Installing the RenderMan Artist Tools on



This document describes how to install the RenderMan Artist Tools and RenderMan Pro Server on an Intel Linux workstation, including installation of PhotoRealistic RenderMan, Alfserver, and the License Server components.

Installing with RPM

The RenderMan Artist Tools and RenderMan Pro Server for Linux are distributed as four rpm packages, as described in the table below.

Package NameDefault Install LocationDescription
RenderManProServer-version.i686.rpm/opt/pixar/prman-versionThe PhotoRealistic RenderMan rendering toolkit, including alfserver.
rat-version.i386.rpm/opt/pixar/rat-versionRAT software (provides MTOR, Slim, it, and Alfred).
docs-version.i386.rpm/opt/pixar/docs-versionDocumentation for all Pixar products
license-version.i386.rpm/opt/pixar/license-versionLicense server for Intel Linux platforms. Only needs to be installed you are planning on running your license server from Linux as well.

Each rpm is independent of each other, and may be installed separately. For a typical artist workstation, it is recommended that you install at least the RenderManProServer and rat packages. For a remote rendering server on which the interactive tools (MTOR, slim, etc) will not be run, it may be sufficient to install only the RenderManProServer package. The docs package may be installed in one central location or on each workstation according to your preference. The license package only needs to be installed on a license server.

NOTE: You must install RenderMan Pro Server on any machine that you will do any rendering on, including, for example, preview renders on an artist's workstation; installing RenderMan Pro Server is a separate step, independent of installing the RenderMan Artist Tools.

To install the packages, you can either use rpm from the command line, or your choice of UI rpm installer, like gnorpm. The following instructions will use rpm from the command prompt.

Installing to the default location

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

> rpm -i package-version.i386.rpm

For example:

> rpm -i RenderManProServer-11.5.1.intelp3.i686.rpm

Installing to a location other than /opt

To install the packages to a different location, the /opt prefix of the default path can be replaced. For example, to install to /usr/local/pixar/rat, from a root shell type:

> rpm -i --prefix /usr/local package-version.i386.rpm
Querying installed packages

To verify which packages are installed, from any shell type:

> rpm -q package*

For example, if you type:

> rpm -q RenderManProServer*

the full names of installed RenderMan Pro Server packages will be printed to the screen. This trick is handy when you plan to uninstall a package and don't remember exactly which packages are installed.


To uninstall the RAT rpm packages, from a root shell type:

> rpm -e package-version

For example:

> rpm -e rat-5.5.1

Notice that the ".i386.rpm" portion of the rpm file name has been truncated. The above command should erase the entire contents of the installation directories.

After installation, you will be required to configure the software for licensing purposes. Pixar's software will run only with a valid license. Licenses are obtained from Pixar, and are keyed to a special machine designated as your license server. Pixar's software must be told which machine has been designated as the license server; if you have installed in the default directory, this is done by editing the file /opt/pixar/prman-version/etc/rendermn.ini, and changing the line which reads:

/licensefile                    7498@licenseserver

Replace licenseserver with the hostname of your license server host.

License Server
After installing the license server with license-version.i386.rpm, you will need a valid license file. Licenses are obtained from Pixar, and are keyed to a special machine designated as your license server. In order to generate your license, Pixar will need that machine's unique FlexLM ID number. To generate the FlexLM ID, you must run a program called lmutil, which is part of the installation. If you have installed to the default directories, run:

> /opt/pixar/license-version/lmutil lmhostid

This will print out information similar to the following:

lmhostid - Copyright (C) 1989-2001 Globetrotter Software, Inc.
The FLEXlm host ID of this machine is "0d4ys54s6ey"

Send the entire output of this command to RenderMan sales (, who can then create your license. Once you have received a valid license file, you will need to replace the contents of /opt/pixar/license-version/license.dat with the license file you receive. Please ensure that no spurious line feeds have been introduced by your mail client during this process.

If you have installed Alfred, you will to consider whether you will be using the maitre-d. The maitre-d is an important component of the Alfred network job distribution system, since it is the central authority for coordinating server use. It will probably be needed when Alfred is running on multiple network workstations, and in this case, you should designate a machine on your network as the Alfred maitre-d. You can choose any machine on the network, but the best selection is a machine that will experience little down time and reboots.

If you will be running an Alfred maitre-d, all other machines will need to know which machine is running the maitre-d. This is configured after installation of rat-version.tardist by editing the alfred.ini, which in its default installation is located in /opt/pixar/rat-version/etc. Near the end of this file is a line which reads:

set alfConfig(maitredHost) {hostname}

Hostname should be replaced with the name of the machine which is running your alfred maitre-d.

Setting Up the User's Environment

Environment Variables

Several environment variables are required for the RenderMan Artist Tool applications to function correctly. The RAT tools utilize a combination of your searchpath and environment variables to specify versions and locations of the various components of the toolset. You'll find that this simple mechanism allows you to quickly switch between versions of RAT and RenderMan. Please add the following lines to your .cshrc (or other startup) file:

 # RMANTREE establishes the location of your prman distribution
 # RATTREE establishes the location of your RAT distribution
 # RATDOCTREE establishes the location of your Pixar documentation distribution
 # RMANFB establishes your framebuffer display program
 # MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH tells maya's plugin manager where to consider looking
 #      for plugins.
 # MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH establishes the location of maya scripts.
 # MAYA_LOCATION establishes the location of maya - used below for convenience only
 # XBMLANGPATH establishes the location of additional icons
 # LD_LIBRARY_PATH establishes the search order used by the dynamic loader
 #      to locate shared objects
 # path established the searchpath for the execution of programs.  Because
 #      RAT tools execute other programs, this path
 #      governs application versions.
 setenv RMANTREE /opt/pixar/prman-10.0
 setenv RATTREE /opt/pixar/rat-5.0
 setenv RATDOCTREE /opt/pixar/docs-5.0
 setenv RMANFB it
 setenv AW_LOCATION /usr/aw
 setenv MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH $RATTREE/lib/mtor/resources
 setenv XBMLANGPATH "$RATTREE/lib/mtor/resources/%B"
 if ($RATTREE == $RMANTREE) then
     set path = ($path $RMANTREE/bin)
     set path = ($path $RATTREE/bin $RMANTREE/bin)

The RATTREE environment variable points to the top of the desired RAT installation. Similarly, the RMANTREE environment variable points to the top of the RenderMan tree. If you did not install the RenderMan software into the default location under /opt/pixar, please change the above paths accordingly.

The RMANFB variable specifies which display driver you'd like to use as your default. it is a good choice however. If you have your own display drivers, you may want to leave this line out or modify it. If you prefer not to set this environment variable, an alternate way of doing this is to edit the rendermn.ini configuration file, and change the setting of /displaytype/framebuffer to it.

Documentation Configuration

All of the documentation for both RenderMan and the Artist Tools is located in a tree that is separate from the RAT and RenderMan Toolkit installations. By default, this tree is /opt/pixar/docs-version.

All of the RenderMan Artist Tool applications have the ability to invoke Netscape to access application specific help files. The applications look for the documentation by using the environment variable RATDOCTREE, which should be set to the documentation installation directory. If you prefer not to set this environment variable, you will need to make a change to the /opt/pixar/rat-version/etc/RAT.ini file. The RATDocURL preference in this file can be set to point to the documentation tree, either as a local path or a url.

Running the License Server

After installing your license, you will need to start a license server daemon on the license server host. The license server daemon can be manually started on a host by using the shell script /opt/pixar/license-version/ The script may be invoked interactively by any user or from the system startup. The license manager needs no special privileges to run.

In order to have the license server be started automatically, you may want to install an rc.d script. For example:


# Start the license manager
case "$1" in
        ( cd /opt/pixar/license-1.0 ; ./ > /dev/null 2>&1
        ( cd /opt/pixar/license-1.0 ; ./ > /dev/null 2>&1
        echo "usage: $0 {start|stop}"

can be placed into the directory /etc/rc2.d and renamed to S99startlm.

Running Alfserver

In order to provide remote execution services, you will need to start alfserver from the directory /opt/pixar/alfserver-version. This may be invoked interactively or from system startup. Note however that it will need to be started by a user who has sufficient privileges to access any remote resources which may be needed while providing remote services.

You have the choice of two types of remote execution services, both of which are provided by the same program:

In order to have alfserver be started automatically, you may want to install an rc.d script. For example:


# Start alfserver
case "$1" in
        ( cd /opt/pixar/alfserver-2.1 ; ./alfserver) > /dev/null 2>&1
        ( cd /opt/pixar/alfserver-2.1 ; ./alfserver) > /dev/null 2>&1
        echo "usage: $0 {start|stop}"

can be placed into the directory /etc/rc2.d and renamed to S99alfserver.

Running the Alfred Maitre-d

If you have decided to run an Alfred Maitre-d, and you have already configured alfred.ini (see the above section on Alfred), you will need to ensure that the maitre-d machine is running the alfred maitre-d before running the alfred UI or dispatcher on other machines.

The alfred maitre-d is started by running alfred with the -maitre_d flag. The alfred executable is located by default in /opt/pixar/rat-version/bin. It should not be run as root, since it does not require special permissions.

In order to have the license server be started automatically, you may want to install an rc.d script. For example:


# Start the license manager
case "$1" in
        ( cd /opt/pixar/rat-5.0/bin ; ./alfred -maitre_d) > /dev/null 2>&1
        ( cd /opt/pixar/rat-5.0/bin ; ./alfred -maitre_d) > /dev/null 2>&1
        echo "usage: $0 {start|stop}"

can be placed into the directory /etc/rc2.d and renamed to S99maitred.

What if I need more help?

Check out the RenderMan Support Forum.

If that fails, try customer service:
Phone: (800) 937-3179 (U.S. only); (510) 752-3028 (direct)


Pixar Animation Studios
(510) 752-3000 (voice)   (510) 752-3151 (fax)
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RenderMan® is a registered trademark of Pixar.