# What are the pros and cons of using Blender on Windows or Linux?

Is Blender more stable on some Linux distributions, or just on Linux at all? I am contemplating dual-booting my computer and partition some of my HDD for Linux to use blender there. Would there be any noticeable differences? Would render times decrease?

• In general, whenever these kind of questions come up about OSes, if you can't think right away of a good reason to use one or the other, a) it probably doesn't matter and b) choosing whatever OS you are most familiar with is a good tie breaker. – parker.sikand Jun 27 '16 at 7:26
• If you have a windows PC, it's definitely worth throwing linux on a bootable stick and test it that way. – Haunt_House Feb 28 '18 at 1:08
• Biggest hiccup for me between the two (Win and Linux) is the way a windows computer will keep you from working while it is installing updates. Linux Mint seems to always let me keep working while it downloads and installs updates for the most part, and asks to restart if it is necessary. Latest Win10 machine at work has been out of bounds for work once it decides to update. Blender itself is not much different save for the mentioned differences in hardware and machine specs. – Craig D Jones Feb 28 '18 at 2:07

My two cents...

# Blender works wonderfully in any of the supported platforms.

That presumes that the specific host computer and operating system it is configured correctly. In other words, a computer with the right components and the correct drivers for the specific hardware will work fine with blender, regardless of the choice of Operating System.

Most of the incompatibilities come from using certain Linux distributions and brands of hardware and the drivers for it.

In Linux some of the proprietary drivers for GPUs are a bit more complex to install. The open source drivers sometimes prevent the use of some features, as in the case of NVidia. I believe there are issues with open source drivers for AMD as well. Maybe someone who actually uses such hardware can chime in...

Not all Linux distributions were created equal.

In Fedora Linux, CentOS, or variants of RedHat (among other distributions) there have been some issues with video codecs not being available or hard to install. Some distributions try to avoid legal issues and will not include some features and libraries in their official repositories, so the user has to do a bit more effort to enable those formats.

Depending on the desktop environment in Linux, there might be some conflicts with the shortcuts that blender uses. In that case is a good idea to reconfigure shortcuts for the OS and being able to use blender with its native shortcuts.

Yes, windows is plagued with annoyances, but so is Linux. It is easier to find support for new hardware in windows, as is more widely used and is the manufacturer's main market. Linux does require the user to be more informed to troubleshoot issues, it might not be as "plug and play" as a commercial OS.

In my opinion (I use both systems side by side all the time) the supposed advantage of Linux over Windows in terms of speed and stability is largely over-hyped, more of and old myth, and not so real anymore. At least in the case of modern systems I have not seen much of a difference in the usability and rendering times for blender...

But instead of relying on hearsay, you might want to try both and decide what works for you...

• As we have seen in another answer, Blender does not perform equally on all systems, factually, it is 30 to 40% slower when using Windows 10 compared to Linux. Your headline "works wonderfully" does in my opinion not really describe it accurately. The question for me is: Does this performance degradation also describe Windows 7? – nigratruo Mar 3 '18 at 1:44

It is commonly said that performance is generally faster under Linux based operating systems, both during regular program operation and rendering.

Linux is also commonly said to consume less resources than other operating systems, leaving more available memory and processing power available for applications to use.

According to this recent article's benchmarks, Cycles GPU rendering is generally considerably faster under Linux than Windows for the same hardware configurations.

Edit : Have in mind that your mileage may vary and not all hardware/software combinations behave the same under each operating system or for all types of tasks. Dual booting may still be a better solution, also considering the diversity and availability of software for each platform.

• Ah ok. I see. Thanks for the confirmation! You gave me an idea to boot to Linux instead of windows then when I want to render something complex like an animation or just to take at least (hopefully) hours less than if I was rendering it on windows. – WhovianBron3 Jun 19 '16 at 0:05
• Dual booting may be a good option, also have in mind that not all hardware combinations may preform the same under all operating systems. Updated answer above. – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jun 19 '16 at 1:50
• As a constant user of both systems (dual boot on the same machine) I have yet to see the supposed rendering advantage of Linux in the real world... maybe a few seconds in a 10 minute render... but nothing dramatic... – cegaton Jun 26 '16 at 22:41
• Yes, I've always wondered if they are really true or worth the hassle. I am mainly a Windows user and never really used Linux much beyond a live installation once. But I must admit I really like the idea and have always had the curiosity of trying Linux as my main OS. – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jun 26 '16 at 22:55

If you are using CUDA rendering, Linux is faster by 20-40% due to the overhead of WDDM in Windows 8/10. This is regardless of if there is a display plugged into the GPU or not.

To work around the issue on Windows, you have to set your Nvidia Card to Tesla Compute Mode(TCC), which is only supported on Titan and Quadro class cards.

• Do you have any idea if this also concerns Windows 7? Is that a way to avoid the WDDM overhead that creates the slowdown. – nigratruo Mar 3 '18 at 1:29
• There is no way to disable WDDM in Win8/10. TCC mode is the only way. – Mike Pan Mar 3 '18 at 4:40
• Also, a GPU in TCC mode cannot be used for display, therefore if you want to run that GPU in TCC mode you will need another GPU for display. – Vitaly Sep 23 at 0:33
• This was answered in Feb 18, in Jan 2019 Microsoft said WDDM 2.1 enables new scenarios and provides significant improvements in the areas of performance. I wonder how that benchmark would look today? – Vitaly Sep 23 at 0:51

Linux is faster with NVidia Gforce 1070, in the best performance mode Windows take more than 4 seconds to render the initial cube in 128 samplings and full HD size (Cycles) and in Linux take less than 4 seconds, 3,63.

So I'm using Linux without a doubt, Linux Mint and last kernel.

• For future reference, I would recommend not using the standard cube, it is too simple and not using pretty much any features of the render engine. Use the great BMW benchmark from Mike Pan that also has a database with results from other hardware and OS. – nigratruo Mar 3 '18 at 1:30