Job requirements Linux a plus


So I’ve noticed a lot of job applications say that knowing Linux is a plus in terms of skills. So how does knowing Linux help a 3D artist?


I would assume since a lot of larger studios use linux based pipelines, having worked on one or having experience using Linux would be a plus.


The simplest way to learn Linux is to put a Linux Live CD on a USB thumbdrive.

Linux will boot from this USB thumbdrive when you want. You can then spend a few hours playing with Linux to familiarize yourself with its UI, windows system, file system and so forth.

Linux Live CDs do not install anything on your harddrive. You can play with Linux as long as you want, then just shut the system down and boot back into regular Windows or OSX.

Linux DOES feel a bit alien at first use - different UI, Icons, Windows and File Menus. But its essentially an OS just like Windows and OSX and can be learned.

As a 3D artist, Linux will just be an Operating System with a UI that’s slightly different from Windows and Mac. Linux does not affect the way software like Maya runs - Maya is Maya on Linux, too.


I would say hes asking because the 3D job’s that require you to know Linux usually require you to understand the workflow, which is a little different than just running Maya as a Maya user. These are usually TD roles or roles that require the artist to be able to interface with the command line directly for specific pathing, scripting & python control.


If you work at a mid to large studio chances are you will work on a Linux box. It’s easy to get the hang of but you are learning so many things on the job already in a business that has tight deadlines.

On my first freelance job at a big studio I walked in on the first day having never used Linux. They had contracted me based on some portfolio work and I wasn’t even interviewed. It added yet another level of stress to the situation. I was really green. Thankfully I got though it and I still work with them today.

You should learn how to navigate the directory and run programs from the terminal. As has already been mentioned it won’t change how you work in Maya or Nuke.


It really depends on what the job is. But running on a Linux pipeline really isn’t hard for an artist in a well configured pipeline. And it is everywhere in VFX and feature animation.
And there are so many configurations out there that I have never run ‘exactly’ the same desktop at any place I’ve worked.
So trying to pre-train yourself might be a moot point. You’ll just learn what you need as you go along with the rest of the pipeline.

The hardest thing about Linux is setting it up to a working state-and the pipeline support folks will be doing this for you.
But trying to do so on your own at home might be more trouble than its worth for an artist.

Now if you are coming at this for a sys admin job and Linux is new to you that is a different story.


chances are that if you know the terminal from OSX/macOS a little, there isn’t all that much to learn.
there’s a few things to look out for if you have to use the terminal - aka shell - like the delete command (rm) is usually instant, no questions asked - and no undelete/move back from trashcan either. :wink: that can be fun.

other than that the GUI and filemanager should hardly be anything new. there’s a variety of them, the popular ones resemble windows or macOs pretty closely.

still, i worked with some people having crossed over from film who made a big deal out of having had to learn … linux! (insert girl’s terrified scream here) :slight_smile:


Well well! Someone other than ME brings up Linux round here!! :slight_smile: Awesome!

All I have to say is - don’t forget, for help there’s Linux Forums . There’s also one called LinuxQuestions, which you might discover Googling, but that one is filled with TechSnooty Bastards, so don’t go there.

If you’re searching for distros for home, well, I personally like Bodhi Linux as well as EliveCD , which I am on right now. Both of these use the sexy Enlightenment window manager which I really like, (Bodhi spun off it’s own one called “Moksha”) and these are “lean n mean” distros - very small footprint. The latter comes with Blender (and a ton of other stuff) pre-installed. They’re both also looking for funds, btw, so if you end up using them, consider shelling out a couple of bucks to their creators…

And there’s also Ubuntu Studio, which, again, comes with a ton of cool stuff pre-installed, including Blender.

But just to point out - I have no idea how you get Maya or Nuke going on these - they may require a particular distro :frowning:

Other than that, I’m happy to help you with queries regarding Linux if I can - if you have some, just shoot :slight_smile:


thank you linux god;)


…well? No one got any queries? …yall making me feel kind of worthless right now…! :frowning:


almost all CG software is .rpm based, sometimes some will be .deb. You can convert one to the other, with simple ones being easy. Some like maya are much more involved and if you know how then you’re already very familiar with linux.

It’s so easy to get burned by distros developed by a single person. As soon as they stop, it stops with a very real possibility it won’t allow future updates even on packages the core OS is based on.

I recommend going with one of the major distros supported by a large community or organization


Well, if YOU know how, why don’t you just share that information with us??

…and for the distros - but those are the Sexy ones, y’know…? The 2 I mentioned above being prime examples… And those 2, as it happens, have been going for yeaaaaaars now. A better option would be to contribute a couple of bucks if you can to their development, as I said above, which helps everybody, and helps to prevent the possibility you mention. Imagine a project like that folding up even in spite of tons of ppl using it, cause nobody paid…I shudder at the thought. (and unfortunately it has happened in the past - Google “Dynebolic”… :::() )


because I was never on the hook to provide you an answer for it nor did I claim to be an expert, but here’s how I’ve done it for simple apps:

I have no reason to mess with trying to convert maya over to deb so I haven’t looked into it much. I know many people have done it though


Autodesk only supports Redhat and CentOS. Installing Maya on everything else can be relatively easy or a pain in the ass depending on how much dependencies you have to fix.
Everything else (Foundry’s tools, Houdini) should work on most distros.
If you are a beginner and have to use Maya stick with CentOS, if you don’t need Maya use whatever you like the most.