How to install in Linux, including desktop icons

The horrors of make correctly installing Blender really hard. It would be nice if there was some easily-discovered documentation somewhere saying how to do this. I was unable to locate any, though I did manage to get it to work and will post my instructions here, in case they are helpful for writing this.

  1. Extract the downloaded blender into a directory in /opt:
sudo mkdir /opt
cd /opt
sudo tar -xf ~/Downloads/blender-4.0.2-linux-x64.tar.xz
  1. Rename (with a symbolic link) the directory so you don’t have to change anything to use a new version of blender:
sudo ln -s blender-4.0.2-linux-x64 blender
  1. Make running blender from the command line work:
sudo ln -s /opt/blender/blender /usr/bin/blender
sudo ln -s /opt/blender/blender-thumbnailer /usr/bin/blender-thumbnailer
  1. Make the desktop know about the blender application, this also makes double-click of .blend files run blender:
sudo ln -s /opt/blender/blender.desktop /usr/share/applications/
  1. Make the icon for the blender executable work. Here I am unsure what directory to put it in, just that it has to be in a “scalable” subdirectory. This worked for me:
sudo ln -s /opt/blender/blender.svg /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/
  1. Make sure the system knows about .blend files. This may be true of any modern Linux install. I am unsure how to fix this if it does not work, possibly all you have to do is edit /etc/mime.types:
grep blender /etc/mime.types
application/x-blender				blend
  1. Make the icon for .blend files work, again unclear what directory this must be put into, this is what worked for Pop-OS (note the very same “hicolor” directory used above did not work, sigh…). I’m also unsure if this black blender logo is the same icon used on Windows:
sudo ln -s /opt/blender/blender-symbolic.svg /usr/share/icons/Pop/scalable/mimetypes/application-x-blender.svg

It might be necessary to run this command, not sure:

sudo update-icon-caches /usr/share/icons/Pop/
  1. Make it display thumbnails for .blend files: Put the following text into /usr/share/thumbnailers/x-blender.thumbnailer
[Thumbnailer Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/blender-thumbnailer %i %o

Documenting it thoroughly and with explicit steps is a great idea, but the development forum is not the best place for it. I think this had better be in the blender manual. N.b. there already exists an entry titled Installing on Linux. You may want to put your instructions there, or on a dedicated page (“Example/suggested install instructions”?) there linked.

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