The Linux Foundation's 3D Game engine... still doesn't support Linux

O3DE requires Windows. And Visual Studio.

Back in July, The Linux Foundation launched another business venture called the “Open 3D Foundation” — primarily to develop the Open 3D Engine (O3DE). A 3D gaming engine and development framework.

One thing was, to put it mildly, a little odd about it…

The Open 3D Engine — being developed by The Linux Foundation — was not available for Linux. It was available for Microsoft Windows only.

Not only does this Linux Foundation project require Windows 10… it requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 to build at all.

I pointed this out, at the time, and many said that Linux support would obviously come quickly. It’s the Linux Foundation, after all. It would be absurd to not have Linux support. Doubly absurd to require Visual Studio.

Well, here we are, a few months later. And an entire conference — run by The Linux Foundation, naturally — kicks off today. O3DECON.

Side note: The O3DE Conference, run by The Linux Foundation, requires that attendees (beyond the $299 registration fee) utilize the Linux Foundation Vaccine Passport application that is now also part of the Linux Foundation core business.

According to the schedule for this conference… there is not one session or workshop that includes the word “Linux”. Not one. (Unless you count instances of the phrase “Linux Foundation”.)

As of this writing, O3DE still only supports Windows.

The two bugs for tracking support for Linux (for the Editor, and for the Client) have not been updated, in any way, since August. And, realistically, there appears to be little or no progress listed whatsoever.

Now, here’s the deal. I have nothing against a Windows 3D engine. But if your business is named “The Linux Foundation”, and:

  • Your public facing spokesperson has a track record of only using Apple hardware (and not running Linux) and…

  • You launch high profile projects that specifically leave out Linux support

It raises questions about just how “Linux-y” you are.

It’s just plain weird.

It’d be like if the CEO of Coca Cola was only seen in public drinking Pepsi. And then they launch a new beverage machine that only dispenses Pepsi products.

Or, how about this…

What if the CEO of Apple was only seen in public using Microsoft Surface laptops? And then Apple launched a new line of, say, photo editing applications… that only ran on Windows and Android.

Tech news wouldn’t stop talking about it for months. And Apple fans and customers would definitely have a strong opinion.

Yet, here were are. In exactly that sort of scenario with The Linux Foundation.

Crickets. Not a peep from the majority of the Tech Press.

So. Very. Weird.

Hey. Maybe they’ll surprise us. Maybe, later today at their conference, they’ll have a surprise announcement. “Hey everyone! Ta-Da! Linux support! We were just being sneaky!”

… but I doubt it.


Ok, so apparently, The Linux Foundation did start work on Linux support. They just have kept it very, very quiet. Like… on the down low. There are preliminary instructions for building under Linux. But, from what I’ve heard since publishing this, it is very early (and very buggy). Which may explain why The Linux Foundation specifically requires Windows 10 and does not explicitly support Linux anywhere on their main website or promotional materials — only mentioning Linux deep within the documentation (and, even then, only very briefly). And why they have not updated their Linux support bugs mentioned above.

But, hey! That’s more Linux support than I thought they were including!

So. That’s something!