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Blender 2.77 will drop support for Windows XP


Microsoft's official support for Windows XP ended in April, 2014. Now, almost two years later, Blender developers are also forced to drop XP support. Developer Martijn Berger wrote on the maillist:

We implicitly dropped Windows XP when switching to python 3.5.
Python has the so called PEP system and PEP 11 "Removing support for little used platforms" defines the support for windows XP to be over at the same time Microsoft stopped supporting it. Since python 3.5 released after XP died it does not support XP.

While it might be possible to backport python 3.5 to windows XP i think
that we should not do this.

So blender 2.77 will not run on XP. The 32 bit release requires Vista or
newer and the 64 bit release Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

Ton said:

Windows XP is still being used in the Blender community, but its contribution is tiny:

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


    • Or perhaps the affordable Windows 7 Home. Just in case you're not a big fan of Linux. (No offense to Linux. It's cool. But for some folks, it's just not their tastes.)

      Win 7 isn't perfect, but it's far more stable and "Windows-y" than Windows 10 currently is. Win 7's basically just a mutated XP, anyways.

      • My old netbook still uses Windows XP. Windows XP still has a little place in my heart. But Windows 7 is just about that comfort zone I miss the most. I like it better than XP but MUCH better than Windows 10 that I'm currently on.

        Windows 10 has been an ever-updating/ever-glitchy nightmare for me. Even now, I have to reset my PC, because I fell in a loophole that the gimmicky Creators Edition update didn't anticipate.

        Though, Linux Mint is becoming a lot more preferable to me these days. Might just abandon Windows altogether, if Pixologic should ever bring their upcoming ZBrush 5 for Linux.

        Consider giving Linux a try. I'm certainly being driven to it more these days. I regret the day I ever got a new Windows 10 PC--not that I had too much market option out there to avoid it.

  1. I dont think this is something that we should be congratulatory about, saying that its not a bad thing either.

    When dropping support for older software/hardware its always a compramise between progress and inclusion, we as a community should avoid making descisions that exclude any group from using blender when ever possible.

    For commercial software companies there is a financial insentive to supporting legacy software/hardware that is still in use. We as a FOSS community only have our Morality and sense of community to guide us.

    • Not only 'morality', but also technical constraints. Forcibly supporting old platforms will stifle development - in this case, Python wouldn't be upgraded anymore. This could lead to lost functionality or worse, security issues. Blender exists in an ecosystem of other tools too - if those drop support for certain platforms, Blender is forced to either stagnate or follow.

      • Also no one is taking the older builds away from people on older machines. I can understand and admire the idea of making this software available to as many people from different financial backgrounds as possible..
        But when you consider that alot of blenders advancements are being made in areas like rendering you have to wonder what value you get from these on a 10-15 yr old machine

    • It may be a bit unfortunate for anyone running XP, but Win 7 has been available since 2009, and is now being outdated. On the other hand, when I switched from XP to Win7 I had hugely noticeable performance improvements. You can argue that not everyone has the money to buy Win7, but after 7 years, $120 isn't that much, I pay more in car insurance monthly.

        • Meh. Some software I use encounters trouble on Windows 10. I think for some folks, it's better to stick with Win 7 and wait a good while until Win 10 perhaps gets more of those remaining kinks out. Win 7 is good and stable.

          Besides, personally, I'm just not a fan of "change for change's sake." Windows 10 has some improvements, but the majority of its changes aren't from necessity, but pure aesthetics just to promote a new product.

          I like to think that Windows 7 was born out of necessity to fix the poor changes brought by Vista, and Windows 10 will have to see the same at some point. Maybe a Windows 10.5 of sorts.

    • Communities of people rarely operate on a basis of "morality," but rather, operate on the basis of a consensus in general goals. Since "morality" is pretty relative on this matter, the next best thing we can do is reach for net benefit.

      Sometimes, it's required to make a small compromise for the sake of continued growth. Especially since the developer-to-user ratio for FOSS is extremely small, and the workload is carried by so few within that community to ensure there is a community.

      When there are few developers to cater to the needs of millions of users, sometimes it's the community who needs to appreciate what conveniences the developers need in order to continue their production for this community.

      After all, what's more "sense of community" than to look out for those who provide us our community?

    • I like how you phrased that as something we shouldn't be congratulatory about and then saying that it's not a bad thing either. It is unfortunate that those still running XP, though there are probably fairly few of them, are going to be unable to enjoy the continued progress of this software, it seems that it is an unfortunate necessity.

      Though we do have only our 'morality and sense of community' to guide use we also have limited resources that must be allocated in such a way so as to best serve the greater portion of that community. The energy and effort that was applied to ensuring compatibility with legacy OSes is energy that could be otherwise used to improve the software in both function and feature. I therefore can't celebrate the discontinuation of XP support but I do wholly understand and support it.

  2. You have to move with technology, or get left behind.

    Personally, I'd have no problem with the complete dropping of 32bit versions and support for anything before Windows 7.

    • Stephen Norrington on

      well, I have Linux, xp, 7, 8 and 8.1 at my studio because these are the configs with which the machines were incepted and they all have their uses - in my view, the most valuable aspect of Blender is not that it moves fwd to new platforms (which is good and inevitable) but that provides earlier versions of Blender on the site - this is vital for keeping older studio investments functional despite MS/Apple/Adobe/Autodesk's constant pressure to force software re-buys (and thus hardware) as often as they can

      Blender is a godsend not just for its functionality but also for its generous philosophy - I do most of my previs and 2K test renders on an giant xp machine running 2.68a, lightning fast, costs me nothing to stay in business and continues to provide great value from an "ancient"" $2k machine which MS would force me to junk for their benefit if they could - high end finals are done on new machines using 2.76 and rendered across multiple machine with various OS - taken all together I run a "render farm" of about eleven machines, 90% of which could be dismissed as "old" despite them industriously running every day spitting out excellent renders

      • Here is a tip, compare power consumption of the older machines with the new ones.
        You will see the newer machines providing more performance per power/energy used.
        Depending on how intensively you use them and how old your computers are, those old computers could be costing more through your power bill in two years than buying a newer computer would cost.

        • Stephen Norrington on

          er, maybe, my power bill is minuscule (four workstations, six laptops of which three are 2015 models) but the downtime, start-from-scratch ramp back up to productivity, inevitable incompatibilities and patches as I wrangle new machines to do what's necessary, new application versions I have to buy, sorry, rent, no-choice updating and inevitable breakages that come with Windows 10 not to mention the philosophical objections of having to do this because a corporation says so (and do it all over again in two years time), all of this outweighs the meagre benefits of replacing fast, reliable, unbroken machines that are rendering 2K and 4K results as we speak - none of this would be a viable model for a small studio if Blender Foundation didn't continue to make earlier versions of Blender available - that's my point: having the whole history of Blender available to be deployed as necessary is an amazing "functionality" - I hope it will always be so

      • Stephen, my comments were from my own perspective. I agree that it's great that you can still run your system the way you want to. Forced upgrading is something that really grinds my gears (Microsoft DX version fiascos).

    • Well, it's fairer to say, "You have to move with technology where it's necessary, or get left behind."

      I say that, because folks nowadays keep hastily claiming things like that tablets are replacing PCs, but as a game developer and core PC user, tablets are too lightweight in my world.

      I do find a place for tablets in life, but just not as replacements for heavy-duty computers. Tablets and workstations can, do, and will co-exist, for as long as their designs and their purposes differ.

      So, that's why I say, on principle, "...where it's necessary." Sometimes options can co-exist. This situation here with Windows XP just isn't one of them. For a necessity's sake, developers leave it.

      And where we do leave behind an option, we can do it gracefully, by letting those affected folks know the decision isn't easy but it's necessary.

      Conveying one's understanding of another's feelings goes a long way for the spirit of community. ;)

      • I did say that it was "personally", and I I wouldn't want to force my opinion on others.

        A Tablet will never replace my PC. No chance. My tablet won't run twin large monitors and do all the things I want a PC to do. Yes, a tablet will let me browse Amazon while sitting on a bus, but that's not what a PC is for.

        My main point was that supporting OS's that are used by a tiny fraction of the userbase with every new release doesn't make sense if it's holding development back.

        I love Windows 7. If support for that was dropped, I'd be furious, I can sympathise with those people stuck on XP, but Windows XP really is ancient tech now.

  3. Totally unacceptable. When will these bullying tactics stop? There's nothing wrong with still using XP on that favourite laptop when you have the months of rendering time required. People these days are overly obsessed with getting the latest, greatest thing, right now. You can get used to 7 frames per second in your COD clone of choice, if you put your mind to it. Stop with the hard sell, Major Corporations like BF and Microsoft. Next they're going to tell us that you need more than one finger to type! Hah!!

    But seriously, I only replied to this because I don't see it as news worthy of comment. No one doing anything serious NEEDS an XP PC. It's a choice, and a very short term one at that. At home we have 4 Ubuntu boxes, one of which is used by my 4 year old daughter, a Win 10 machine for half of my work, and a Win 7 laptop for my wife because she is 'used to windows'. My daughter wasn't born with my wife's 'condition'. I don't think progress becomes such a whiny issue outside of computers, or does it?

    Completely different to axing 32-bit support though.

  4. It's a sad day, as I'm still running XP on my main computer (I also have Linux and Windows 7 machines, though). Would it have taken an inordinate amount of work to keep have supporting XP? In that case the action is justified. But I believe it really wasn't too much trouble to keep supporting it.

    • If you can find someone to re-engineer the current release of Python so that Blender can use all of its function calls across every Windows implementation, going all the way back to XP, with "not too much" trouble at all, go for it. Meanwhile, I'll start a new animation company, put out the best cartoon series of all time, make billions of dollars, and then meet up right back here at half-past impossible. (With apologies to John C McGinley, for paraphrasing one of the most awesome Scrubs lines his character ever delivered.)

      • Why is Python dropping support for XP anyway? It's not because there are any new features in Windows that it absolutely needs.

        • I imagine it would be harder and harder for them to find developers who are interested/capable of maintaining it. The more platforms you support, the more resources you need..

    • I'll put it this way: Pretty soon, even both Firefox and Chrome will stop supporting Windows XP. It's just harder to keep it going, with so many newer platforms and newer priorities to attend to now.

      There does come a point where, after putting up long extended support for an older system, one decides it's time to utilize their efforts more efficiently.

      With heavier workloads of development and bigger goals ahead, it's become necessary to put the extra work for supporting XP aside.

      Not anything personal against XP, of course, but just on a practical note, it helps our community's developers. It's been a good run.

      • Luckily, my current laptop has support for Windows 7, even though I'm running XP on it I have the option to switch. The reason I haven't is that it would take me a couple of days of work reinstalling all my software.

  5. I think it's amazing that Windows XP has been supported for all this time. I would've guessed that support was dropped years ago. To give you some perspective, Maya dropped support for XP back in 2014.

  6. Stephen Norrington on

    given that we will all be back here in three years having the same convo re: Windows 7 (and then 8, 10 etc), it seems important to emphasize that, if you consider the "Blender + operating system + hardware" unit as a valuable and durable studio tool, the fact that Blender Foundation continues to make past versions available is fantastic and speaks volumes to Ton et al's generous philosophy -

    of course, development must move forward to improve things and keep in step with the other parts of the ecosystem, and developers have to make hard choices at forks in the road - but none of that means previous iterations have to be dismissed/denigrated/abandoned/withdrawn - if a kid is starting out today and has a cheap old hand-me-down laptop with an OS three years "out of date", there's still a Blender version available for that, - with skill and dedication that kid can produce some world-class animation -

    also, I've found that moving the pipeline to a new OS while running older versions helps smooth migration, with Blender it's not an all-or-nothing situation - but this is only possible because of Blender's freely available "back catalogue" - in the near-future when commercial OSs are available by forced-updating subscription only (with all the downtime, cost and breakage that entails), being able to load up an old reliable OS from a once-commercially-available DVD onto an "outdated" i7 (!) machine, load up B276 and do amazing animation, rendering and compositing freely (ie: without forced "collaboration" with one's Big Corp "art partners"), this is a very valuable aspect of the Blender system

  7. It's Bad News for me. I use Blender on WinXP until now.
    Is there a possibility to compile the 2.77 Source to WinXP?

  8. We will end with the malware OS called Windows 10.
    I think that the same thing will happen when Microsoft quits the support for Windows 7 in 2 Years.
    Blender only on Windows 10 - please no

    • I used to think the same as you, but having tamed its privacy issues and customised it, I actually love Windows 10 now. I've been on 7 for years and have been claiming it to be the best since its release.

      Why do you call it malware?

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