Vortex Studio on Linux

Vortex Studio is available on the Linux platform, albeit in a more limited capacity. 

Features and Capabilities

For Linux operating systems, Vortex Studio applications support the simulation of dynamics models and a basic visualization rendering for debugging. 

  • Multibody dynamics
  • Terrain
  • Powertrain modeling
  • Advanced tire modeling
  • Rigid tracks
  • Flexible tracks
  • Cable systems
  • Earthwork systems
  • Python 3

Python 2 is no longer supported on Linux since 2022.2. Please see Converting Python 2 scripts to Python 3 Dynamics Script

While it is possible to create content in code, it is strongly recommended to use the Vortex Studio Editor on Windows to create your content that is going to run on the Linux platform.

See Features and Capabilities Overview for all available features of Vortex Studio.


The Linux version does not contain all the Vortex Applications such as the Vortex Editor.

It is possible however to edit on the Windows platform and bring your content to a Linux-based simulator.

Distributed simulation is not possible on Linux and it contains a subset of the SDK. 

See above for more details

To install Vortex Studio on Linux:

  1. Create a destination directory in your desired location.
  2. Navigate into the directory you just created.
  3. Enter the following:

    tar -xzvf /<your directory>/Vortex_Studio_*_x64_gcc73.tar.gz


Vortex Studio licensing is the same on Windows and Linux, but the tools are slightly different. The following links give you an overview of the Vortex Studio Licensing.

Vortex Studio Licensing

Node-lock Licenses

Generating Node-Locked LicenseFiles on Linux

Floating Licenses

License Server

Setting Up a License Server on Linux

Generating Floating License Files for a License Server on Linux

Connecting to a License server

Connecting your Computer to a License Server on Linux

Running a Simulation with Vortex

Setup file

The Vortex Studio Director isn't supported on Linux so it is not possible to launch a simulator in Linux from it. On Linux, it is only possible to launch a dynamics simulation using that basic Simapp process and a custom-made application.

Simapp is a single Vortex application that can simulate Vortex Content. 

When starting a simapp process on Linux, if no setup file is provided, it will use the default simapp_DynamicsOnly.vxc from the resources folder. 

This setup file contains only a Dynamics module and the Earthworks systems module. 

To create your own setup file, you need to use the Vortex Studio Editor.


To create content for your simulation, you must use the Vortex Studio Editor on Windows. The content saved must be copied or shared with the Linux system, with the same folder hierarchy.

File paths in Vortex are always saved relatively to one another unless there is no relative path possible or a path is defined as absolute manually.

Running a simulation

Content files to load can be given as command-line arguments to the simapp process. Since not all features are supported on Linux, like graphics, these extensions will be disabled on Linux.

To start the simulation, invoke the Simapp process from the command line and pass the content files to load. Use argument --config to specify the setup file to use.

# ./SimApp myScene.vxscene --config mySetup.vxc

Some information will be displayed in the console as the simulation runs, according to the logging level.

If the argument --config is omitted, the setup file simapp_DynamicsOnly.vxc from the resources folder will be used. 

Automatic Content Loading

Our user guide indicates that it is preferable to load content while the application is in editing mode and when running the simulation to go in simulating mode. The default setup file simapp_DynamicsOnly.vxc sets the application mode to simulation as there is no way to change the mode from the command line. 

The content loader extension can be added to the application via the setup file. When properly set, the content specified will be loaded while the application is in editing mode and start the simulation afterward, regardless of the application starting mode. 

The content loader extension can be saved using absolute Linux paths, but if the content files defined in the Content Loader are relative to the setup file on disk when everything is copied or shared on Linux over, the relative paths will be kept and everything will be loaded properly.

See Content Loader for more details.

Stopping the simulation

Ctrl + C will stop the command running Vortex.

Debugging a simulation

The remote Debugger is the preferred way to debug simulations on Linux. The remote debugger is a Windows application that connects via the network to gather information about the simulation.

The setup file must be set to Enable Remote Access with a properly defined Listening Port. Use this setup file to start the simulation again and connect from your Windows PC.

See the Remote Debugger User Guide for more information. 

Python remote debugging

You can also use grpc with python and the connection should work. 

See Remote debugging with Python

Additional information

Simulating with Vortex on Windows Subsystem for Linux - WSL2


Not all tutorials are available on Linux. Some C++ tutorials are available but it is possible that some features are not working.

The python tutorials are only available on Windows. They can be made to run but some will requires modification as not all features are availables.