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When was the first Blender version released? I have been an avid user of blender for a few years but I still have not found out how long it has been around. I not only would like to know when it was released but try to run it. If someone could provide a link that would be great.

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Blender celebrates January 2, 1994 as its birth day, based on the timestamps from the first backup of the codebase. It was first used in production around 1 year later, in Q2 1995.

Refs: tweet from the Blender Foundation and from Ton Roosendal.


During its first years, it wasn't free and open source. It became free thanks to a crowfounding campaign in 2002, when the first version was released to the public.

The complete history is on the History page of the Blender website. There is also an interview made by Blender Guru to Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender, here, that covers some of the history.

Judging by the source repository on the website the first ever open release is probably Blender 2.26, available here. In the releases repository you can find versions as old as Blender 1.0! I doubt you'll be able to use it though, it's just for IRIX.

[Edit Jan 2020] The code from the earliest backup (definitely not in a releasable state) has been made available too: here.


If you can't get old versions to work, there is somebody on Youtube that in 2014 tried to go back in time, reporting on their experiments: Blender 2.40, Blender 2.27, Blender 1.80. Then they said «I probably do not want to continue to Blender 1.60, because in this version, I cannot save files.»

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    $\begingroup$ They still work! Here's proof (those two version because they are ones I had sitting around already). $\endgroup$ – David Dec 13 '18 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ I just realised that probably the first time I used blender (2003) it was around version 2.0x. After one year of poor experiments, I abandoned the hobby and didn't use it again until much later, probably 2.6x $\endgroup$ – Nicola Sap Dec 14 '18 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think if someone has a 32-bit machine they can run Blender 1.60. download.blender.org/release/Blender1.60 $\endgroup$ – ToshibaSatellite Dec 14 '18 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ There is something I have been wondering for a while about blender: How many times did the system requirements change and by how much? $\endgroup$ – ToshibaSatellite Dec 14 '18 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ @ToshibaSatellite this is a list you could compile yourself by looking at the Readme files in that folder. I don't think anybody has done such research. However, the definition of "system requirement" is rather fuzzy: some things may be partially supported on limited hardware. Also, some hardware/software combinations might have just never been officially tested. $\endgroup$ – Nicola Sap Dec 14 '18 at 13:16

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