Linux Support and Requirements

We are often asked which version of Linux we support.  In general, we try to remain compatible with as many Linux distributions as possible while not maintaining different versions of our software for each.  Collected here are some issues that you may run into when installing and running CEI products on Linux.

Build platforms

To maintain compatiblity with older releases of Linux, our EnSight builds are generated on the following platforms:

  • linux_2.6_32 - CentOS 5.10, gcc 3.3
  • linux_2.6_64 - CentOS 5.10, gcc 3.3

Versions prior to 10.1.2a were built on Suse 9.1 instead of CentOS 5.10.

We only distribute a 32-bit installer.  Some distributions may leave out some 32-bit packages by default, which may cause the graphical installer to fail.  Make sure that you have installed a full 32-bit X11 environment, or you may fall back to the batch installation method.

Required packages

In some cases newer Linux distributions may not install the packages required for compatibility with the older distributions listed above.  One common issue is the package, which has been replaced by the package.  All Linux distributions that we have seen provide compatibility packages, but they may not be installed by default.  Package names will be something like:

  • RedHat/Fedora: compat-libstdc++-33
  • SuSE 10-11.0: compat-libstdc++
    SuSE 11.1+: libstdc++33
  • Ubuntu (64-bit):  libstdc++5 
  • Ubuntu (32-bit):  ia32-libs

In some cases, these packages may not be part of the basic distribution but part of auxilliary package repositories such as Fedora's "Everything" repo.  When selecting these additional packages, take note that there are generally different packages for 32-bit and 64-bit libraries.

In addition, our CAD data readers depend on glibc 2.5 or higher and  If these are not available, the CAD readers will be disabled, but EnSight will otherwise work normally.

Font error message

One user who upgraded to Fedora Core 9 got the following error.

ERROR: Couldn't initialize font list.

and found that installing these rpms will fix the issue.


Oct-2011: Current user tried to install EnSightCFD 3.5.1 on a Fedora14 OS. He received the same error message : Couldn't initialize font list.
He tried the above 3 fonts, with no luck. He then installed the following fonts, and was then able to start EnSightCFD ok:



Our start-up scripts for CEI applications require use of /bin/csh, which is provided by the "tcsh" package on Linux distributions.


When running graphical CEI applications on Linux, make sure that you have installed the appropriate OpenGL drivers from:


To check to see if you are have hardware acceleration, run cei_apex20_glinfo.  Two things that you want to look for are direct rendering and the driver vendor:

direct rendering: Yes
OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: Quadro FX 5600/PCI/SSE2
OpenGL version string: 2.1.2 NVIDIA 177.82

Desktop Effects

Most modern Linux distributions include options for 3D Desktop Effects such as translucent windows and other eye candy.  Depending on the graphics driver, these options may have an impact on performance and/or functionality for 3D applications.  If you experience problems with rendering on Linux, check the Desktop Preferences for an item such as "GUI Effects" or "Desktop Effects" and see if it helps to turn this option off.


We hope that this will help you to install CEI products on your Linux distribution of choice.  If you have problems installing or running CEI products, please send us the platform information and the full shell output that you see when you run the application.

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