Linux for Blender users

(acasto) #1

I’m just curious, I’ve seen that many people here are using windows. With Blenders good status on alternate operating systems, I was wondering how many Linux users we have, and if not, if anyone’s tried it and what they think of it.

Personally, I run Red Hat Linux 7.2 with the latest kernels custom compiled. On the Linux I run Win4Lin incase I need to quickly access a windows program (ie: flash) without rebooting. Wine is working but has some problems. Then on another partition I’m running windows 2000 pro for the other programs that I don’t use much but still like to have around.

Over the last year I have noticed the support within Linux for graphics has jumped tremendously. The GIMP is just as good as any other graphics editor when used right. It’s openess for programming is great for customizing and tweaking. It’s network capabilities are outstanding (ie: renderfarm :wink: ) It’s extremely versatile and stable. The graphics and openGL support has especially picked up for Nvidia users now that Nvidia has Linux drivers for their chipsets. When you combine the right drivers from Nvidia and such, with the power and stability of Linux, it makes for a pretty bad machine. :smiley:

(Kid Tripod) #2

unfortunately all the things i want to use aren’t on linux, IE (i quite like it actually), Photoshop (it is better than GIMP which i would say is about equivalent to PSP), Office for work, Kazaa, Logic etc. etc. I do use cygwin quite a bit though, and think that gives me the best of both worlds. (i am the only win98 user i know whose computer stays on for about a week before deciding to die). i think the situation of using obscure hardware with strange drivers (only on windows like my soundcards) and the software that can use them to the full is probably why most people stick. i used to have it as a curiosity, but since i couldn’t do anything on it better than i could under windows (thats my personal usage and experience) i got rid of it to make room for other things.

you mention wine, but its interesting to realise one of my housemates runs KDE under Win2k with cygwin! he can literally flick between the two. i think the main use of that used to be to play samegame.

i’m not a microsoft lover by any means, its just that linux as a desktop doesn’t really work for me, and it is all that old chestnut of driver and application support. having an irix machine on my desk shows what a unix like OS should look like (it’s media tools are amazing). whilst we’re on the subject i actually prefer freeBSD . . . .


(please take that as what it is - my personal experiences with what i want to do. i have no interest in a flame war)

(basse) #3

I am, as you say, old-school user of computers. I love my commandline, and
scripts and textmode programs… so after DOS got old, I never actually got into windows world, and linux seemed more like “my kind of os”… redhat was the first distribution I tried (I liked the logo) and that is what I still am using… 7.2 version now, though.

what I mostly do with my machine nowadays is someway related to graphics… so this could be called multimedia-station if you will… :slight_smile: I use blender, gimp for graphics, broadcast2000 for movie editing.

hmm… this message is going nowhere, I better stop now.


(steve343) #4

gimp is not as good as paint shop pro even but it is good.

iv used linux but it baffaled me espesialy the file system \home and all that

i just coudent be bothered

i thought i was good with computers but to use linux u need to realy know a lot.

windows is not that bad if u turn off all the automatic stuff like power save
u can even get different shells.

i just want to blend

(acasto) #5

This is how I feel about the whole situation:

I think that windows isn’t a bad thing, but Microsoft is. I think people should use Windows because they want to, not because they have to. This is also a reason for so many bugs in Windows, because the only motivation is control and profit, they already have the market locked in, so why waste the extra money on quality. I think it is great with all the software and hardware support, and the ease of use and widespread acceptance.

But it’s when they try to put others down (like bOS) that try to offer people a choice. I think Windows (with all patches and such :smiley: ) is great for end user nodes (desktop systems) but for infrastructure (servers, routers, etc…) I definitly prefer a unix based OS. I just prefer Linux over the other Unix based ones due to it’s cost, availability, and community involvment. The world has seen communisum fall over and over again, Microsoft is exactly the same. They are talking about making MS Office an online application where your data is stored on their servers, so then you have to pay a monthly bill for Office AND your documents. Also, did you know when you save something in MS Office, it records your MAC address and systems registration number in the office file, so it can be traced back later. So don’t go writing no bomb threat or anything on word and emailing them, unless of course you want to get caught.

One thing I have learned from the IT industry, there is many possible solutions to every problems, but some solutions just don’t belong in some places. That is windows, it has a place in the market, just not everywhere.

As for the GIMP, it may not be as good strait out of the box, but it is very open. A lot of people however just want something right out of the box, which is fine. I just feel that more open applications have more future potential because their not necessarily guided by corporate budgets and policy. If there is something it dosn’t do, then I’m sure theres a way to do it by combining a couple methods. Creativity can make anything work…

my two cents…

adam casto

(WayStar) #6

I’m looking into setting up Linux on my second hard drive.

I miss the old command line days of DOS and VMS, though I’ve grown to appreciate GUIs. I can live without using a command line, but I like knowing it’s there is I want or need it. I like a structured file system.

At the moment, all that’s holding me back is that I’ll need to use my personal machine for work again, so I’ll have to use the second HD to store giant audio and video files. After that, it will be all mine again. (And by next year, we should have a DAVW at work.)

Sooo…How does one get started in Linux? Besides the installation and configuration stuff, what areas should I be focusing my research on?

And most important…How would I optimize my system for Blender? :slight_smile:

Seriously, though. Has anyone created a Linux for Blender primer? I know that I cannot be the only one out there who wants to know these things. The opensource and freeware movements have brought forth a lot of tools, and I don’t want OS to be a barrier to using these tools.


(acasto) #7

I’ll make one. I’ll post it up with the Blender Intergration Effort ( ), I would like to if this works good, in a few months start a Linux Integration Effort. In which we would have everything you need, programs, links, doc, tutorial, to get linux setup and running. I was even thinking about making a linux just for graphics developers by modifying a version of Red Hat.

The only thing about linux right out of the box, unless you can get around the system pretty good, your stuck with the gui you selected, KDE, GNOME, etc… What I did on mine is combine the best of all worlds. I’m running ximian gnome applications (evolutions, red carpet, and galeon), the KDE file browser, and the Enlightenment windows manager. Then for the behind the scenes stuff I have the reiserFS setup (reiser 4 is coming in sept. :smiley: :smiley: ) with my memory caches at 4k to maximize throughput and IDE raid5 with 128k chunk sizes. There’s a program called unison I use with some bash scripts, which when it boots up, it mounts my windows partition, and syncs all my info (blender, business, etc…) between like files between linux and windows. So no matter where I do the work at, in win2k or linux, it will always be contigious.

(acasto) #8

Check this out :smiley:

I guess their gonna have even more enemies. They seem to be shooting themselves in the foot quite a bit lately.

(pannomatte) #9

The cpu fan in my firewall/server is starting to squeel. I think I’m gonna have to shut down my machine (running Mandrake 7.1) after I think 18months of continuous, crash free, rock solid, stable as a nail, duty. But then again it’s not that bad a squeel. So I’ll probably wait a few more months until it becomes really annoying. My graphics station running redhat 7.2 with a NVidida TNT 32mb card, GIMP, Blender, and Star Office gets regullarly thrown in the bed of my 1991 Dodge Ram pickup and pluged into various networks at work related facilities occasionally getting banged and dented. That CPU fan is doing just fine.
Oh I had to do a clean OS install twice on my win2k machine in the last 18 months cause of that nasty blue screen of death thing. Glad I use Mozilla (on everything) cause I don’t know how many virus laden attchements I’ve recieved this year but I get em all.


There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

(VelikM) #10

I’m a long time (4 years now) linux user, I’ve quite using it but only because I’m using Mac OS X on a PowerBook, I use X-Darwin as well :D, (linux doesn’t support the modem). For the people that say they dont’ use it because they can’t run there favorite Windows programs ??? do you mean. I still run my windows programs on my PowerBook the same as I did on my linux box, on my PB I use Virtual PC5 with windows 2000 Professional, on my linux box I use VMware with windows 95 (I would have used 98 but it refused to work with my hardware, in VMware and as a direct install). The real benifit is that my computer doesn’t crash when windows does, I just restart the program, reboot windows and continue.
Unix rules, even the clones :wink:

(acasto) #11

I think around last november, I was getting 1500+ hits a week on my web server (debian potato with apache) just from microsoft servers infected with code red virus. That’s the problem with Microsoft in infrastructure in a production environment, if one hole is found, it is easy to infiltrate many machines at once. Where with linux, it varys from system to system, making it extremely hard to attack a whole network.

(malefico) #12

Once I chose Linux I could never try anything else. I do EVERYTHING with it. Including cursing sometimes. Nothing is perfect you know ?

Cheers. Be happy whatever your OS.


(UglyMike) #13

Well, I still have a Redhat 1.X from when that was hot, new stuff and Slackware ruled the scene. So I’ve been using it a long time. First as a curiosity mind you, then as a hobby but as of lately there is practically nothing that I cannot do in Linux at least as good as in Windows providing that the prices are not too dissimilar!
(Photoshop is better than GIMP. OK, is it several hundreds of bucks better than GIMP for 95% of the population?. Same for MS Office/OpenOffice, Outlook/Evolution and for plenty others.) I also love 3D stuff. That means POV, BMRT (or Aqsis), LightFlow (although the old Python is getting to be a pain) for engines, Ayam, Wings3D, Giram for modelers, Moonlight3D, Equinox3D, Innovation3D for Modeler/Renderer and of course Blender with it’s myriad of plugins (Python problems again…) as allround package. There is of course neat 2D stuff too with GIMP, Sketch, Sodipodi, et all and let’snot forget all those nice ‘specialist’ packages like Flow, Terraform, LParser etc. No wonder I need a 40Gig drive :wink:
I also like games. Not the ones you need 5 weeks of continious play but the small, 10-minute breaks. Plenty of that in Linux with all oldies reimplemented (like great tetris & breakout clones, card games…), Chromium, Frozen-Bubble, TuxRacer, Abuse-SDL (just look at and, I admit, RTCW which I got as a Chrismas present and which plays great on Linux just like my demo levels of Quake, QuakeII and QuakeIII
Of course, I still have an old Windows98 partition for ‘free’ 3D soft like TrueSpace 4SE, Poser3, Vue d’Esprit, Amorphium, Terragen etc, etc. I also need it to steer my Creative PCCam300. Waw, I’m rambling like the old fart I am…
Just a tought: if you had to buy ALL your Windows soft which you now steal (MS Office, Photoshop, Studio3D, PSP, WinZip, other unpaid shareware, cracks & pirated soft,…) would you still run Windows or would you be using all the same functionality for free under Linux. Be honest!

(pannomatte) #14

Oh and the one I throw in the truck I’ve solved the cheap PS2 keyboard/mouse jacks problem by epoxying extension cables in those suckers and wrapping it with duct tape. But thats not why I’m bantering. BASSE tell me more about your BROADCAST2000 box.
Thats my next project!!!

Blender On

If you can’t stop to smell the roses, why plant the garden.

(acasto) #15

It’s nice to talk to blender users, but linux blender users is really nice. I’ll set up a linux/blender thread on my forum soon, so that we might be able to help each other out with linux and 3D problems. I think linux has it’s own need for questions and answers about certain things, such as getting a program up and running, and solving certain dependancy problems and conflicts. But once you get it running, it will usually out perform most others.

Has any of you played around with network renderers for Linux? We should get a little tutorial or something up on that, because I think since the network renderers are open, they are probably most evolved on linux. Plus if you can take advantage of linux’s strong and secure networking capabilities, you can do some pretty heavy work.

I’m currently talking to the company I’m going to start working for next month about possibly looking at the entertainment industry for a potential market. They build and sell very advanced linux clusters, so if I learn anything about distributed computing’s advantages to graphics I’ll be sure to remember it… :smiley:

(LethalSideP) #16

I’m blessed with a triple boot system - Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Linux (Red Hat, latest version).

Linux is pretty good as OS’s go - it’s rock stable, and never crashes. The only problem with it is that it needs more multimedia programs to make it a serious contender with the likes of Windows for day-to-day use.

The Gimp is pretty good, I have used it, and it’s just about on par with Photoshop (which is pretty good considering the price difference!).

And what you guys said about it not adding spy code to your software is very true. This isn’t a very well known fact, but a few years ago Microsoft had to change one of their programs (media player, methinks) because it had spy code built into it which allowed Microsoft to uniquelly identify your PC through your CPU ID number. They were tracking who was downloading what, where, how, the works. Of course the US courts finally found the guts to stand up to Bill, and that part of the program has (supposedly) been changed.

The problem with windows is that Microsoft charge an arm and a leg for it, and it’s definately not worth that much. There was an investigation recently comparring costs to set up a 350 user network using Windows and Linux. Software for windows cost nearly $300,000 - Linux cost just $50 !! :o

And with this new licencing thing of MS’s coming into play this June/July/August, it’s now so expensive to use Windows that as much as 2/3 of their big-time users are ‘actively considering’ other options eg. Linux.

Anyway, just thought I’d add my fare share to the debate. Linux is good value for money, but needs more multimedia apps (like Blender!) to make it really worthwhile.


(kevin3d) #17

All other things being equal, how much faster is Linux than Windows on any given system? Or perhaps it would be better to ask, how much faster is Blender & BMRT running under Linux on any given system?

(acasto) #18

What is comes down to kevin3d, is use of resources. I have installed debian in 85mb of hard drive. One of the point about linux, is it can run on the fastest, or the slowest. I have a 100mhz pentium with 16mb ram over in the corner I’m turing into a router. They are also building linux into the machZ chip. It will be totally integrated and have the whole OS in a single processor. The company I’m going to work for does the linux bios thing. Where they wipe out the systems bios, put the linux kernel in an 8mb rom chip, and have it boot strait to the linux instead of waiting on the bios. It will boot up to singler users mode in 3 sec.

But when it comes down to overall systems performance, it’s the whole package. More stability means you can run things harder without worrying. If you really want to get picky, you can even pick and choose your own filesystem and set it up (block size, etc…) to fit your needs. For example, reiserFS uses 4k filesystem block size. It then using a journaling system to speed up the filesystem. This makes it extremley fast for lots of smaller files (ie: compiling and development). Or with ext2 or ext3 you can specify a bigger block size to make it more efficient with a larger average file size. If you ever want raid, just hook up your new hard drive(s), edit the raidtab file, and enter a couple commands, and BAM…you have raid. You can evens stripe your swap space. I have my swap striped across three seperate hard drives, when the system does go to swap I don’t even know it.

Basically, linux give you, the user, more power. Then you use that power to give it more power. But I think the number one thing that makes it so powerful is it’s scalability. You can run it on any number of CPU, any type of system (even mac), you can make a supercomputer (clustering), etc…

(Kid Tripod) #19

most of those things apply to NT and derivative OSes too though, its just MS don’t produce versions for non Intel any more (mmmm Alpha)

i like the way you didn’t answer the question . . .

actually from an OS point of view NT4 was one of the best architectures to date (now thats gonna start an argument!)

(digitalSlav) #20

i used to run redhat, switched to mandrake, with win 95 on another partition. i really would love to get 7.2 on my new comp although i’m not too keen on cutting up my nice new hardrive :-? the discs are just sitting on my desk taunting me to install :smiley: and yes tripod NT4 was awesome although i currently run XP with astonshell ( and love it!