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Module Manager in 4.5

May 27, 2014 in Tech by

One feature that rolled out with Unity 4.5 is the module manager. The module manager is a new system for us to be able to deploy updates to specific parts of Unity without making a complete Unity release.

How does it work?

Let’s say that Google releases an amazing new phone, but it requires a small change to Unity’s Android support in order for Unity to properly support it. With the previous release model, we need to gather changes for a bugfix release, perform a full automated and manual quality assurance pass over Unity and all platforms, potentially publish some release candidates, and then publish a new version of Unity, installer packages larger than 1 GB each, for everyone to install and upgrade their projects.

With the module manager system, we can quickly make a single change, test only the Android support module for regressions, and publish a new 15MB Android support module for download on demand.

What parts of Unity will be supported?

In Unity 4.5, we’re beginning by supporting updates to Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone 8 as modules.

How will we receive updates?

We’re still fine-tuning the module manager system, so there aren’t any automatic update notifications yet in Unity 4.5. When we publish a module update, we’ll announce it via our usual communication methods: forums, social media, potentially a blog post. At that point, the module manager window will show an available update for the module in question. Click the “Download” button, restart Unity once the download finishes, and kapow! — your updated module is installed and loaded in Unity.

Module manager: avalable vs. installed

What’s coming in the future?

In upcoming versions of Unity, we’ll continue developing and extending the module manager by adding modular update support for more platforms (the goal is to eventually support updating all our platforms this way), as well as support for updating other Unity subsystems, for example the upcoming Unity GUI system. Additionally, we plan to begin stripping these things out of the base Unity installer, in order to provide you with a smaller Unity download and a faster Unity installation, along with the ability to download and install support for the platforms and subsystems you care about. Other planned module manager features include: automatic update notifications, ability to switch between multiple installed module versions, support for pausing/resuming/restarting module downloads, and more.

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Comments (28)

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27 May 2014, 1:43 pm

Cool, keep it up.

27 May 2014, 2:13 pm

Very nice addition, looking forward for whats to come

27 May 2014, 2:16 pm

On the move!

27 May 2014, 3:48 pm

I love the quality of your design and the passion and energy you put in your great product Unity! Please keep going. You are inspiring other software products not only in gaming platform. :)

27 May 2014, 4:05 pm

This is a really thoughtful step for Unity, and I’m curious and eager to see how this comes together in Unity 5.

Great work!

27 May 2014, 4:31 pm

Finally! Great to read the upcoming features as well.

27 May 2014, 4:37 pm

Sounds a lot better than the previous post you mentioned it in.
Really nice feature :) Those pesky Xcode updates shall be less of a problem now haha

27 May 2014, 4:43 pm

Just perfect :)

Dmitri K
27 May 2014, 6:59 pm

Great addition and really nice plans for the future!

27 May 2014, 6:59 pm

Great feature! This is the right way to move forward with Unity3D. Similarly, fixing bugs and minor updates to the Editor can be pushed same way.

Keep up the good work, and keep us posted with new updates.

// chall3ng3r //

27 May 2014, 7:08 pm

Great news, getting closer to 5.0

27 May 2014, 7:50 pm

Nice, very effective change, will be very helpful to the folks with low-bandwidth.
You are awesome people doing awesome work!
I am waiting eagerly for the new GUI system. Roll it out fast.

27 May 2014, 11:11 pm

shoud’ve been here two years ago

27 May 2014, 11:37 pm

Please provide functionality for scripting the mass installing of modules or easily allowing us to copy modules between systems. We have 50+ people using Unity and it would be a nightmare to have to physically install each module individually for each person.

28 May 2014, 7:01 am

It’s so great!

28 May 2014, 8:26 am

Please add option to custom install Unity, so that I can only install Unity for selected platforms only..

For eg. if I don’t need anything other than the Desktop and the Web, I can only choose to install those, and the rest will not be installed (unless I relaunch the setup and choose those I need then).

Maybe the “stripping” will do, I can understand where UT is going with that, smaller download but custom setup of Exportable Platforms would be great ..

Thanks for reading ..

Ehsan Ali
28 May 2014, 9:25 am

its really amaizing

Levi Bard
28 May 2014, 10:45 am

Bill: Modules live in subfolders of C:/ProgramData or /Users/myuser/.local/share – mass-installing across machines is as simple as copying these directories.

User13: Once we have “stripped-down” Unity installers, it will be easy to just open the Modules window and install the exporters you want.

George Cook
28 May 2014, 6:08 pm

Great update guys. Good work

28 May 2014, 8:24 pm

Ha! Now this is good. I especially like the fact that I will be able to only install what I need i.e. I have no interest in Apple/iOS exports atm so if the module manager can save me a few hundred megabytes downloading I’ll be a happy camper.

29 May 2014, 9:11 pm

This is why I love Unity. You all are still innovating but at the same time still devoting time to fix 450+ bugs…wow, keep up the awesome work.

30 May 2014, 5:01 am

If it helps to speed up the fixing of bugs, welcome module manager!

30 May 2014, 10:37 am

hi i am rajan nagpal
i use unity 4.5
can i load xbox 360 , xbox one module using module update

30 May 2014, 12:57 pm


1 Jun 2014, 1:47 am

Will I be able to get Android 2.2 support through the Module Manager?

5 Jun 2014, 11:32 am

If it helps to speed up the fixing of bugs, welcome module manager!

24 Jun 2014, 8:33 am

Moar 2D goodies!! \o/
Thank you Unity doods!

11 Jul 2014, 4:37 am

Muito legal

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