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Minimum System Requirements

The following operating systems are supported for this release. RenderMan may operate outside of this requirement, but it may be unstable and is not supported:

  • Linux CentOS  6 and higher

RenderMan is designed to efficiently scale across many CPU cores, so while the above is a minimum requirement, systems with multiple processors will see the best performance.

Pixar's RenderMan software is delivered as: 

  • RenderMan-Installer-version-linuxflavor.rpm - The RenderMan rendering toolkit.

The flavor string includes the common distribution, e.g. RHEL6, the gcc/icc versions, and the microprocessor instruction set. Putting them all together provides, for example, a Linux CentOS package named RenderMan-Installer-21.0_1590950-linuxRHEL6_gcc44icc150.x86_64.rpm.

Note that users must set their environment variables manually on Linux to allow for using executables from a terminal window. This process is explained below Command Line Installation.

GUI-based Installation

Although RPM packages are typically installed via command line, some Linux distributions have GUI-based package managers, like gnomerpm. Some distributions will also allow for double-clicking the RPM file in a directory browser, which will invoke RPM with default arguments.


During the installation process, you will first be given a chance to select a root directory. By default, this location is /Applications/Pixar This will become the root directory for all of the software components listed above.

Command Line Installation

The software can also be installed via command line using a terminal window. You must obtain the .pkg files using your forum login.


Installing to the default location

To install the software to the default location, first change to the directory where the .pkg files are located, and from a root shell type:

> installer -pkg RenderManProServer-version-osxflavor.pkg -target /

For example:

> installer -pkg RenderManProServer-21.0-osxLion_gcc44icc121.x86_64.pkg -target /


Installing to a drive other than /

To install the packages to a different drive, the / target of the default path can be replaced. For example, to install to a second disk/Volumes/HD2/, from a root shell type:

> installer -pkg RenderManProServer-21.0-osxLion_gcc44icc121.x86_64.pkg -target /Volumes/HD2

Setting Up the User's Environment

Environment Variables

There are several environment variables that users should set. These can be added to your .cshrc, .tcshrc (or other startup) file, like so:

setenv RMANTREE /Applications/Pixar/RenderManProServer-21.0

or, if you are using bash:

export RMANTREE=/Applications/Pixar/RenderManProServer-21.0

The following environment variables are recommended:

  • RMANTREE - establishes the location of your PRMan distribution.
  • RMANFB - establishes your framebuffer display program.
  • path - establishes the searchpath for the execution of programs, this probably already exists, so it is just a matter of adding $RMANTREE/bin to your path.
  • RDIR - specifies a directory where additional configuration files can be found, e.g. a site-specific rendermn.ini file.

Systems administrators may also choose to use the PIXAR_LICENSE_FILE variable to point to their software license, in lieu of using the defaults, or may point to an arbitrary location for their license via the /licenseserver preference in their own custom, site-specific .inifiles, and absolutely should not add that preference to a factory-shipped .ini.

RenderMan for Maya users should consult the RenderMan for Maya (RfM) documentation for more information about RfM-specific environment variables.


If you wish to use a location other than the default for your pixar.license file, you can optionally set a PIXAR_LICENSE_FILE environment variable to point to an arbitrary location.


We highly recommend that, rather than editing the rendermn.ini file in your installation directory ($RMANTREE/etc), you create a duplicate file containing your site-specific overrides and place it in a separate directory, referenced via an $RDIR environment variable.


If you plan to take advantage of the Python binding you will need to download Python installer from RenderMan Pro Server 21 binding is compatible with 2.7, 3.4, or 3.5.


If you require further assistance, please check out the RenderMan Support Forum. Note that registration is required.