks.

gentoo may be fast, and portage may have been a revolutionary system in its day, but now its full of bugs, and all the other distro’s have their own much easier versions, like debian’s apt-get. They even have 2 levels of gui for it, basic and advanced.

Gentoo is definatly not for newbs, and it soundslike many long time users have given up on it now to. I would not like to do any serious project on a computer with gentoo, i’ld be continualy worried that the nect defective portage update would kill everyything. It seems even more unstable than windows.

ok, thats enough ranting from me. Go ubuntu.


Shamem - No idea? But with Debian there is always a way…

You can download the newest optimized 2.42a-3 .deb’s from here if you like: and install them with ‘sudo dpkg -i blender2.4whateverversion.deb’. If unsure which optimized version to download, use the on in ‘i586’-folder.

Maybe blender 2.42a doesnt yet pass some testing method or benchmark for code stability, or the developers just havent submitted a new version in the repositories? But I doubt it will be that long…

EDIT Ahh I might just as well install an blender thats optimized for me athlon XP processor, lets try that:

  1. Downloaded the .deb from this URL:
    to the /tmp -path (could DL to home or desktop or whereever you like/can).

  2. Went to console and
    cd /tmp
    sudo dpkg -i blender-2.42whateverversion.deb

  • note: ‘/tmp’ is the path to whereever you downloaded to. ‘dpkg’ is a part of apt, its for ‘manual’ package management, ‘-i’ is option for install. ‘-r’ to remove. For quicktype, press TAB after typing ‘dpkg -i ble’ and the console will fill in the rest of the filename.
  1. It asks for the root password and installs

  2. Moused to ‘program menu’, Graphics and ‘Blender’ And voila! I got the newest Blender 2.42a optimized running on me Ubuntu system.

Nice, that was worth the while! EDIT: Daym! Is it just me or is the daym thing faster?! Highly recommend optimized version! I did have to ‘append’ all the old geometry into new file to get material-pulldown to show up.

i have a athlon 64 x2, but i am running 32bit ubuntu, due to bad 64bit supost on a lot a programs. Which optimised build should i use, athlon64 or xp. i’m assuming xp, but i’m not sure. Any ideas?


I have a dual core AMD and I installed the 32bit ubuntu then upgraded to a k7 kernel that supports smp and my machine smokes!

Edit: Sorry, I didn’t understand the question, I’ll shut up now.

Shamem - I would try the Athlon64-version. 2.42a seems to have small bugs and sometimes needs restarting. I wonder if the plain jane 2.42 would be slightly more stable? Your choice, with dpkg its easy to test the .deb’s.

I’d recommend using aptitude over apt-get to keep systems clear of unneeded packages.

Ubuntu actually has very good 64bit support, I have found packages/repos and/or compiled everything I’ve wanted. If you post the programs I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

N30N - aptitude is only a front end for apt-get. There are several others easy-to-use ones, like Adept, which will open when you click on add/remove programs icon in Ubuntu/Debians, they all run on apt.

N30N: can’t remember all the ones i had problems with, but none of the web plugine worked properly, eg, flash. The macromedia linux flash plugin doesn’t run on 64(and theirs no 64 version) and the other ones i found in apt worked only for the veryy basic stuff, most just died. anywho, i may go back 2 64 at some future point.


Just downloaded the athlon64 version, and tried 2 install, and got this

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of blender:
 blender depends on ffmpeg (= 3:0.cvs20060718-5ubuntu1); however:
  Version of ffmpeg on system is 3:0.cvs20050918-5ubuntu1.1.
 blender depends on libopenal0a; however:
  Package libopenal0a is not installed.
 blender depends on libalut0; however:
  Package libalut0 is not installed.
dpkg: error processing blender (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured

any ideas on the ffmpeg problem?


nb: fixed the other 2

(I know :)) Even so It’s better practise to use aptitude as apt doesn’t keep track of dependency’s at all innit? :wink:

Yeah flash is the worst prob most users have with 64bit, but…

For firefox you can use nspluginwrapper (HowTo)

For konqueror you can use 32bit plugs in the 64 version (HowTo here).

Although I have to admit I just have a copy of opera installed (need it for web dev too) for when I wanna view a flash page. Just because it’s harder doesn’t mean it has bad support, if you ran XP64-bit you’d have no option but to use a 32bit browser (to get flash). Will be nice when adobe finely releases another flash update for linux.

Try going up a dir. :wink:

Shamem - try installing the ffmeg .deb that you can find on the same place :wink:

Download to /tmp. To install, type at console
cd /tmp
sudo dpkg -i ffmpeg TABKEY

Asks for pw and installs. If not, my untested advice would be: remove old ffmpeg with ‘apt-get remove ffmpeg’ and install the optimized one with the sudo dpkg command above.

(Incase installing the ffmpeg .debs doesnt work, see comments for more talk about ffmpeg here

thanks, finaly works(after another dependency issue that the compiler had missed, but i found the solution with google), yay



Even so It’s better practise to use aptitude as apt doesn’t keep track of dependency’s at all innit?

Like I said, they are the same thing, it really doesnt matter which one you use, or if you use adept, only the interface is different. Aptitude might have automatic ‘clean’ op executed when you quit, but thats inconsequental imho.

Attempted to install ‘edgy’ blender package into the dapper ubuntu that I use. In plain debian terms, tried installing testing package into stable OS (how you do it is 1. Add edgy repositories in the /etc/apt/sources.list 2. “sudo apt-get install -t edgy blender”).

Too bad the edgy has blender version 2.41-ubuntu4 at the moment. So thats of little help if you want the 2.42. Hehe time to remove 2.41 and reinstall downloaded the optimized 2.42s ‘manually’.

Installed a Xubuntu on a few compus from a Xubuntu Live CD.

Once the installer is started, the installer asks for language timezone, user name and PW info, plus partitioning, and then in 30 minutes or so installs the basic Xubuntu system.

The first install dropped me into terminal screen after the first login. Apt-get update upgrade -typed helped the desktop to load, but only after restart. So not totally perfect landing there. Second one was uneventful.

After that, I used EasyUbuntu to install java, flash, browser plugin setup, codecs for DVD/MP3/DIVX/…, Nvidia drivers, Skype, and all that ‘proprietary’ jive that takes you days on Windows XP box.

Java setup especially can be a bitch, easyubuntu does it all automagically, you can also use it to remove what you install. A MUST FOR FRESH UBUNTU BOXES!

No driver installations, no stupid questions, no flash or java downloading!! quick one. The desktop is very nice and clean. Swift. Nice clean set of basic programs, nothing is slow and bloated. The slowest proggy was firefox! I am impressed! Would be interesting to test it daily use if its noticeably faster than Gnome or KDE.

The admin tools are simple, and deadly effectiv!! Theres a control panel for everything. This is a desktop, not a beta, it seems to me. All the panels and taskbars and trays are easy to manipulate. There are cpu speed monitor and weather gadgets - its not spartan, just basic.

One of the compus was a slow 1 Ghz AMD Duron with 256 MB memory, ultra slow 4 GB HD and a 4x max speed CDROM - and there were no probs! So Xubuntu runs on slightly older machines, too.

I recommend you give it a spin. 8 points out of 10.

Git it from