Houdini 18.5 System Requirements

Operating System - 64-bit only


  • Windows 11 (64bit)
  • Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (64 bit)
  • Windows 8 (64 bit)
  • Windows 7 is NOT supported.
  • Windows Server (any version) is NOT supported.


  • Requires 64-bit Intel-based Mac with macOS 10.13 and higher


  • Ubuntu 16.04+ LTS (64-bit) 
  • Debian 9.0+ (64-bit) 
  • RHEL 7+ (64-bit) 
  • Fedora 25+ (64-bit) 
  • Open SUSE 15+ (64-bit) 
  • CentOS 7+ (64-bit) 
  • Mint 17.3+ (64-bit)

libxkbcommon-x11 package required for Linux users

gcc 6.3.1 is required for HDK plugin development.

>> VFX Reference Platform Houdini 18.5 targets the CY2020 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.


  • 4 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 18.0 will not run on a system with an instruction set lower than SSE 4.2.

Disk Space

  • 3GB 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 18 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).

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 GeForce GPUs: 440 or higher 

- NVIDIA Quadro GPUs: 440 or higher 

 - AMD: 20.Q1 or higher

 - Intel or higher.


- NVIDIA Quadro & GeForce GPUs: 440 or higher 

 - AMD: 20.Q1 or higher

 - Intel or higher.

NOTE: Do not upgrade your NVIDIA driver to 496.13 - you'll encounter display issues in Houdini. Roll back your driver to a previous version if you have.

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.


  • Minimum resolution:  1920 x 1200 (widescreen).
  • 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.

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.

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 Quadro 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.