Stereo Rendering with Maya on Linux (OpenGL)

Many folks out there get’s a message like: Warning: Unable to get OpenGL visual with a stereo buffer, trying without //.

Yes that is annoying. But, guess what? It is easy to fix. As long as your graphics card supports it, all you have to do is to add these lines to the “Device” section of your Xorg.conf file:

Driver "nvidia"
Option "AllowDFPStereo" "true"
Option "Stereo" "3"

Also, you can’t work with two hats on at the same time, so in order for this to work, you HAVE to disable the composite extension.
Many people don’t know that Xorg has changed a lot lately, so now you must rather exclude functionality you don’t want, as opposed to before, when every module had to be loaded in the “Module” sections. All you need to load is:

Section "Module"
Load "glx"

All the other extensions will be autoprobed by Xorg and the defined driver in the “Device” section.
This brings us to the point. You must disable unwanted extensions, or they will get loaded by default. If you don’t take my word for it, check your Xorg log file.
This includes basic loading of fonts as well.

So, in the “Extensions” section of xorg.conf, MAKE SURE to have:

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "false"

If it does not exist, write it.

Now you should see that the driver includes support for stereo buffer rendering, and no more error messages while rendering in Maya.
My Nvidia Controlpanel now looks like this: (after restarting the X server, or rebooting) Also, to be on the safe side, delete the .nvidia-settings-rc file in your home directory with:

rm .nvidia-settings-rc

Notice the stere column in the nvidia controlpanel:

Nvidia with stereo support

Nvidia with stereo support


Use realtime Linux kernels for multimedia/OpenGL applications

The default kernel installed in most distributions of GNU/Linux is more optimized for server tasks than userspace application that demand realtime feedback from kernel instructions.

Especially when using 64 bit applications for Multimedia/3D work, including simple tasks such as playing streams of data from services like Spotify, YouTube etc, you can benefit greatly if you throw out the default kernel in favor of a kernel optimized for fast redraws in memory allocated to applications that demands functions such as streaming multimedia with pre-compiled static kernel libraries. realtime gives Insanely better performance even in simple tasks such as music playback, not to mention communication on the bus between soundcards and the instructions, decompiled through their respective partners.

If you work with 3D apps such as Maya, and compositing in applications like Nuke, try a side by side comparison after switching to a RT kernel…

You will be amazed.


Definition of the word Maya ;-)

Maya Ma”ya (m[aum]”y[aum]), n.
1. (Hindu Philos.) The name (in Vedantic philosphy) for the
doctrine of the unreality of matter, called, in English,
idealism; hence, nothingness; vanity; illusion.
[1913 Webster]

Installing Maya 2009 / 2010 64-bit on Linux

This stuff works. Do it right, and please, don’t post questions as comments. See the comments that says something like “Works Perfectly”. Then give it another go.


Here is a rundown to installing Maya 2009 or 2010 on Linux. This is for Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04, but other distro’s should not differ much.

If you have access to the openmotif as a package or want to install from source, it’s a good idea to do this, as I feel it gives a nicer UI.

Anyway, here is the drill:

Maya Ubuntu install:

Many folks out there has had some issues regarding installing Maya on Ubuntu Linux
This guide is used on Ubuntu 8.10 x86_64 (also tried successfully on 9.04) for installing Maya 2009 and 2010 (also in x86_64)

First of all, Maya uses some libraries, that you must install before installing the program itself.
The Motif GUI Maya uses is an old GUI type, dating many years back.
The static libraries are installed by default and can be linked directly from /usr/autodesk/_maya_version/libs to /usr/lib64 and /usr/lib in your installation (by sudo cp, or similar). This is the[version] file.

If you don’t want to compile and install openmotif from source, install the runtime files from Multiverse, called libmotif3.

Also Maya uses FAM for keeping track on file changes, so you need to install FAM or GAMIN (newer alternative with same/better functionality in Maya) install both the runtime and development libraries of gamin found in the core repository, called gamin, and libgamin-dev.

Maya will try to write files to /usr/tmp, so make sure to create the directory and give it write permissions:
sudo mkdir /usr/tmp
sudo chmod a+rwx /usr/tmp/

Now, you need to convert the .rpm packages to .deb.
The installer scripts in Maya requires csh, so you need to install that and the alien package.

If you have the install files on a DVD, copy the Linux-64 directory to a place you have write access, like ~/MayaInstall (create that directory)
cp -R /media/Maya2009/Maya/Linux-64 ~/MayaInstall

I like to give access to the files in this directory and change the ownership:

sudo chown -R _username_ ~/MayaInstall/
sudo chmod -R +rwx ~/MayaInstall/

sudo apt-get install csh alien
OR sudo aptitude install csh alien

This will install the csh shell, that Maya depends on when using Alien for conversion.

cd to the directory where you copied the .install files to (the .rpms) from the install media.

Type the following in a single line, include the “done” ( PRECISELY AS WRITTEN HERE, DO A COPY / PASTE ):

for i in *.rpm; do sudo alien -cv $i; done

(the command will take a while to complete!)

Now install the .deb packages with dpkg:

sudo dpkg -i maya2009-0-64_2009.0-102_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i maya2009-0-64-docs-en-us_2009.0-64_amd64.deb

The licensing application will include itself in the maya package and pop up after running Maya for the first time.

Start the program from a shell, to verify any errors, just open a terminal and type maya.
The license installer will launch and guide you through the licensing process.

My output looks like this:
Starting license manager:

cody@zenmachine:~$ maya
cody@zenmachine:~$ @@@@@@@@ opening log

(enter to get the prompt back, now try executing maya again)

cody@zenmachine:~$ maya
mental ray for Maya 10.0
mental ray: version, Jul 30 2008, revision 26576

So, everything works fine. Read on for additional tips’N’tricks:

Gnome modifications:

For Maya to work properly with Gnome, some modifications should
be made to the mouse control. The default bindings of the Alt key and mouse
buttons do not work well with Maya. Turn off the
Alt+mouse buttons. Since Maya uses the Alt+mouse buttons for scene view
tumbling, you need to ensure the bindings don’t conflict.
Different versions of Gnome may have different methods of selecting
the key bindings. See the Gnome documentation for instructions if
the following steps don’t work for your particular window manager.

Select Applications, then Preferences and then select Windows.
In the Window Preferences dialog box, set the “To move a window…”
key to Super.

Modifications and problem solving:

XCursor problem (pointer is a cross)
add the line:
in the /home/[your name]/maya/2009-x64/Maya.env file

Fonts, font sizes, and colors can be configured using the MayaScheme file.
This file lets you specify X Resources that Maya uses for configurable text. The default file is found in:


Edit this file as root (sudo) and change to the preffered fonts and colors.
(make a copy of the original file first, if things turn out messy).

Example of my modified MayaScheme file:
————————————————————————————–MAYA BG COLOR AND FONT PROPERTIES:
sudo gedit /usr/autodesk/maya2009-x64/app-defaults/MayaScheme

*extraLargeBoldLabelFont:    -*-helvetica-bold-r-normal-*-15-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*largeBoldLabelFont:         -*-helvetica-bold-r-normal-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*boldLabelFont:              -*-helvetica-bold-r-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*smallBoldLabelFont:         -*-helvetica-bold-r-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*tinyBoldLabelFont:          -*-helvetica-bold-r-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*plainLabelFont:             -*-helvetica-medium-r-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*smallPlainLabelFont:        -*-helvetica-medium-r-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*obliqueLabelFont:           -*-helvetica-bold-o-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*smallObliqueLabelFont:      -*-helvetica-bold-o-normal-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*fixedWidthFont:             -*-fixed-medium-r-normal–11-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1
*smallFixedWidthFont:        -*-clean-medium-r-normal–10-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
*basicBackground:            #d9d9d9
Maya*Background:             #d9d9d9
*textForeground:             #000000
*textFieldBackground:        #eeeeee
*readOnlyBackground:         #bdbdbd
*buttonBackground:           #bdbdbd
*scrollBarTroughColor:       #bdbdbd
*scrollBarControlBackground: #bdbdbd
*indicatorBackground:        #cbcbcb
*radioColor:                 #0000ff
*checkColor:                 #ff0000
*blueSelectBackgroundColor1: #3884c4
*blueSelectBackgroundColor2: #81a7c1
*drawingAreaBackground:      #90abb1
*drawingAreaContrastColor1:  #b86b6b
*drawingAreaContrastColor2:  #7894bf
*drawingAreaContrastColor3:  #7ba988
*drawingAreaContrastColor4:  #ab7ec8
*scrolledListBackground:     #bdbdbd
*textBackground:             #b5b5b5
*highlightColor1:            #ff0000
*highlightColor2:    #0000ff
*highlightColor3:    #00ff00
*highlightColor4:    #a01ef0
*highlightColor5:    #ffa500
*highlightColor6:    #00ffff
*highlightColor7:    #ff00ff
*HighlightColor8:    #ffff00
*wMBackground:    #aaaaaa
*wMForeground:    #000000
*wMActiveBackground:    #c6c1aa
*wMActiveForeground:    #000000
*textSelectedBackground:    #e6e6e6
*textSelectedForeground:    #000000
*indicatorLightColor:    #ffff00
*selectFillColor:    #ffff00
*redColor:    #ff0000
*orangeColor:    #ff7e00
*yellowColor:    #ffff00
*greenColor:    #4fe44f
*blueColor:    #0000ff
*brownColor:    #743f3f
*purpleColor:    #ae00ff
*errorColor:    #ff0000
*warningColor:    #0000ff
*informationColor:    #00ff00
*alternateBackground1:    #c1adad
*alternateBackground2:    #a7b7a7
*alternateBackground3:    #bbbbcd
*alternateBackground4:    #9fbfbf
*alternateBackground5:    #87aaca
*alternateBackground6:    #d1d1c9
*disabledTextForeground:    #aaaaaa
*layerAdjustmentTextForeground:    #e56929
*lightRadioFillColor:    #9e9edc
*disabledCheckColor:    #dc9e9e

Maya plug-ins and standalone apps:

To compile plug-ins and standalone applications for Maya 2009 on Linux,
use the released gcc 4.1.2 compiler. Maya has been compiled with this compiler
under RHEL 4 WS. As well, some libraries and symbolic links are installed in
the /lib directory under your Maya directory, and should not interfere with
the normal operation of your Linux system.

Getting Java plugin + applets to work on Linux 64 bit

Many folks out there are having a hard time getting their 64 bit Firefox browsers to run Sun Java plugin to do home banking via secure applets etc.

So, here comes a recipe that works (for me anyhow).

I use Ubuntu 8.10, but the procedure should not differ much on other distributions.

download the early access java jar file from sun from here:

By the time of writing the direct url is this:

Make sure to download the 64 bit .jar for Linux!

Uninstall any Java versions you might have laying around, like openJDK, IcedTea plugin, GCJ etc..

Install a 64 bit version of the Sun JRE from standard repositories, to run the .jar file correctly, and execute the following command from the location of the .jar file:

sudo java -jar [path_to_jarfile you downloaded]

choose to install in /usr/lib/jvm/ from the GUI installer that pops up.
This gives you a new directory below /usr/lib/jvm, in this case /usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_14/
now make all files in the new directory executable (as mentioned on Sun’s site):
sudo chmod +x /usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_14/lib/amd64/*

then link the needed file to the right directory with the following command:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_14/lib/amd64/ /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/

This is intended for 64-bit Firefox, using the new plugin format from Sun.

Make sure to use complete file paths when creating symbolic links, or you will get a cyclical link referring back to itself, in other words, it wont work. (too many levels of symbolic links error)

Restart your browser and check with about:plugins in the url field, that the plugin is in fact installed! 😉

In Ubuntu the Java executable is referenced from /etc/alternatives/java, so we need to update the link to the new version:

sudo rm /etc/alternatives/java

Than we need to symlink the binary from the new installment:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jre1.6.0_14/bin/java /etc/alternatives/java

You can now check that the new version of Java is in use by the system by issuing:
java -version
From a terminal. This should now be:
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_14-ea-b03)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 14.0-b12, mixed mode)

That should be it!
Happy Java browsing.