Why is the state of computer aided engineering software so bad on Linux

This is something which came up in (a thread about the CentOS stream debacle) [CentOS Becoming Rolling(-ish?) Release] but started to stray off of the main topic there, so I decided to start a new thread.

companies like Dessault Systems, and Siemens are very bad at supporting their programs on the Linux platforms they support.

Instead of saying “our program depends on the following system libraries at these versions” they say “it works on RHEL 7, or SUSE, and if you use any other distribution we won’t offer you any support”

So, is you’re like me, you install CentOS 7 and are able to convince the support team that it’s equivalent to RHEL.

@SgtAwesomesauce replied:

The main reason I see for the poor state of the software in the computer aided engineering space is that the market is dominated by just a few main players (Dassault, Siemens, Autodesk, and ANSYS). Each of these companies offers a walled garden which attempts to offer all the software to design, analyze, manufacture, and manage the lifecycle of any product.

In order to do this, they look at the weaknesses in their portfolio of offerings, and then go and acquire a company which does it better than they currently do. Once acquired the parent company generally directs much of the development effort away from maintaining their core product, towards integrating it with the rest of the software portfolio.

While the original company may have done a good job supporting Linux as a platform, after the acquisition multi platform support trends to get bad.

It doesn’t help that the users of CAE software have a lot of knowledge in their niche of engineering, but don’t tend to be very knowledgeable about computers, operating systems, or systems administration. This is especially true of those senior enough to be making purchasing decisions about very expensive software licenses.


Well, you answered your own question, really:

If broad(er) Linux support is offered, it punches seriously big holes in their carefully erected and rigorously guarded protective garden wall, and thus seriously impacts their revenue stream. So they don’t do it. :roll_eyes:

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