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Autodesk Maya 8.5 is a powerful 3D modeling suite for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. The latest version in portage is 6.5, and Maya 8.5 is distributed as an rpm package. As such, special steps must be taken to successfully install it in Gentoo Linux. These instructions should work in any Linux distribution, including Ubuntu. Maya for AMD64 Linux should install similarly. Please update this note if you try it.


Maya for AMD64 should install fine, I also made an extra symlink for /usr/autodesk/maya8.5-x64 to /usr/autodesk/maya8.5 to be sure. besides that Maya x64 works.

Getting Started

Maya 8.5 requires the csh shell. csh has been removed from portage, but an enhanced version, tcsh is available and seems to work.


emerge -av tcsh

Maya 8.5 also requires fam (or possibly gamin) library:

emerge -av fam
### OR ###
emerge -av gamin

After that, you will want to get rpm2targz:

emerge -av rpm2targz

Mount your Autodesk Maya 8.5 DVD and create a directory such as /root/maya/. Copy the files AWCommon-10.80-13.i686.rpm, Maya-8.5-111.i686.rpm, and Maya-docs_en_US-8.5-119.i686.rpm from the Maya/linux/ directory of the DVD to the directory you created previously. Then change to that directory and convert them to .tar.gz files with the following commands:

cd /root/maya/
rpm2targz AWCommon-10.80-13.i686.rpm
rpm2targz Maya-8.5-111.i686.rpm
rpm2targz Maya-docs_en_US-8.5-119.i686.rpm

For AMD64 use the files AWCommon-10.80-15.x86_64.rpm, Maya64-8.5-159.x86_64.rpm and Maya64-docs_en_US-8.5-123.x86_64.rpm from the Maya/linux-amd64/*(correct me if i'm wrong) directory of the DVD to the directory you created previously. Then change to that directory and convert them to .tar.gz files with the following commands:

cd /root/maya/
rpm2targz AWCommon-10.80-15.x86_64.rpm
rpm2targz Maya64-8.5-159.x86_64.rpm
rpm2targz Maya64-docs_en_US-8.5-123.x86_64.rpm

If you have Service Pack 1 file, myr_maya8.5sp1a_linux32.tgz, untar it and find Maya8_5-8.5-144.i686.rpm, then turn it into a .tar.gz file as well:

rpm2targz Maya8_5-8.5-144.i686.rpm

You may now delete the .rpm files. They are no longer needed.

rm *.rpm
Note: You will also need the aw.dat license file. It is probably possible to install Maya 8.5 without the aw.dat file and let the license wizard run and activate your copy of Maya. I activated my Maya license in SuSE Linux, which is officially supported, then installed Gentoo and used the same license file. I cannot test activation of the license in Gentoo, but there is no reason to believe it won't work. If someone tests it and it works, please modify this page.
Note: You will need a powerful graphics card to run Maya 8.5, and you will need to have 3D acceleration enabled. This HOWTO was tested on an nvidia Quadro FX 500, an nvidia Quadro FX 3000, an nvidia GeForce FX 5500, and an nvidia GeForce 7600 GT. Your mileage may vary.
Note: Maya 8.5 Runs Fine on the HP NW8440 Business Workstation with activation. This Laptop has a Mobility FireGL V5200 card. Full Acceleration is supported via the 8.40.4 Drivers (even though its seen as a Radeon x1600 it loads the FireGL functionality) Just an extra Update Jan 27th 2008.


To install Autodesk Maya 8.5, change to /root/maya/ and issue the following commands:

tar xzvf AWCommon-10.80-13.i686.tar.gz -C /
tar xzvf Maya-8.5-111.i686.tar.gz -C /
tar xzvf Maya-docs_en_US-8.5-119.i686.tar.gz -C /
mkdir /var/flexlm

If you have it, this is the time to install Service Pack 1:

tar zxvf Maya8_5-8.5-144.i686.tar.gz -C /

The above extracts the program files into the proper location in the filesystem. It also creates a directory for your aw.dat license file. Copy aw.dat to /var/flexlm/:

cp aw.dat /var/flexlm/

Create four symlinks in /usr/local/bin/:

cd /usr/local/bin/
ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/bin/fcheck fcheck
ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/bin/Maya8.5 maya
ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/bin/imgcvt imgcvt
ln -s /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/bin/Render Render

Now create symlinks to Maya:

cd /usr/autodesk/
ln -s maya8.5 maya
cd maya8.5/bin/
ln -s Maya8.5 maya

And finally, some symlinks that allow your desktop environment to include maya in its menus:

ln -sf /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/desktop/Autodesk-Maya.desktop /usr/share/applications/Autodesk-Maya.desktop
ln -sf /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/desktop/ /usr/share/desktop-directories/
ln -sf /usr/autodesk/maya8.5/desktop/Maya.png /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/Maya.png

Maya should now run by issuing the maya command from the command line. It may also appear in your program menu, depending on what desktop environment you use.

Tips & tricks

If your 3D viewport is getting corrupted(or just blank) when you open menus, or switch to other windows make sure you have composite disabled in your xorg.conf.

Section “Extensions” 
   Option “Composite” “Disable” 
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Last modified: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 14:58:00 +0000 Hits: 13,748