Can You Run SolidWorks on Linux?

Can You Run SolidWorks on Linux?

Linux is a popular operating system known for its stability, security, and open-source nature. Many developers and professionals prefer Linux for their work. However, when it comes to running specific software like SolidWorks, which is primarily designed for Windows, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

What is SolidWorks?

SolidWorks is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software widely used in various industries such as engineering, manufacturing, and architecture. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools for creating 3D models, simulations, and drawings.

Compatibility Challenges

Running SolidWorks on Linux can be challenging due to its compatibility limitations with the operating system. As SolidWorks is primarily developed to work on Windows, it relies heavily on specific libraries and dependencies that are not readily available on Linux systems.


To overcome the compatibility issue, one possible solution is to use virtualization software such as VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, or KVM. These tools allow you to create a virtual machine running Windows within your Linux environment. By installing SolidWorks within the virtual machine, you can effectively run the software on your Linux system.


Wine, an open-source compatibility layer program, provides another option for running Windows applications on Linux. It allows you to install and run some Windows programs directly on your Linux distribution without the need for a separate virtual machine.

However, it’s important to note that not all applications work flawlessly with Wine, including SolidWorks. The complex nature of SolidWorks may result in compatibility issues and reduced performance.

Alternatives to SolidWorks on Linux

If running SolidWorks on Linux proves to be too challenging or impractical, there are alternative CAD software options available that are compatible with Linux:

  • FreeCAD: FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeler suitable for designing real-life objects of any size. It offers a range of tools and features similar to SolidWorks.
  • LibreCAD: LibreCAD is a free and open-source 2D CAD application.

    It provides a simple and intuitive interface for creating 2D drawings and designs.

  • DraftSight: DraftSight is a professional-grade 2D CAD software available for free. It allows you to create, edit, and view DWG files, making it compatible with industry-standard AutoCAD files.

The Final Verdict

In conclusion, while running SolidWorks on Linux can be challenging due to compatibility limitations, it is not entirely impossible. Virtualization software like VirtualBox or Wine can help you run SolidWorks within your Linux environment. However, if running SolidWorks natively on Linux proves too difficult, there are alternative CAD software options available that are compatible with Linux, such as FreeCAD, LibreCAD, and DraftSight.

Note: Before attempting to run SolidWorks on Linux using virtualization or compatibility layer programs like Wine, make sure to check the system requirements and consult the official documentation or forums for any known issues or workarounds specific to your setup.