Houdini 20.0 System Requirements

Operating System - 64-bit only


  • Windows 11 (64bit)
  • Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (64 bit) and below (win7, etc) is NOT supported.
  • Windows Server (any version) is NOT supported.


  • Requires 64-bit Intel-based or Apple Silicon Mac with macOS 11 and higher


  • Ubuntu 18.04+ LTS (64-bit) 
  • Debian 10.0+ (64-bit) 
  • RHEL 7+ (64-bit) 
  • Fedora 28+ (64-bit) 
  • Open SUSE 15+ (64-bit) 
  • CentOS 7+ (64-bit) 
  • Mint 19.3+ (64-bit)
  • Pop! 20.04 LTS
  • Rocky 9+ (testing is underway)

Note: with older distros versions like CentOS 7 and RHEL7 you need to download the gcc9 version of Houdini 20. The default gcc11 version will not work.

libxkbcommon-x11, libxcb-icccm4, libxcb-render-util, and libxcb-xinerama0 packages required for Linux users

If you continue to encounter Qt errors on startup, then check that you have installed the Qt required packages found here:
Qt for X11 Requirements

gcc 9.3.1 is required for HDK plugin development.

>> VFX Reference Platform Houdini 20.0 targets the CY2023 specification of the VFX Reference Platform.

Note: 32-bit operating systems are not supported

Licensing and other parts of Houdini also have these requirements.

Important: Pre-release versions of operating systems are not supported. This includes Insider Preview, alpha, betas, etc.

All platforms require administrator privileges to install.


  • 8 GB required
  • 12 GB or higher recommended and 64GB strongly recommended for fluid simulations


  • Intel or AMD x64 CPU with SSE 4.2 required. Houdini 19.5 will not run on a system with an instruction set lower than SSE 4.2.

Disk Space

  • 5.0 GB required for installation

Input Devices

  • 3 Button mouse required
  • Scroll wheel used where present
  • Wacom tablet recommended for Houdini's brush-based tools

Graphics Cards

A GL4.0 compliant graphics card is required. GL3.3 cards will have missing features and lower GL versions will not run Houdini 20.0 at all.

4GB VRAM or more is required. Less than this can result in display errors such as blank windows. High DPI displays (4K, 5K) or multiple monitors require a minimum of 4GB.

Graphics card must support OpenCL version 1.2. 

The OptiX Denoiser requires a Kepler or later NVIDIA GPU (K, P, M, V prefixes).

Karma XPU currently only supports CPU and NVidia Optix devices.

It is VERY important that you install the latest driver for your graphics card using the proprietary drivers direct from the card manufacturer, not the open source versions. Failing to do so may result in display issues and/or slow performance: 


- NVIDIA RTX & GeForce GPUs: 546.33 Production/Studio Driver or higher 

 - AMD: 22.Q3 or higher

 - Intel or higher.


- NVIDIA RTX & GeForce GPUs: 545 Production/Studio Driver or higher 

 - AMD: 22.Q3 or higher

 - Intel or higher.

NOTE: Intel cards are NOT supported on OSX.

We don't recommend any specific computer manufacturer. As long as your machine has the recommended RAM, CPU, graphics card, and VRAM, it should be acceptable for use.

GPU Acceleration

  • On certain graphics cards, Houdini can use the GPU to dramatically increase the performance and speed of your Vellum and Pyro FX simulations.
  • In order to take advantage of this capability, you'll need a GPU capable of supporting OpenCL. Refer to the Supported Graphics Cards page.
  • The amount of VRAM your GPU has access to will limit the size of simulation that you can run on it. 4GB + is ideal for larger simulations.
  • GPU acceleration currently does NOT make use of multiple OpenCL devices (i.e. two or more graphics cards) but this may change at a future date. An exception to this is Karma XPU, which can make use of multiple NVidia GPUs.


  • Minimum resolution:  1920 x 1080 or higher is recommended.
  • 4GB VRAM or higher required for dual displays or single displays greater than 1920x1200.
  • Color depth of 32-bit (“true color”) required.
  • We recommend you either select sRGB as your color profile or calibrate your monitor to gamma 2.2.

3rd Party Licences

Remote Desktop with Houdini

  • Remote desktop solutions such as Teradici, VNC, Teamviewer, AnyDesk and Windows Remote Desktop may be considered. Note that performance may vary and only NVIDIA RTX and AMD Radeon Pro cards are known to work best with Microsoft's Remote Desktop.


  • Sound card and speakers/headset required for audio 
  • Network support required for offline simulation, batch processing and rendering
  • Internet browser required for connection to (Online licensing and Houdini Forum)
  • Video encoder required for creating AVI/QT/etc.