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Houdini Setup#


  • Install license server on each machine
  • Install HQueue Client (Reference)
  • Directory in D:knlhouHQClient
  • Server: ${env:EDEV_HOU_SERVER}:5000 (ex: ikrima-ryzen:5000)
  • Logon Account: ${env:EDEV_HOU_SERVERACCOUNT} (ex: sa_server_account)
  • Make sure firewall is accessible
  • Update MachineSetup-Config.ps1:${env:EDEV_HOU_ROOT} to point to new path and rerun
  • Make sure HOUDINI_USER_PREF_DIR is set (e.g. HOUDINI_USER_PREF_DIR=${env:EDEV_HOU_HOUDEV}/prefs/houdini__HVER__)
  • Change symlink of C:Program FilesSide Effects SoftwareLatest to point to new directory


  • Update git repos in tp directory
  • Update binary plugins (Redshift, optix)

For Major Updates#

For major-minor version updates (i.e. from 17.0 to 17.5)

  • Copy previous version prefs folder to new one (eg: ${env:EDEV_HOU_HOUDEV}\prefs\houdini17.5)
  • Update the new houdini.env Version envars. Ex:
  • HOU_MAJOR_VER = 17
  • REDSHIFT_VER = 17.5.173
  • Create a new version specific dso folder (eg: ${env:EDEV_HOU_HOUDEV}\personal\dso-17.5)
  • Compile dso's with new HDK (ex: SOP_ComputeTangents)
  • mikktspace-for-houdini: Update the visual studio HDK props file to point to new HDK location
  • Not needed anymore as PolyFrame node has builtin support for mikktspace
  • Follow instructions for nightly build updates

For Nightly Updates#

  • Run ${env:EDEV_DEVOPS_DIR}/MachineConfig/Houdini-Setup.ps1:Update-HythonVenv
  • Change nvidia graphics custom 3d settings for new hindie.exe


Use $HSITE and $HFS to point site specific configuration & houdini install directory
The problem is that no one seems to understand the fully correct syntax, while some slightly bad variations happen to work depending on the platform/method.

Let me try to lay out some of the rules: (Reference)

  • Houdini only expands environment variables in the hscript syntax. ie. $HOME, not the DOS syntax like %HOME%.
  • The path separators should be semi-colon (;) instead of colon (:). This works on all platforms. Linux/OSX happen to also accept colon (:) as well.
  • When you override a variable, you should have "&" in there somewhere so that the default path is still used. Depending on your shell, this is sometimes a special character, in which case you need to ensure that you set it with the correct escaping.
  • On Windows especially, make sure you launch Houdini from the shell you set the environment variable. You cannot set it into a shell and then expect the Start Menu > Houdini to see it.
  • You must set your environment variable BEFORE Houdini is loaded.
  • If you're using houdini.env (as an alternative), then you must use double quotes if your variable value contains spaces.
  • List of environment variables

UI Customization#