Installing Pixar RenderMan for Maya on Debian based Linux

I found out from a friend at work that Pixar RenderMan engine is now free for non-commercial use. I was so exited that when work was over I raced home to install it! but there was a problem… RenderMan for Linux only comes in Red Hat flavour which means it will not install natively on Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Not that something like that has ever slowed me down before! But just in case I forget how I did it I decided to write it down here.


Step 1: Go to this URL and sign up to the RenderMan forums to download the installer


Step 2: Convert the .rpm installer file into a .deb with alien

cd ~/Downloads

sudo alien -v *.rpm

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

This doesn’t install RenderMan, it just installs a program to download and install RenderMan.


Step 3: Install Renderman

cd /opt/pixar/RenderManNC-Installer/bin

sudo ./RenderManNC-Installer

Screenshot from 2015-05-11 190506_zpsdpm2zuo1

You’ll get a wizzard style installer, just follow the prompts to install the software.

This will fail to install the software because the packages it downloads are for Red Hat. But the good news is it leave behinds the .rpm files to be converted by alien


Step 4: Install RenderMan! for real this time

The installer was kind enough to put the .rpm files into my ~/Downloads folder.

sudo alien -v *.rpm

sudo dpkg -i *.deb


Step 5: With the install all done one last thing remains, getting Maya to use RenderMan

cd /usr/autodesk/maya2015-x64/modules

gksudo gedit RenderMan_for_Maya.mod

add the followin line:

+ RenderMan_for_Maya <RMS version> /opt/pixar/RenderManStudio-<RMS version>-maya<Maya version>

open maya

go to the pluging manager

Window → settings/preferences → plug-in manager

tick the loaded tick box to enable renderman

Screenshot from 2015-05-11 210547_zpszynthlxc

Now that the install is all done and RenderMan is loaded into Maya its time to have some rendering fun!