These are my software needs:

  • 3DS Max 2013
  • Maya 2013
  • Photoshop CS5
  • TopoGun RC1
  • Zbrush 4r4
  • After Effects

I want to install Ubuntu onto my Asus Laptop, but worried that the above software will not work in Ubuntu even using WINE. What opinions or suggestions could you give a Linux beginner. Should I stay with Windows 7 or is Ubuntu a possibility?

Thank you for all the great responses. I realized I forgot to mention that I have a newly built up desktop computer I built myself to go beyond the recommended requirements of the above mentioned software. I hear and read great things about Ubuntu and figured I would see if it would be feasible to install Ubuntu onto my laptop and use the above software if I am up and about.

I guess Linux will have to wait until the software above is made for it. Too bad though, Linux sounds like a really good OS.

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  • You can try Ubuntu Studio, a Ubuntu variant specifically designed for audio, video and graphics enthusiast (also for professionals). – Emerson Hsieh Aug 5 '12 at 10:21
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    That industry is saturated as it is, so if one is looking to survive, they should spend time focusing on what it is they want to specialise in (animation, modelling, visual effects, etc.), rather than wondering if every package in the field will run on *nix. :) – deizel Aug 5 '12 at 14:44

No you can't.

If you need to use these tools as an enthusiast, wine is great but if your life depends on it then I won't recommend that you use wine. Its important that you chose the right tool for the job, in your case the software you list runs natively on windows and you should chose that. Linux is awesome, it has its own set of advantages such as security, speed and also being open source.

People will suggest alternatives like wine and virtualbox or vmware player and for enthusiasts it is just fine but for someone who makes a living using those tools, it might not be the best case. You are unlikely to get any support for Photoshop on wine if something was to go wrong.

If you do use any linux distro, then I'd suggest that you use alternatives that run natively on linux, some of them are really good and the others are slowly but surely catching up and with most software being available on the cloud, the linux platform will be easier to use for all pc users.

In the end its your life and your choice, all the very best.


You can check Wine compatibility in their site: http://appdb.winehq.org/

  1. 3DS Max 9.x is rated Silver, 2011, 2010 are rated Garbage, 2009 is rated Silver.
  2. Maya is rated Garbage for the 2009 and 7.0 versions, 2010 is rated Bronze.
  3. Photoshop CS5 is rated Gold.
  4. Zbrush 4R4 is rated Platinum.
  5. After effects CS5 is rated Garbage, CS4 is rated Silver and version 7.0 is rated Platinum.

Most of your software has a good rating, but I'd recommend you to use alternatives, such as Blender for 3D, GIMP (I know is not as powerful), KDenlive for Video, etc. For the software that doesn't work I also suggest you install Virtualbox and create a Windows VM (this of course requires your Laptop to support Virtualization, which most likely does and that you have plenty of RAM and a nice CPU).

By the way, I don't know if you haven't heard of Ubuntu Studio?.

Ubuntu Studio is a free, open, and powerful operating system for creative people to create their art. [..]Whether your focus is audio, video, photography, or graphic design, Ubuntu Studio is both productive and rewarding to use.[..].

As an officially recognized derivative of Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio is supported by Canonical Ltd. and an amazing and continually increasing community.

You can take the tour here.

Wine Ratings

  • Platinum: Applications which install and run flawlessly on an out-of-the-box Wine installation
  • Gold: Applications that work flawlessly with some special configuration
  • Silver :Applications with minor issues that do not affect typical usage
  • Bronze: Software with major Issues
  • Garbage: Unusable software
  • I am not an artist in anyway, but I am very glad you showed me ubuntu studio(for I do some stuff for myself) +1 – Dr_Bunsen Aug 5 '12 at 11:49
  • Good research on wine compatibility, but I wouldn't suggest running such intensive applications under virtualisation as rendering times would go through the roof.. – deizel Aug 5 '12 at 14:36
  • Wine is not virtualization software. Under good conditions, wine should be just as fast as running directly on Windows, though for other reasons, it usually isn't. They're more focused on making things work correctly than optimizing for speed. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Aug 6 '12 at 15:54
  • Maya 2013 is officially said to be working on Linux. They only have rpms for download, though, and they don't specifically say which distros they support. But you should be able to install it without using wine. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Aug 7 '12 at 9:48

I am not a 3D artist, but I have used Blender for simple 3D stuff. Blender is a professional 3D suite comparable to Maya with 3D support.

  • 1
    +1 Blender is REALLY awesome, but it takes some time to master it. – Emerson Hsieh Aug 5 '12 at 10:19
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    I can't downvote, but Blender is in no way any of the software listed in the question and doesn't answer this question. If you think it is, you don't know what the actual industry requires. If they require Maya, they aren't even going to listen to you tell them how great Blender is ( and it isn't ). – Jarrod Roberson Aug 5 '12 at 14:04
  • 3
    Downvoted because it doesn't answer the question. – Only Bolivian Here Aug 5 '12 at 18:55
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    upvoted, because ppl should know about alternative way to do things. This list is means nothing, because OP can just check if software from the list is supported on linux by vendors. – zb' Aug 6 '12 at 1:14

Yep, I think you sure can but before you turn over to Ubuntu please check the Ubuntu HCL (Hardware Compatibility List) to ensure your hardware is supported to make full use of your system. I would look for the Graphics card the ASUS laptop and check if it's in the HCL to ensure it works best for graphic designers. If you can't find your ASUS laptop on the list, look up the individual Graphics Manufacturers & Models in the HCL and check if your ASUS graphic card is on it. You'll have to hit Start > Run and type in msinfo32.exe to open up the system information page in Windows and look for the Graphics card manufacturer & model on your laptop.

You can find the HCL here http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/

Ubuntu would be absolutely great for designers and artists as it uses very little memory as compared to Windows (Being a Microsoft Certified System Engineer/Administrator believe me I know). So basically the applications can have all the free memory as compared to Windows which restricts to less than 4GB on the 32-bit Windows 7 version.

Please note: I do agree with Nikhil though. If it's something you make a living from I wouldn't recommend to move completely. Instead it would be better to install Ubuntu on a system with Wine or VirtualBox and test your options out. If they meet your requirements and you are happy with the system, go for it.

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