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Table of Contents

This page provides information on installing V-Ray for Houdini.

Download V-Ray for Houdini


V-Ray for Houdini installation can be done via an installer or via a zip file. The V-Ray installer automatically removes any previous V-Ray for Houdini versions. If you experience problems, you can manually uninstall the previous versions to perform a clean install.

Follow this step-by-step guide to set up the V-Ray installation via an installer.

Please check the system requirements before installation.

Trial users should refer to the Free Trial page, as the process differs from the one shown here.

Running the Installer

Before running the installation, make sure your OS account has administrative privileges.

Run the installer. Windows / macOS / Linux may ask you for permission to run the installer with administrator privileges. Please confirm.

Information on How to run the MacOS installer safely on macOS Catalina and later can be found on the Installation of Chaos Cloud Rendering Client App page or in Apple's How to open an app that hasn’t been notarized or is from an unidentified developer article.

End User License Agreement

Please take a moment to review the License Agreement.

Once you've carefully read the License Agreement, you can click "I accept the Agreement" if you agree to the terms. Proceed to click the Install button.

If you need to customize your V-Ray installation, click the Advanced button.

Install Directories

Advanced settings

Here, you can specify the installation paths for V-Ray for Houdini and the Houdini Packages. Please check if the default folders are correct.

Windows default folders:

C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\Houdini####

C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini##.#.###\packages

macOS default folders:

/Application/Chaos Group/V-Ray/Houdini##.#.###


Linux default folders:

/usr/Chaos Group/V-Ray/Houdini##.#.###

/usr/Side Effects Software/Houdini##.#.###/packages

The V-Ray installer automatically sets default paths, which are configured for the latest version of Houdini. If you use an earlier version of Houdini, please be aware that you may have to manually add the correct paths for your specific version.

Help make V-Ray even better – Participate in the improvement decisions for future versions of V-Ray. No intelligence property is violated when agreeing to participate in the feedback program. Chaos does not gather scenes, assets, materials, etc. What Chaos receives is user preferences on just a few key render settings and the resulting render times. The point of this feature is to improve V-Ray's performance and the user experience. For more information, see the Chaos Telemetry page.


In this step, you can specify whether the V-Ray license server runs locally or on another machine.

If you select Remote licensing, you have to fill in the IP address of your V-Ray license server in the Primary License Server field. Leave port 30304 unchanged. An Alternate License Server can be used for redundancy in case the primary one does not respond. The License Server will not install when the Remote option is selected.

If you select the Local option, you can select whether you want to install the Chaos License Server, or use the one already installed, if any.

Chaos License Server Options

At this step you can choose the license server directory.

Windows default path: C:\Program Files\Chaos\VRLService
macOS default path: /Application/Chaos/VRLService
Linux default path: /usr/Chaos/VRLService

Migrate data during installation – When enabled, it transfers all of your settings made with earlier versions of Chaos License Server, such as proxy settings, etc. Disabling this option makes a clean install of Chaos License Server with any custom settings from previous installations reset to their defaults.

Add firewall exception – When enabled, the default licensing port (TCP 30304) can pass the firewall. If you disable it at this step, you need to manually add firewall exceptions later.

Installation Process

After you click the Install button, the installer proceeds to uninstall any previous versions and installs V-Ray on your machine.

If the installer detects any applications that need to be closed, it shows an error before being able to continue. Please close the applications and click Continue anyway, or restart the installation.

Once V-Ray installation has finished, the Chaos Cloud client installation starts. Note that the download process might take a while.

V-Ray installation is successful.

Licensing V-Ray

Once the Chaos License Server installation is complete, you are directed to the Chaos License Server local host ( in order to sign in.

The Chaos License Server will skip its installation process for two reasons:

  • If it detects a previous installation of the Online License Server on your machine.
  • If you choose the Remote V-Ray license server on the network option.

For full information on the Chaos License Server options and settings, see the Licensing section of the documentation.

Loading the V-Ray Shelf

When starting V-Ray for Houdini for the first time, you need to manually load the V-Ray Shelf. From the Houdini shelf, click the plus + icon, navigate to Shelves, and select V-Ray from the list.

Selecting a Renderer

To render with V-Ray, simply click the Render button from the V-Ray Shelf. This automatically creates a vray_renderer node in the Network Editor (if one is not already present) and launches the V-Ray Frame Buffer.