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Using Persistence of Vision on Ubuntu

I’ve been using Persistence of Vision for almost 20 years. By using, I mean thaat I had times when I was pretty intensive users and most of the time where I didn’t touch it for spans of multiple years.

I recently decided to install it on my ubuntu, and there are some caveats that I’ll document here for safekeeping.

Installation: pretty easy

apt-get install povray

Configuration: not so easy

You need to configure it to work easily from command line. The following files are involved :

  • povray.conf, which describes security limitations mainly
  • povray.ini, which defines default behaviour for povray command line.

Both file should be in ~/.povray/3.7/ (or whatever pov version you’re using) Assuming your pov scenes and personal includes are in ~/pov

$ mkdir -p ~/.povray/3.7

$ cat povray.ini 
Library_Path=/home/bruce/pov/include/
Library_Path=/usr/share/povray-3.7/include/
# FULL HD 16/10
Width=1920
Height=1200
Antialias=On
Antialias_Threshold=0.3
Display=off
Output_to_File=on
Output_File_Type=T
Output_File_Name=/home/bruce/pov/output/
$ cat povray.conf 
[File I/O Security]
restricted

[Shellout Security]
allowed

[Permitted Paths]
read*=/home/bruce/pov
read*=/usr/share/povray-3.7
read+write=/home/bruce/output
read+write*=/tmp

Default file for povray.conf  is in /etc/povray/3.7/povray.conf and it seems that the user version can’t extend rights but only restrict them.

Rendering a scene: now trivial

It is now as simple as typing

$ povray -Isample_lego.pov

and results as a tga being outputted in the ~/pov/output folder.  Examples of dubious quality can be found in my git repository on bitbucket.