Experimental Unity Editor Arrives On Linux

Unity, the popular indie gaming engine, will arrive on Linux after being created for Mac OS X first and then ported to Windows in 2009.

Linux's market share is still more or less negligible in the PC gaming market, but in the past few years, companies such as Valve have started pushing others, from graphics card makers to game developers, to better support the Linux platform.

Many developers tend to use either Mac OS X or Linux on their developing machines, and this will allow them to create their games from a Linux PC. However, Unity warned that right now, the editor is still experimental, and future support is not yet guaranteed.

The current build is based off Unity 5.1.0f3 and can export games for the following platforms:

Linux, Mac, Windows StandaloneWebGLWebPlayerAndroidTizenSamsungTV

Exporting to the iOS platform may be supported in the future, but isn't right now.

All asset types can be imported as long as they aren't non-portable middleware. The editor supports global illumination, occlusion culling, and all other systems reliant on portable third-party middleware.

Because Ubuntu is the more popular Linux distro, the editor will be supported only on 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 and later for now, but most other Linux distros should work as well, especially if they are based on Ubuntu (such as Linux Mint). The editor also requires modern GPUs from Nvidia, AMD or Intel, with drivers that work on Linux.

Based on this experiment, the company will decide whether it's worth supporting a third platform for its editor. When the company first started supporting a Linux runtime (games that work on Linux), it was also concerned that the fragmentation of Linux distros will pose a big problem. However, it learned that the support burden was actually quite low, despite having a large percentage of Linux games being made with Unity. Supporting the editor may not require much more work, which could ensure its sustainability on the Linux platform.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • myromance123
    Downloaded and works amazingly well on Ubuntu! I can't seem to get Monodevelop to open though, and there are a few UI window bugs were things disappear. This is on Intel+Nvidia hardware.

    Anyone else on Intel iGPU or AMD GPU on Linux trying it out? Works ok or not so much? I'm curious.