XSI on Linux, how is it?


Hi guys

Is there somebody who use XSI on Linux platform? I heard that it was born on Linux so I was asking me if it was really better that a Windows version. :slight_smile:


It was actually born on Irix (Unix)Soft3D that is. The best thing I will tell you is to try it for yourself by Installing a distro and loading the trail version of Foundation on it. Linux is not for everyone in particular if you have always been on Windows.

Linux does offer better memory management, security, and a 64 bit OS which you can use today but when it comes to shaders which more and more people are compiling today a majority of them are only for Windows. This has been covered both here and on XSI Base so I would do a search on the topic for futher info.

hope this helps a bit


Actually as far as I know XSI ( not s3d) was born on a windows architecture, as the project was started back when microsoft owned softimage. Hence the name which I think stems from the .x format that is used for directx ( dotxsi = x for softimage) or something like that.


Hey guys, I just downloaded the foundation demo for linux, and I’m mighty surprised because I had heard that XSI linux was built on a win32 layer, turns out its true, like having a chocolate milkshake with strawberry flavouring, I cant really see the point, less work for softimage for a sub-standard linux port, they’ll have to work harder to get my $495:shrug:

Bitterly disappointed



I used XSI on linux for a period of time at work, and I was also quite disapointed. It responded much slower, specially when using the region, it just took ages to cancel it once it was rendering. Also the GUI was not as fast and smooth as on windows. On the up-side, rendering was more stable and I found that I could render more complex scenes without problems. The other thing i find about linux is that you dont get the same nice fast workflow as in windows, drag&drop doesnt work in most cases, a lot of stuff needs to be done in a commandline (nice sometimes but no matter what you linux geeks has to say about that, it really IS slower in many cases.) Also I find that you simply cant find the same applications on linux, besides the issue with all the Adobe apps, I have yet to see a clone of Acdsee that works as nice and smooth on linux as it does on windows.


I too have used XSI on Linux for a short period of time. I second most of has been said in this thread.

The speed thing though is a tricky one. Some will say it renders faster, others will say it renders slower. In my experience, regions and short sequences were slower. However, a good friend of mine who’s been working on XSI linux since it was introduced said that it will render faster on long sequences, simply because of the far superior ressource management, where Windows memory gets fragmented and such.

I too find the feel of the software a little bit awkward, but bear in mind it’s the same for Maya. I believe this is because XSI linux is not native to linux (but possible through MainWin). This is in fact a big pottering about. Although you can do production with it, this is still a more attractive solution for renderfarms than for workstations.

What I don’t agree with is the command line comments. People perfectly accustomed to command line browsing are generally more productive than others. Other than that, every thing you need in production is available, there is an ACDSee equivalent on Linux (wich I don’t remember the name but if this is thread is still alive in one week I’ll post it), if you can use imf_disp with command line, shake runs on Linux, Thunderbird and Firefox are perfect for Linux, you can run Photoshop and After Effects through CrossOffice or a virtual machine.

Now the thing that aggravates me is shaders. People SHOULD always use the Shader Wizard to create custom shaders, even if it creates spdl errors and a MS Visual Studio project. There is just no excuse, this is an unacceptable lack of far-sighting to not do so. The reason is that the SW creates the gnu files for linux compiling! So if you create a shader for Windows and release the .gnu file, it means you any linux user can take the sources and compile it for linux. Of course one can create gnu file by himself, but it is a lot more work and having the gnu doesn’t requires as much understanding of programming as writing it does.

Anyway, just my two cents.


is the linux version the same price as the win version?

can linux users take advantage of the production dvds offer now?

do any of you use gentoo linux distro as it would help you optimise the build…then probably be ready for xsi depending on what optimisation you can do for xsi installation or configuration wise?


The Linux and Windows version are the same package, so yes, and yes. I think XSI comes in a binary format - so no compiling there…




You’re damn right it comes in binary form, wouldnt want softimage to give out the sourcecode just like that :slight_smile:

Atyss, I know there are clones for almost everything, but they never seem to be as slick and smooth as on windows, xnview is an acdsee clone that runs on linux, I used it for months, but its never as nice as acdsee, thats my point…

In general GUI stuff seems a bit slower on linux, maybe because the x11 server runns on top of the actual OS unlike in windows?


Hey Wurp!

Nice to see you around! As you have atested Linux is not for the faint of heart, it does take some used to especially when coming from Windows. I was going to mention xnview as you already know about another is http://www.klografx.net/qiv/index2.html but like you said not an exact replica of ACDSee.

Windows managers like Enlightment, Blakbox, & Window Maker as well as a good OpenGl card card willl help out with the interactivity. Nvidia would be the way to go on nix.

I have not expierience the issues you were having Nix but do agree that it should be native and that drag and drop should work as in windows.

Hopefully we will see that happen in the future until then Crossover ,Wine and Vmware are what I use to run my win apps.


Ok, I have to comment on this thread. There is some FUD involved here that is not justified.

I cannot agree at all (on everything except drag&drop).
If you have for example used the Konqueror file manager in KDE which supports multiple tabs, mouse gesture navigation, embedded syntax highlighting for source code & much more, you will never even think about going back to Windows Explorer, even Windows Commander.
Second, the command line is NOT slow, it just depends on what you want to do. If you want to encode a video and have to finetune a lot of settings, please, use an application with a graphical interface. But as an example, tell me a fast way of combining the content of several hundred text files into one file using a tool that comes with Windows. You’ll be much slower there, possibly doing it by hand. Thing like these are where the real power of command line tools lies.

I would not recommend any other Linux distribution than SuSE if you are new to Linux. RedHat seems to be targeted at corporate users, and they have also created some issues by using compilation tricks in the kernel, which upsets a lot of applications (and users :wink: ), so that would IMO not be your best choice either.
And of course, you only have to compile applications which come as source code. XSI and other commercial programs are extremely unlikely to be shipped with or as source code.

Not having GUI and OS separate is a bad design decision. Ask any OS professor at a serious university and they’ll probably go even further by saying that even hardware drivers should not be part of the core OS.
Personally, I don’t miss any ‘snappyness’ in windowing behavior, even under KDE. If you want faster feedback you should try some of the more minimalistic window managers (don’t have any names at hand, sorry).
It might also get better once the new X.org server fully supports hardware accelerated rendering.


Totally agree with you on the Suse Distro. The drag and drop issue is not with the windows manger itself but with XSI, you can not drag and drop items outside of the XSI UI into it.

You can also run XSI without any windows Mgr, just choose failsafe mode at your login screen and run xsi from the shell.


I’ve found linux to very responsive when you use Window Maker as the X11 manager ( http://www.windowmaker.org/ ). Any Linux distro might be a bit daunting when you first set it up, but in the end you’ll have a more stable and memory efficant machine.
No one mentioned Mandrake here, I can strongly recommend their 10.1 release.

stefan andersson


I’m getting a new workstation soon, on which I’m going to be running XSI. I was also wondering which is best, and the kind of snappiness problems can get really annoying, I’ve seen this with Maya on Mac OS X too, where the marking menus had a delay before poping out. I will be trying XSI on the Slackware distribution which is my favorit and in my opinion the least prone to problems.


If you like the slackware approach I would suggest you take a closer look at Gentoo instead. Mainly due to the huge support from the developers (not Softimage in this case though). Slackware has been… well… “slacking off” a bit since it’s controlled mainly by one person. But Gentoo has the same approach (updatinginstalling is “BSD style”).

Me… I’m way to lazy to bother with distributions like that. And my best recommendation if you are lazy as me is to use Mandrake 10.1, or Suse 9.1.
Unfortantly Fedora has had a few issues along their road to success. They keep changing the kernel stack which causes a lot of problems for many drivers. Also, I wasn’t able to install WindowMaker. And it took me almost a day to get Mplayer to work… so from now on I will stay away from Redhat Fedora.

Another option would be to use Redhat 9 and patch it up with the new kernel and libraries. This would also work, but in my opinion waaaaay to much work :wink:

Just my few cents in the hole “which Linux Distro to use” issue.

best regards
stefan andersson


Yes mandrake 10.1 is great, very easy to use and so far in my opinion the fastest install ( fedora the slowest and burliest) Also I like the fact that it is graphical through and through way cool. Suse is nice too, a little to green for me ( whoa, had flashbacks to ROTK) but it works very well and configuration with yast isn’t half bad.


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.