Download And Installation FAQs

What do I need before I begin?
  1. Workstation: See the System Requirements page for the details.
  2. SideFX Login: You will need to login into to download the software.
  3. Connection to Internet: See here if your workstation don't have one.
Where do I download Houdini from?

To download the installation package:

  1. Go to → Get → Download
  2. The Download button will auto-select and let users download an appropriate build based on their OS. Links to other Operating Systems are provided below.

The same installation package is intended for all users: Free Apprentice, Houdini Indie, or Commercial Customers. It is the installed license that determines which features are available in the application and what restrictions are imposed on its use.

If you want to download a specific build or version go to Daily Builds. For more about daily builds and production builds, scroll down to the "What is a Daily Build? What is a Production Build?" section on this page (at the bottom).

How do I install Houdini?
  • You will need to have "Admin" (administrator, root or sudo) access to install Houdini.
  • If you are new to Houdini or upgrading a full version (13 to 14 or 12.5 to 13), you will need to install the License *Server tools in addition to the Houdini software.
  • If you have installed a version of Houdini and are to install a daily build of the same version, you do not need to install the License Server tools.
  • In general, uninstalling a previous version of Houdini is NOT required to install a new.


  1. Run the Houdini setup program by double-clicking the downloaded executable.
  2. Follow the instructions in the installer. Once installed, the application is available by default through:
    Start Menu → All Programs → Side Effects Software → Houdini version
  3. Launch Houdini to proceed to licensing.


  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Unpack the downloaded tar.gz archive. For example,
    $ tar -xvzf houdini-
    This should create a directory called houdini-
  3. Run the houdini.install script:
    • $ cd houdini-
    • $ sudo ./houdini.install
      You can also double click on the houdini.install file with your mouse. It will run the installer in a terminal.
How do I license Houdini?

There are few ways of installing licenses. The easiest method is described below:

  1. By starting Houdini for the first time or without a license, you will be propmted to install either

    • Apprentice (free) license
    • or Paid License
  2. Choosing Apprentice, an Apprentice license is installed and Houdini will launch in the non-commerical mode. *By choosing Paid License, Houdini License Adminstrator will show up.

    • To manually start License Administrator, please refer to How do I start the Houdini License Administrator.
  3. Select File -> Install Licenses...

  4. Enter your licensing login ID and the password. *You will see a list of licenses to which you are entitled.

    • If necessary, make modifications to the quantities. For example, if you have purchased 3 Houdini FX Workstation licences, Quantity will be 3 at first. You will need to set Quantity to 1 on each workstation you perform installation. The quantity will be one lesss each time.
    • You do not need to change the quantity for network licensing.
  5. Press "Redeem".

For other details, please refer to the Apprentice FAQ for the installation of the free non-commercial licenses, and to the License Management for the installation of the Indie and commercial licenses.

How do I obtain older or newer versions of Houdini?

You can download various versions of Houdini from the Daily Builds page.

There are a few sections on the download page. The stable versions appear first in the "Production Build" section.

The "Daily Builds" appear next, if you scroll down.

There are also "Archived Builds" at the bottom of the download page for some older versions of Houdini.

What is a Daily Build? What is a Production Build?

All Houdini installation packages are available from the Daily Builds page.

Daily Build

Side Effects provides new builds of Houdini almost every day. They called daily builds and contain bug fixes and small improvements to the software. The detailed list of fixes is available in the journal next to the download link. By installing a daily build, users are often able to benefit right away from our agile development process.

Production Build

Side Effects periodically designates a daily build of Houdini as a "production build". Production builds are released almost monthly and have gone through the full quality assurance process, so they are at least as stable as the original. It is thus advisable to upgrade from time to time, particularly from one production build to another to take full advantage of new improvements.