I'd like to hear from Linux users running SketchUp/Windows 10 in a VM

I’ve searched the forum for related threads and found some information that says it’s possible to run Linux/VM/Windows/SketchUp, but those threads are all old.

My personal machine is an old ASUS ROG laptop that is currently running the web version of SketchUp just fine, even with a GeForce GTX 460M/PCIe/SSE2 video set up. I’ve been running a version of CYCAS under Ubuntu 18 for my 3D app, but It’s time to move on.

If possible, I’d like to continue using my box for the learning curve. If I see that the box hasn’t the horsepower I’d prefer, I’ll get a new box and run it native Windows. I’ve already priced out the parts via Amazon.

BTW - I’m a Professional Software Developer / EE that used to own a computer franchise. I’ve built over a thousand machines myself and currently run several networks in our current businesses. I understand hardware & software.

I can’t help you on the Linux, but I’d like to encourage your to read - and reply to - the initial post in the following topic:

As well, I’d like to thank you for filling in your hardware, Sketchup Version, and graphic card info in your profile. When you have a problem with Sketchup, this information really helps us here on the forum to narrow the possible solutions.

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IIRC SketchUp isn’t officially supported on Linux or in a VM environment, so a combination of those could be a double whammy.

The very only case I’ve seen official support from SketchUp is when Linux users use SketchUp for Web (because it has no more than browser/WebGL requirements).

For the desktop client version you have two options:

  • SketchUp <= 2018 in Wine (which runs pretty well unless some new Wine version breaks some configuration in your fake Windows environment or a new SketchUp requires not fully implemented Windows libraries).
  • Virtual machines
    • SketchUp <= 2016 in Virtualbox: has been very popular and could be used with software rendering or hardware acceleration pass-through. However it hasn’t seen as much momentum in development under Oracle as 10 years ago and its OpenGL hardware acceleration pass-through has never improved over its initial OpenGL 2 support. This is a problem, because SketchUp 2017+ does not do alternative software rendering and requires hardware acceleration with minimum OpenGL 3.
    • SketchUp 2017+ in VM Ware Player (non-commercial version for personal or educational use) or VM Ware Workstation Pro: It works very well and does have OpenGL 3 hardware acceleration pass-through, but their Kernel modules (host network integration etc.) seem not to install and update as flawlessly without involving the user.

It would be cool if SketchUp showed any motivation or intents to support Linux to some extent, because it unavoidably is the foundation of today’s computing world (outside of consumer desktop systems: science, machine learning, cloud, DevOps, IoT; everyone who does not want to develop a new OS from scratch). I think there would be significant potential for:

  • having a SketchUp SDK that runs on servers (e.g. file conversion for web apps).
  • having a SketchUp CI container (docker etc.) that runs in common CI environments for automatic testing of SketchUp extensions or other software that integrates with SketchUp. Supporting third-party developers is something that benefits the essential selling point of SketchUp: its extensions.

I’m well aware that SketchUp is antagonistic to Linux given that the Linux version was dropped after acquisition. I don’t expect any official support for running SketchUp in a Linux environment.

I considered purchasing an Autocad license because I want a tool that works and has a long history for support. Current licensing for that product is going in the wrong direction, as far as I’m concerned, since it has annual subscription fees as well as “cloud” involvement.

As a professional “White Hat” hacker that got paid to break into corporate networks to test their security measures, I’m NEVER putting anything of value in the “Cloud”. Absolutely NEVER. My networks are all behind firewalls and each box (all Linux) is running it’s own firewall. The “Cloud” is someone’s idea of a security joke.

I discovered SketchUp a few days ago and it impressed me with its capabilities for the type of work I intend using it for. However, I hesitate investing both time and money in SketchUp and the computer environment it requires because of the trend hinted at in the various threads I’ve read on this forum. If SketchUp goes majorly subscription and cloud based, I’m out. So, I’m waiting to see what happens with the 2019 version. Till then I’ve still got a CAD app that’s primitive in comparison to SketchUp, but it gets the job done.

What acquisition are you referring to? I’ve been using SketchUp since version 3 (before Google bought SketchUp from @Last) and in that time there’s never been a Linux version to drop.