Author Topic: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?  (Read 3418 times)

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Offline twgray

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Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« on: March 06, 2017, 04:58:21 PM »
I am running Ubuntu Linux and want to run Altium 17 in a Windows 7 guest. I have a Radeon video card and nowadays the only Linux Radeon driver is the open source one.  BTW, I own Altium 14, which runs fine on this hardware, and am trying the 15 day free trial of Altium 17. So far I can't get the pcb view to draw at all. Everything else seems functional.
 

Offline Christopher

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 07:47:37 AM »
I would like to know this too! (also SolidWorks... I think it's gonna be a dual boot)

The open source drivers are pretty crap, I have installed the pukka driver from my gfx card manufacturer.

VirtualBox has a guest option for 3D accelleration & a corrosponding driver you need to enable in your guest.
 

Offline lty1993

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 09:47:17 AM »
Altium 17 works fine in my Virtualbox guest machine.
 

Offline jd

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 04:20:57 AM »
Altium 17 works fine in my Virtualbox guest machine.

Really? On a linux host? I never got 3D working when I tried with earlier versions.
John Devereux
 

Offline aandrew

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 11:18:19 AM »
Altium runs just fine on a mac using VMWare Fusion. To say I was surprised is an understatement.

I pushed it further.

Altium runs fine in a win7 VM on ESXi, connecting to it using RDP. The caveat there is that you need to make sure you've got a real (AMD, not nVidia) GPU being passed through to the VM or the layout windows won't work correctly. This requires the ESXi host to support DirectPath I/O (VT-d on Intel IIRC).

The AMD/nVidia thing isn't fanboyism; nVidia plays dirty and disables their GPUs if they detect you're using them in virtualized environments. They want you to spend the big money for their workstation-class video cards. Joke's on them though; a $70 Radeon HD 6450 got everything working great.
 

Online evb149

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 02:30:55 PM »
I had the same problem with Circuit Studio when I was evaluating to see if I wanted to use it at all and if so if it'd run nicely on my main development machine which is of course always native Linux.
The schematic worked and the PCB did not render at all using Vbox.  This even though if you look on the altium or element14 (I forget which) site they SAY it works under VMs including VirtualBox. 

I asked here and also received word that VMware is known by some to work well in some environments that may be analogous but maybe not identical (Mac vs linux or whatever) to our situation.

As far as I could tell from researching old bug / limitation reports Virtualbox has for years had a long standing problem where I think Shader Model 3 programmable pixel shaders would not work in the guest using a LINUX host even when you have guest additions enabled and 3D/2D acceleration enabled for the guest.  So I think it is probably that DX9 shader limitation that is a problem for Linux Host use of Altium.

By my research full Altium designer does / did have a setting controlling whether to use GPU / DirectX or not but Circuit Studio did not seem to have the same option.  I forget what the option was called exactly but you can find it with a search engine as to some documentation about it.  It was probably in the PCB Preferences / Options somewhere or maybe in the Layer management View settings.  It was not too hard to find searching for "Altium", "DirectX", "gpu" etc.  So maybe if you find that setting and can actually change it while not being able to see the program UI fully it could help.

Otherwise I would try Vmware as some others suggested.  I did not try it yet but I'd like to since I have no interest to run Windows directly on any PC if I can use LINUX instead and VM only for what tools are required which is otherwise successful besides for Altium so far.

I did have an ATI/AMD GPU installed when I tried it but I was not running Catalyst / AMD drivers, just LINUX free "radeon" drivers.  But as far as I could tell from the old VirtualBox programmable pixel shader bug reports it was PROBABLY due to that rather than anything with my LINUX kernel or GPU drivers.  VB / guest additions version did not make a difference.

Update: here is one documentation source for where some DirectX enable / disable settings are / were in full Altium Designer.  I do not know if they are still there in newer versions or if there are additional options.  Someone on Stack Exchange did have some other setting suggestion besides these for graphics rendering problems... I forget what exactly that was at the moment but try just turning off DirectX with these options as a test.
http://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADRR/PCB_Dlg-SystemDisplayOptions_Frame%28%28PCB+Editor+-+Display%29%29_AD


I am running Ubuntu Linux and want to run Altium 17 in a Windows 7 guest. I have a Radeon video card and nowadays the only Linux Radeon driver is the open source one.  BTW, I own Altium 14, which runs fine on this hardware, and am trying the 15 day free trial of Altium 17. So far I can't get the pcb view to draw at all. Everything else seems functional.
 

Offline lty1993

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 01:11:14 AM »
Altium 17 works fine in my Virtualbox guest machine.

Really? On a linux host? I never got 3D working when I tried with earlier versions.

Yes, my host is Arch Linux.

I believe you have to make sure following condition are met before PCB will work:
1. Graphics driver for the host machine is installed. Such as xf86-video-intel, mesa, mesa-libgl, etc.
2. Enable 3D acceleration in your virtual machine software.
3. The guest os additions software have to be installed in guest machine before 3D acceleration will work.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 01:32:39 AM by lty1993 »
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 01:22:04 AM »
Thanks for the info, I should try VBox again.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 01:34:38 AM by voltsandjolts »
 

Offline jd

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 08:36:37 PM »
Altium 17 works fine in my Virtualbox guest machine.

Really? On a linux host? I never got 3D working when I tried with earlier versions.

Yes, my host is Arch Linux.

I believe you have to make sure following condition are met before PCB will work:
1. Graphics driver for the host machine is installed. Such as xf86-video-intel, mesa, mesa-libgl, etc.
2. Enable 3D acceleration in your virtual machine software.
3. The guest os additions software have to be installed in guest machine before 3D acceleration will work.


Thanks, that does not look any different from what I tried a couple of years ago with no success (on Debian and then Ubuntu IIRC). I ended up having to make Windows the host which was pretty galling after 10 years of linux as my primary desktop OS!

As evb149 mentions it was the lack of "Shader Model 3" support that was the problem and I have not seen any sign of this appearing in VB (in fact I recall an official announcement they abandoned attempting 3D support).






John Devereux
 
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Online evb149

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 03:10:36 AM »
It is very interesting that some report success with VBox.  Based on what I read I expected "fulll Altium Designer" to be able to work based on its ability in its UI settings to disable aspects of DirectX use (or its intelligence to do so heuristically maybe).  But lacking those controls I had given up on Circuit Studio.

Actually come to think of it I think I tried it on a Debian Jessie box with a decent Nvidia GPU / drivers as well as a Debian Jessie or Stretch box with AMD + free Radeon drivers and it did not work in either case with VBox 4 or 5.x versions.

I guess I will have to try it again with different platform settings / configurations or something but there may be a CS vs AD difference even so.  I was just going to try VMware next time I got a chance.

Hmm maybe I need a newer generation GPU and that could enable me to run much newer ATI / NVIDIA drivers than the "legacy" ones.


 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 11:02:16 AM »
I use altium in vmware in a remote linux host through TurboVNC.

You must have the opengl drivers working before enabling 3d acceleration. Works like a charm. Virtualbox was a bit slower, but works too.
Davide Bortolami,
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Offline Gerhard_dk4xp

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2017, 09:22:12 AM »
I also run it on Linux Mint (which is some Ubuntu++) and VMware.
Board layout simply does not update its windows when there is no
Direct-x support, no complaints ever. :-(   

The nouveau-driver for Nvidia has no/not enough DirectX support; it does not
work for PCB layout. Using the closed source driver from Nvidia works.
It should be newer than, say, a year.
In Linux Mint, you can simply select it in the driver manager; 2 years ago
changing the graphics driver was more involved.

I did not get support for anything with Altium running on a virtual machine.
I made some space for a WIN7 boot partition, but in the end it was me
who found out that AD simply crashes when you rename a veteran
protel99-lib as .schlib .

I understand that they are not comfortable with virtual machines;
after all you can just export/copy the entire machine and walk away
with it. But that does not justify not to support paying customers.

regards, Gerhard
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 09:34:29 AM by Gerhard_dk4xp »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2017, 04:09:59 AM »
Altium runs fine in a VM , BUT ! you need to have the Graphics hardware installed and exposed to the VM. ( and the VM must be capable of properly using the graphics system )

It shouldn't matter what the host is. A true VM runs in PARALLEL and has access to hardware. You may not be able to run it properly in a window on a host. In parallel with full access works fine.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Gerhard_dk4xp

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2017, 07:46:03 AM »
No, it must run in a window, and that's the point of a virtual machine.
That is not simply time sharing. The VM gets only access to a part of the screen buffer
and the master operating system must be very careful what to allow and
what not. Such as who is currently the owner of the keyboard and the mouse.
Yes, it's complicated, but it can be done.

regards, Gerhard
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2017, 05:08:45 AM »
But: does it really perform well ? Altium bank a lot on the Direct3D calls to the graphics.
Does 3D mode behave fluidly ? do things like a spacenavigator work properly ?
How much performance hit is there with the 3D acceleration ?
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Offline ebclr

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2017, 11:40:37 PM »
Altium 18 also runs

 

Offline m4l490n

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2017, 05:55:43 AM »
Hey @ebclr what distro and VM are you using? I need to know if AD18 runs stable and well on a VM on Linux mint and/or ubuntu.

My laptop recently died and I need to get a new one. I would really like to get a system 76 serval ws but the only thing that is keeping me to confidently make that decision is AD. I really don't want to get a laptop with windows just for AD but I really need AD for work.

I guess my main question is, does AD18 work perfectly fine out of the box in a VM on Linux.

Thanks!
 

Offline dgtl

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2017, 06:18:55 AM »
In my experience, for about half a year Altium in Virtualbox has worked without problems, before it was unable to open pcb at all (some directx shader issues). But it is still unbearably slow in my i7-4600U laptop, integrated intel graphics, latest Linux Mint.
In wine it works much better, but there are some bugs, that cause crashes (especially one with 3d models that happens when changing component layer; there's a workaround for that). In addition, the SQL library integration did not work at all, so I have to use Virtualbox to pull in components from company db. Havent tried the AD18 beta yet.
 

Offline m4l490n

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2017, 05:50:02 AM »
In my experience, for about half a year Altium in Virtualbox has worked without problems, before it was unable to open pcb at all (some directx shader issues).

What are your VM settings? because I tried this yesterday and it doesn't work correctly. I can't see the PCB not in 2D nor in 3D.

Thanks!
 

Offline Gerhard_dk4xp

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2017, 06:29:44 AM »
I had the same problem with Linux Mint / VMware / AD16.
the solution was as simple as pushing a different radio button
in the driver manager and rebooting. The default was nouveau.
(see #11)
 
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Offline dgtl

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2017, 06:43:39 AM »
What are your VM settings? because I tried this yesterday and it doesn't work correctly. I can't see the PCB not in 2D nor in 3D.
Quite default config here. Win10 in Virtualbox 5.1.30, 256MB video memory, both 2d and 3d acceleration enabled. The guest additions should be recent as well and 3d acceleration enabled during guest addition installer in Windows (afaik it cant be disabled for win10 anyway).
As others said, things differ due to Linux graphics drivers. My machine has integrated Intel graphics with stock Mint/Ubuntu drivers. Users of AMD or Nvidia may have to try different drivers to get things working (if at all possible).
 

Offline Gerhard_dk4xp

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2017, 07:33:43 AM »
I just tried the virtual machine on a Dell XPS13 notebook that has built-in Intel graphics.
That does not work. I can draw schematics, but the PCB part is dead.
VMware says that there is no 3D support on the host when booting the virtual machine.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 07:35:54 AM by Gerhard_dk4xp »
 

Offline m4l490n

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Re: Will Altium 17 run in Virtualbox or Vmware on a Linux host?
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2017, 03:25:22 AM »
It's working now!!

I just needed to switch from the intel graphics to the nvidia and enable the "intel microcode" radio button in the drivers!! Now VMWare is supporting hardware graphics acceleration and 3d!
 


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