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While Unity itself has long supported producing Linux builds of games and applications built with it, the actual Editor for Linux is still not fully supported - but that will change.

To be clear, there is a Linux version of the Unity Editor right now and that's been a thing since 2015 in experimental form. Back in April 2019 they announced that the Linux Editor would be moving from experimental into preview, meaning it was on the road to a full release. Later in May 2019, Unity then actually properly announced the Unity Editor for Linux with a planned release date with Unity 2019.3.

Sadly it didn't happen when expected, it was delayed with no exact date other than 2020 which they're now announcing again they're not going to hit. In a forum post going into more detail, the good news is that Unity appear to be firmly committed to bringing the Unity Editor for Linux into official status.

Unity have set a new target to have it officially released with Unity 2021.2, which means it will be ready by the end of 2021. In the post written by Unity's Emily Diehl, it's made pretty clear that it's been constantly improving since the original announcement.

"We know that many of you have already come to rely on the Linux Editor for your projects and are eagerly awaiting its official release, and we want to assure you that our commitment to supporting and steadily improving the Editor has not changed. If you’re using the Editor today, we encourage you to continue doing so and believe you will continue to see improved quality as we move into 2021." - Emily Diehl, Senior Product Manager at Unity Technologies.

Diehl mentioned in the post to keep using it, keep giving them feedback on it and noted these focus areas for 2021:

  • More thoroughly testing official features and packages on Linux. Unity is a feature-rich product, and having the extra time from now until our 2021 release will allow us to ensure additional stability for Linux users.
  • Resolving bugs and issues reported by both our internal teams and customers. Even though the Linux Editor will still be considered a beta product, we will continue to address issues with the same priority as if it was already officially supported.
  • Conducting user research with developers that are interested in using the Linux Editor in a production environment to gather additional feedback to ensure that the editor will be ready for production use for all of our Linux users.

Really great news. While we do have other game engines that support Linux both on exports and the editors (like Construct 3DefoldGodot, LÖVE and a great many more), Unity is still one of the most popular and proper support like this is essential.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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hardpenguin Nov 4, 2020
Quote(...) we do have other game engines that support Linux both on exports and the editors (like Godot)
Or Defold, RPG Maker, Stencyl and more...
Liam Dawe Nov 4, 2020
Quoting: hardpenguinOr Defold, RPG Maker, Stencyl and more...
Yeah yeah, alright I've added a few more examples ;)
Avehicle7887 Nov 4, 2020
Unity has advanced a lot in recent years, however it has a big hunger for CPU usage. While not native, many Windows games in Wine can gain anywhere from 20 up to even 40 fps with esync/fsync enabled. I haven't seen such an improvement with Unreal or other engines.
natis1 Nov 4, 2020
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Even though I’m kinda cynical about Unity for various reasons I am very happy to see this. Getting tools on Linux is how we get way more games on Linux! Plus the preview/beta linux builds of unity have been super helpful to me in modding. Unity is a wonderful tool and official support is great
Nagezahn Nov 4, 2020
I've used the Unity editor some years ago when I finally wanted to get into game development properly. Installation was a bit of a hassle on my Arch machine since building the AUR package took so much /tmp space I had to reconfigure the tools to use another path for temporary files. Also the installation took forever, as did upgrading to newer releases.

As a programmer I didn't get comfortable with the approach Unity is offering for development as it is (or was at the time, don't know how much did change) built around assets. I didn't mind coding in C# (which I do to get paid), but Mono Develop and Unity didn't go well together in my case. Lot's of crashes (of Mono Develop), and once I updated Mono Develop independently there was some error whenever I launched it from Unity.

All in all I didn't get into it process wise and technically. Lucky for me I did discover Godot some time after and was delighted over the very-easy-to-get-into-when-you-have-a-programming-background approach, no more prefabs, hierarchical scenes, excellent Linux support, small memory footprint and an accessible yet powerful built-in scripting language. I definitely didn't look back for a second.
gradyvuckovic Nov 5, 2020
Given there's likely some overlap in users, and developers are the most likely people to use Linux in any event, it's quite possible that Godot's strong Linux support offers competition to Unity.
nate Nov 5, 2020
I am glad that Unity supports Linux, but like most people here I am more excited about the totally open source projects like Godot, GZDoom, OpenMW, etc.
Creak Nov 5, 2020
Unity is still light years away, in terms of features, compared to Godot.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Godot and I am using it, but it is not ready yet for AA or AAA games, while Unity is. Hopefully, Godot will improve in the future and have better feature parity with Unity.
Para-Gliding Nov 5, 2020
in Godot, we trust :D
Purple Library Guy Nov 5, 2020
Quoting: CreakUnity is still light years away, in terms of features, compared to Godot.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Godot and I am using it, but it is not ready yet for AA or AAA games, while Unity is. Hopefully, Godot will improve in the future and have better feature parity with Unity.
It does seem like it's moving forward fast. I notice the way people talk about Godot has shifted significantly in the last few years. So not a faint hope, I would say.
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