Unity 4: Linux Publishing Preview: What, How, and Wherefore

July 3, 2012 in Technology

Hi, we’re Na’Tosha and Levi, a couple of the developers responsible for Linux publishing in Unity 4. We’ve seen that you’re happy about Unity 4.0′s Linux publishing preview – so are we!

We worked very hard to include this feature in Unity 4.0, so we’ve made a video explaining why supporting Linux publication is important to us, and how it can benefit Unity game developers.

If you have questions we didn’t address in the video, please feel free to post them below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Na’Tosha & Levi

Comments (83)

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  1. Whitie

    September 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm / 

    I’ve been a Unity Dev for the past 5 years. Noting, not the iPhone addon, the Android addon nothing I have bought for Unity makes me as excited for the future as the new Unity 4 Linux port. I for one cant wait to get elbow deep into this version.

  2. Jamin Collins

    September 21, 2012 at 9:09 am / 

    I find myself feeling very mixed about Linux support being an “export” from development done in either OS X or Windows. I have no desire to run OS X or Windows to do development, and I suspect I’m not alone. This may actually make me rethink using Unity for upcoming projects.

  3. Linux user from Russia

    September 21, 2012 at 8:43 am / 

    Thank you very much for Linux-port!!!
    It would be great to run Unity Editor with help of WINE…

  4. listener

    September 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm / 

    It would be so nice to see the editor running under linux.

  5. Maokei

    September 20, 2012 at 10:44 am / 

    If the web player and the editor got ported to linux to at some point, well simply amazing! Anyways you guys rock!

  6. Na'Tosha Bard

    September 17, 2012 at 2:53 am / 

    @Jorge, We don’t have anything on our roadmap regarding an ARM port of the player, but, the of course future is never certain.

  7. Jorge

    September 5, 2012 at 11:37 am / 

    Will other platforms (ie ARM) be supported in the near future, along with GLES? I’m thinking about tablets/embedded systems that runs linux instead of android. Tks!

  8. Jamie

    August 30, 2012 at 7:52 am / 

    Awesome! This is fantastic. We use Linux here at Blue Sky Studios, and at every other major studio I’ve worked, and the lack of general support from large hardware and software companies is very frustrating. Major offenders include Wacom and Adobe.
    Expanding the user base is crucial to getting better proper support and drivers, and making Linux a viable (and the fastest) gaming platform is one of the best ways to do this.
    So huge thanks to you two, and Unity, for pushing this!

  9. Leandro

    August 29, 2012 at 8:12 am / 

    Thank you , You guys ROCK²!!!!

  10. Aras Pranckevičius

    August 28, 2012 at 4:18 am / 

    @incognito: you’re assuming it’s the GUI part that’s the hardest thing to port. It’s not. 99% of Unity editor UI goes through UnityGUI, which is already very much cross platform.

  11. incognito

    August 26, 2012 at 9:32 am / 

    If I could make a suggestion – would you consider redoing the Unity IDE using a powerful crossplatform toolkit, such as Qt, so that in the future you could easily offer Unity IDE on all the main platforms from largely the same code base? I take it it would significantly make your lives easier and keep the Unitoids of all major platforms happy by not having to switch from Linux to Windows/OSX, or vice versa, or fire up a virtual machine just so they can check if that small change they’ve made works well on the intended system.

    In fact, since Digia has now completely snatched the Qt from the hands of the uncaring stepmother Nokia, they’ve pledged to add official exports for iOS and Android (alongside a long list of officially supported ones) so it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that, if the Unity IDE was made with it, you could actually do game development on an iPad, Android, MeeGo or a W8 tablet. Sure, not the most optimal form for hard core development, but with a redux UI it could be a great addition to an already great tool, allowing for fun brainstorming sessions and on-site presentations / on-the-fly changes for which we have to carry laptops around now.

    And while I’m at it, if I’m allowed to dream further and potentially spread some blasphemy, why not ditch Mono completely? Marry the Unity engine with Qt and even the sky won’t be a limit. To me, the ultimate development platform for pretty much anything out there would be some Frankenchild of Qt (for system / general app stuff and close-to-metal programming), Flash (for the 2D stuff and basic 3D) and Unity (for the hard-core 3D and composition), all with exposed APIs and hooks for pretty much any language out there (directly compiled, or through Scratchbox, or LLVM…)

    Oh, well, one can dream, for now I’d be a happy penguin if the Unity IDE was to come for desktop Linux in the foreseeable future no matter of the underlying technology.

  12. Na'Tosha Bard

    August 25, 2012 at 12:17 am / 

    @Matthew – yes.

  13. Matthew

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm / 

    Does this mean we can have headless Ubuntu based multiplayer servers?

  14. Felis Catus

    August 22, 2012 at 2:50 am / 

    Even though not a lot of people want to use the Unity Editor with Linux, a “headless editor core” would be very useful to deploy services like auto build on a Linux Server, which would be very useful for larger teams.

  15. Jason Wu

    August 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm / 

    I think the Unity3D IDE would be the logical next step to bring to Linux. It would really be awesome! The only things keeping me from booting into Linux Mint 100% of the time is Team Fortress 2 and Unity3D Editor! :P

  16. kamepl

    August 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm / 

    I also want to beg for Unity3D IDE for Linux ! Please !

    Na’Tosha & Levi – you’r ussing running Linux as your desktop system as we all here. Please ask your BOSS to make a supprise for us and develop the IDE for Linux for next christmass :D PLEASE !

  17. Braffe

    August 16, 2012 at 11:42 am / 

    Thanks so much for supporting linux :)
    But please make editor linux-(or at least wine-)friendly…I would definitely buy pro version if you do!!!

  18. macuso

    August 13, 2012 at 12:58 am / 

    P.S. A lot of peoples using Linux-es are using they machines for programing and software development, so have sense to have Unity3D IDE for Linux, since this already is running on OSX (UNIX OS).

  19. macuso

    August 13, 2012 at 12:54 am / 

    Now, we just need Unity3D IDE for Linux. Please make this, or at least make it as Wine friendly as possible.

  20. X

    August 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm / 

    Linux Editor support please :-)

  21. Ali Goli

    August 12, 2012 at 12:48 am / 

    I don’t think people on linux really want to play games on it
    They want to program, develop and make.
    I think it was better to make an editor for it instead of a player
    anyone wants to play, should go to Windows not linux
    Linux is for is more developing than playing
    They’ll pay for an editor than a game

  22. Robert Masengale

    August 11, 2012 at 7:58 am / 

    I actually care far more for a linux IDE than for the web player, but that’s a personal opinion. I’m trying to use the IDE with WINE and it’s taking me some effort, but I’m also pretty new with Linux.

  23. Na'Tosha Bard

    August 3, 2012 at 2:20 am / 

    @Chuck, the money required to invest in the development of a new platform is not really a blocker for us as a company, if it’s a platform we believe in. However, there is an ongoing cost of maintenance and a support burden that comes along with any new platform — and the webplayer adds additional complexity and requirements on top of the player we have now. A webplayer for Linux is simply a task we have not decided to undertake at this time.

  24. Chuck Lanman

    August 3, 2012 at 2:10 am / 

    Or do we have to start a kickstarter in order to get the Unity Webplayer to linux?

  25. Chuck Lanman

    August 2, 2012 at 10:41 am / 

    Unity Webplayer would be insanely awesome. This way we could play any current games on the web that require this plugin, without having to wait for a linux publish of that game. Makes sense to me. I think it should be done.

  26. Jason Wu

    July 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm / 

    for all of you guys asking for Unity3D web player linux port, you can already “kind of” do that. Just when exporting, click the checkbox that says “Chrome NaCl”. Then, install chrome/chromium on linux and you should be able to play it (some additional configuration might be required, but it still works :P)

  27. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm / 

    @ohad, Linux publishing will be available soon in Unity 4. Those who have pre-ordered Unity 4 will have early access to this feature via the beta.

  28. ohad

    July 19, 2012 at 11:44 am / 

    can you at least give an unstable preview by now?

  29. Nathan

    July 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm / 

    Pure awesome. Finally some realization that, although the linux market share is obviously small, the developer influence is high. I can only hope it does well for you and a linux web player will follow. Great work!

  30. Javier Alfonso

    July 16, 2012 at 9:25 am / 

    OMG! You are from that few companies that said “It will be on linux some day but not now” and really do it. I’m thinking this world become better every day although a little slowly (and only in computer terms).

  31. Ricardo

    July 11, 2012 at 11:25 am / 

    Real life heroes!

  32. Yuri

    July 10, 2012 at 12:24 am / 

    Thank You

  33. polytropoi

    July 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm / 

    @Pete – Native Client export for Chrome runs on Linux, though, IIRC – that’s kind of like a webplayer…

  34. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 9, 2012 at 10:52 am / 

    @Pete – We don’t have any current plans to support the webplayer on Linux, but as is always the case, the future is never decided.

  35. Pete

    July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am / 

    Will the webplayer support linux? Are you guys considering it?

  36. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm / 

    @dlnix – Unfortunately, BSGO would require a Linux webplayer, and we are only shipping a standalone player.

  37. dilnix

    July 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm / 

    is BSGO (by Bigpoint) will be able to play on linux platform?

  38. Eduardo "Trialforce" Bonfandini

    July 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm / 

    Thanks people!

    It’s a happy notice. With this addition Unity3d will start the linux as a real games platform.

    You don’t imagine how much this make me happy!

    Thanks a lot!

  39. carlos santos

    July 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm / 

    Thank you for this.

    I wold suport some crowdfounding for the linux ide.

  40. Gus

    July 5, 2012 at 9:16 am / 

    Thank you guys! It’s a great step I hope others to follow.

  41. lingyired

    July 5, 2012 at 6:04 am / 

    play unity 3d game on ubuntu unity

  42. bob

    July 5, 2012 at 2:19 am / 

    Thank you for your efforts. Your work is appreciated.

  43. Linux News Here

    July 5, 2012 at 12:52 am / 

    Linux games. Go you beautiful thing.

  44. Scott

    July 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm / 


  45. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm / 

    @loky – You are welcome to read the practical details about Linux support in the Linux section of the Unity 4 FAQ: http://unity3d.com/unity/4/faq

  46. loky

    July 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm / 

    anything ontopic? i dont care how long have you been using lumix, but I would love to see some facts about the work done. i might be alone in this fapping community with these needs?!?!

  47. SplinterCDO

    July 4, 2012 at 1:19 am / 

    Awesome, you guys rock!!!

  48. John Milton

    July 4, 2012 at 12:38 am / 

    Very happy with Linux support in Unity3D. Considering switching to this engine just for this feature!

  49. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 4, 2012 at 12:00 am / 

    @Blue Wall — No, the Editor does not work in Linux.

    @Martin — No, not as far as we are aware; it should support all Unity features.

  50. Martin

    July 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm / 

    Will Linux exports have any limitations like Mobile building or will it support all the unity features.

  51. BlueWall

    July 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm / 

    Oops! Read the answer above: “@Nevat 2. We currently have no plans or commitments to port the editor to Linux.”

    Thanks for making the player, dev. tools would be pretty awesome too.

  52. BlueWall

    July 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm / 

    Hi, do the development tools work in Linux as well?

  53. Ashkan

    July 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm / 

    You rock,

  54. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm / 

    @sENSEr – Actually I was running the profiler from the editor inside OS X and connected to the Linux player remotely. As for Rochard, well, we have a large number of user-submitted games and projects that we use for testing/debugging/optimizing.

  55. Jakob F

    July 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm / 

    thank you for bringing unity3d to linux!!!! :D Linux is such a great platform and im very very happy!! steam and later this! i must be in the computer heaven! Linux is the reason i got interested in computers “software, hardware” im so happy!

  56. Bastian

    July 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm / 

    How much money, you nedd (crowdfunding) for a linux editor? :3

  57. sENSEr

    July 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm / 

    Did I just saw in the video Unity3D Profiler running in the Ubuntu while you were testing Rochard level :)

  58. Tom

    July 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm / 

    This is a step in the right direction. Looking forward to trying this out!


  59. thibsert

    July 3, 2012 at 11:18 am / 

    Good start ! Next one, the linux webplayer… then the linux editor… pleaaase….

  60. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 11:12 am / 

    @Adam – Fedora Core 5 is quite old (released in 2006 and end-of-life’d in 2007); likely the system C/C++ libraries on that system will be too old to run a player exported from Unity.

    However most players will likely work fine out of the box on a *recent* installation of Fedora.

  61. Adam

    July 3, 2012 at 11:09 am / 

    Do you think it would be much work to get a published linux game to work on, say, Fedora? (legacy core 5, kernel 2.6.x)

  62. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 11:03 am / 

    @Nate – It is a free feature.

  63. Nate

    July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am / 

    Will this be a new add feature that requires a purchase? or will it be a free feature?

  64. varomix

    July 3, 2012 at 8:38 am / 

    This is amazing!! thank you guys and keep pushing for Linux
    hail the penguin!!

  65. slayer29179

    July 3, 2012 at 7:58 am / 

    You guys are awesome!!! :D Thank you for doing this! I am a big fan of Linux but all the programs I use (Unity, 3DS Max) are not compatible now you are making that happen thank you! :D

  66. massa

    July 3, 2012 at 7:58 am / 

    What about Unity3d IDE in Linux? It would be great to develop games inside Linux enviroment

  67. dletozeun

    July 3, 2012 at 7:45 am / 

    Great work !

    @Na’Tosha Bard: webplayer support on Linux seems to be the next logical step, I’m looking forward to it ! ;)

  68. toni

    July 3, 2012 at 7:26 am / 

    Thank you guys!! Linux for home users need this!! thank you! :)

  69. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 7:00 am / 

    @ZJP — Yes, we’re aware. It’s quite an unfortunate name collision, but I suppose the confusion might be entertaining for awhile :-)

  70. ZJP

    July 3, 2012 at 6:56 am / 

    Nice works,

    Btw, Unity3D on Ubuntu Unity (http://unity.ubuntu.com/). Much confusion to come. ;)

  71. Juan Sebastian Muñoz

    July 3, 2012 at 6:42 am / 

    I just have to say that I LOVE YOU BOTH !, thanks for this linux player!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  72. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 6:31 am / 

    @q4a – We don’t have a current plan to ship a webplayer for Linux, but the future is always uncertain.

  73. Sepehr Aryani

    July 3, 2012 at 6:31 am / 

    Thank you very fucking much. We (linux community) really appreciate it. Keep rocking. (BOW)

  74. q4a

    July 3, 2012 at 6:30 am / 

    Thanks for standalone desktop Linux support!
    When Unity web player plugin will support Linux?

  75. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 5:52 am / 


    1. Players exported from Unity will run out of the box on most modern Linux systems, but we are only providing *official* support for 64-bit or 32-bit Ubuntu Linux with vendor-made graphics drivers.

    2. We currently have no plans or commitments to port the editor to Linux.

  76. Nevat

    July 3, 2012 at 5:49 am / 

    1. When you say “Linux”… what distributions are supported ? Only Ubuntu ?
    2. Well be possible, in future versions, to work with the Editor in a Linux system ? (aka “port the application).

  77. Chris

    July 3, 2012 at 5:29 am / 

    Thanks guys :)

  78. Levi Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 5:16 am / 

    Chris: Yes.

  79. Na'Tosha Bard

    July 3, 2012 at 5:16 am / 

    @Chris – Yes, we are providing export options for native 32-bit (x86) and native 64-bit (amd64) players.

  80. tripu

    July 3, 2012 at 5:15 am / 

    That is great news indeed! I and so many other Linux enthusiasts are looking forward to giving it a go ;¬)

  81. Chris

    July 3, 2012 at 5:13 am / 

    will this have a native 64bit client?

  82. Chris

    July 3, 2012 at 5:08 am / 

    *big smiles*

  83. Jess

    July 3, 2012 at 4:47 am / 

    You fucking rock!

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