Oct 8, 2012

How to install Blender 2.4.x on Ubuntu 12.04

You probably find yourselves wondering: Why anyone would like to have an older version of any program on his computer? Well, as known, Blender is a 3D graphics program, useful in particular for architects and engineers. The latest version 2.6.x has an updated interface and various new features. However, some useful scripts like dxf importer, blender mechanical gears, cad tools etc, are partially implemented or unavailable for the new Blender. So it sounds practical having an older version of Blender installed on your system and being able to use the above scripts! Let's see how this could be accomplished with the following tutorial.

1. First of all download an older Blender version. You can find it here.You may choose any version you like, but this tutorial is about the latest version of Blender 2.4 series. Download this one if your OS is 32bit or this one if you have a 64bit OS.

2. Extract the compressed file under your home folder (or anywhere else you desire).

Next step is to install the necessary dependencies for this version of Blender. Since older python versions, which are necessary for older versions of Blender, are no longer available in Ubuntu's official repositories, you have to add an extra repo that includes older versions of python. So do the following:

Open a terminal and type: 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fkrull/deadsnakes
This command will add on your software sources the extra repository you need.

Update your software catalog with:
sudo apt-get update

And install the packages you need. For this version python2.6 and libpython2.6 are necessary. You may use synaptic, software center or terminal (sudo apt-get install python2.6 libpython2.6) for it.

Now you can run your older version of Blender simple by double clicking on the blender executable under your ~/blender-2.49b-linux-glibc236-py26-i386 folder. You can install and use any script compatible to this Blender version by just copying the script's contents under ~/blender-2.49b-linux-glibc236-py26-i386/.blender/scripts folder (.blender folder is hidden so you have hit Ctrl+H to make it visible).

 The old dxf importer for Blender 2.4.x is much more useful than the new for Blender 2.6.x.

Blender Mechanical Gears is a  useful script that can work only with older versions of Blender.

If you prefer the new Blender interface you can use the older Blender in order to use the scripts and then save the .blend file in order to open it with new Blender for further editing.

In case you intend using frequently the older version of Blender you can create a custom launcher with the alacarte utility.  


  1. Better yet there's a PPA which allows side by side installation of Blender 2.49 and 2.6x. The 2.49 one is renamed to avoid conflicts.

    PPA for Blender 2.4 and 2.6

    1. A ppa is always the easiest way to install applications on Ubuntu that are not included in the official repositories.
      However the Blender ppa has some disadvantages that many users may don't like:
      - It requires also the deadsnakes ppa because it doesn't include older python versions that are necessary for older Blender versions.
      - It updates also the blender 2.6 package with an alpha build. Since most of the users need Blender for professional purposes this is not preferable.
      - It contains only the latest 2.4 package of Blender. The method that has been described in the post is more general and it can be used for any other older Blender version.

  2. Thank You, Danae K. !

    For beginners like me.

    When clicking on the blender executable icon from file browser, there was not effect.

    When I tried ./blender from terminal I've got:
    "./blender: error while loading shared libraries: libjpeg.so.62: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory"

    Solutions was:
    sudo apt-get install libjpeg62

    Have fun!

  3. great post, thank you