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In the first image, I'm using Eevee with an environment texture -- the star field background is clearly visible. But, if I change nothing but the rendering engine (to Cycles), the environment disappears.

This is 2.80 beta (2019-01-07). I get the same result on Windows and Mac, with multiple recent 2.8 beta builds.

Using Eevee, env texture is rendered

Using Cycles, no luck!

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I found my own answer with endless setting-tweaking: in the Render settings, the Film > Transparency checkbox was selected. The tooltip says "World background is transparent, for compositing render over another background."

Serves me right for being a beginner.

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