I want to begin creating projects in version 2.8; however, I still have a couple created in 2.79b that still need to be wrapped up + rendered. I currently have version 2.79b on a server from which I use PuTTY to launch compute nodes on a Linux platform using a command prompt similar to the one outlined below:

Command Prompt Example

blender -b -y name_of_shot.blend -x OUT -o ../rendered_images/name_of_shot/name_of_images -a

You can view a list of Blender command line arguments here.

I realized that downloading 2.8 would override the blender prompts to automatically open the shot in version 2.8. I was wondering if there was a way to specify which version of Blender was launched when opening the file and rendering?


1 Answer 1


Blender doesn't need to be installed, so even if you have one version installed on your system, you can have other versions that sit in your filesystem and can be run without further operations. Apart from convenient launcher icons and multi-user availability, there is no advantage in "installing" Blender.

To get Blender 2.81a: on the compute machine:

# go to your home directory (or a convenient other place)
cd ~

# make a directory to store blender distributions, and enter it
mkdir blender-versions
cd blender-versions

# get the latest version of blender and extract the archive
wget https://download.blender.org/release/Blender2.81/blender-2.81a-linux-glibc217-x86_64.tar.bz2
tar -xvjf blender-2.81a-linux-glibc217-x86_64.tar.bz2

Now, from any directory, instead of just blender you can run:

~/blender-versions/blender-2.81a-linux-glibc217-x86_64/blender -b <YOURFILE> <OPTIONS>

If that seems too long, you can create an alias. Assuming your Linux machine uses bash, edit the file ~/.bashrc and add the line:

alias blender281='~/blender-versions/blender-2.81a-linux-glibc217-x86_64/blender'

After you restart your terminal, you'll be able to just use

blender281 -b <YOURFILE> <OPTIONS>

to run Blender 2.81a.

You can repeat the same operations with other distributions. Find a list of download links here: https://download.blender.org/release/

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you so much Nicola, I appreciate your thorough response! This will be extremely helpful for my work. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2020 at 13:26

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