Rendering – Windows vs. Linux

I was having an interesting discussion the other day on if it was cheaper to use Linux render nodes over Windows for V-Ray on Maya. Which got me wondering what is the performance difference between them? There was only one way to find out! So I set up 2 identical machines, or better yet virtual machines, assigned them both 12 CPU cores, tossed Windows on one and Linux on the other and had them race.

And below are the results. I was surprised to see that Linux is not just a little bit  faster, but had totally blown the doors off Windows.

V-Ray on CentOS Linux got a time of 4:43

V-Ray on Windows 7 got a time of 7:18

 

This is a CPU only test and I’d be interested to see if the results are the same with GPU. I’m also curious to know what the difference between Windows 7 vs. 10. Maybe one day when I get some free time I’ll run a few more tests.

I’d also be curious what the results are in Cinebench, but I guess I’ll have to wait for Maxon to bring out a Linux version, even though C4D has a Linux render.

Installing Maya 2015 on a Debian based Linux

Installing Autodesk Maya 2015 onto my Debian/Ubuntu/Frankenstein Linux was much more challenging then I initially anticipated. so I thought I would post a quick work instruction for anyone trying to do the same thing.

Note that this assumes that you have some basic knowledge of terminal in Linux and you already have a copy of Maya extracted and ready to install.

First of all Maya needs to be installed onto a 64bit Linux to work. To check if your Linux is 64bit open up a terminal and type:

uname -m

If it comes back with x86_64 then your good to go. If not you can always download and install a 64bit version of your distro.

Step 1: We need to install a whole bunch of programs first that Maya needs to be able to run.

 

sudo apt-get install -y alien
sudo apt-get install -y csh tcsh libaudiofile-dev libglw1-mesa elfutils
sudo apt-get install -y gamin libglw1-mesa-dev mesa-utils xfs xfstt
sudo apt-get install -y ttf-liberation xfonts-100dpi xfonts-75dpi
sudo apt-get install -y ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Step 2: Next we need to convert the maya’s installer .rpm files into .deb files.

 

Note: last time I did this I had a problem with the Composite package installing and making a huge mess, its not necessary for Maya to run so its best to delete it

sudo alien -cv *.rpm

 

Step 3: Install the newly converted .deb files

dpkg -i *.deb

 

Step 4: Now that its installed run the installer to licence the application. It will fail to install but it will add your licence to maya.

Now that the installation is complete its time to fix all the bugs.

Bug 1: Copy across the libraries that were missed in the installation.

sudo cp <maya installation directory>/libadlmPIT* /usr/lib/
sudo cp <maya installation directory>/libadlmutil* /usr/lib/

 

Bug 2: Add a temp folder for mental ray to cache stuff to

sudo mkdir /usr/tmp
sudo chmod 777 /usr/tmp

 

Bug 3: Maya is going to complain about not having the correct version of libssl even though it doesnt come with that version, but that can be easily fixed.

sudo ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/support/openssl/libssl.so.6 /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/lib/libssl.so.10
sudo ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/support/openssl/libcrypto.so.6 /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/lib/libcrypto.so.10

 

Bug 4: Maya cannot find the systems tiff or jpg librarys because Red Hat puts them in a different place to Debian.

sudo apt-get install libjpeg62:i386
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so.8.0.2 /usr/lib/libjpeg.so.62
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libtiff.so.5 /usr/lib/libtiff.so.3

creating a sym link to the files works well in 2014 but I find that it doesn’t always work for 2015. So instead we need to modify the maya file in Maya’s bin directory.

sudo vim /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/bin/maya

search for the line:
setenv LIBQUICKTIME_PLUGIN_DIR “$MAYA_LOCATION/lib”

Directly under that line add the following:
# I added the next line to fix a jpg problem
setenv LD_PRELOAD /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so.62

Bug 5: When trying to generate 3d text in maya it wont work because all the fonts on the debian system are the wrong type. To convert them we need to use t1ascii to convert them to the correct type one by one…. but I’m lazy so I just wrote a script to do it for me.

 

for x in `find /usr/share/fonts -name *.pfb`
do
y=$(sed s/.[^.]*$// <<< $x)
t1ascii $x $y.pfa
done
xset +fp /usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/
xset +fp /usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/
xset fp rehash

 

 

A few other notes:
Most of the commands need to be run as root.
If your not comfortable with command line text editors your can always launch gedit from the command line by typing ‘gksudo gedit’ which will launch a graphic text editor.
I wrote this little article at some ridiculous hour in the morning so it may have some mistakes.

If you are stuck and want to ask a question or if you have any suggestions feel free to comment 🙂