First off, the machine I installed to was a brand new Quad Core Intel system with 2 Nvidia 8800 GTX video cards installed and 8 GB of RAM. I had Vista Ultimate 32 Bit installed, but I really wanted to take advantage of the extra memory I bought to use with Maya 2008 which is very resource intensive. So rather than go out and buy 64-bit Vista I decided I'd try using a Linux 64-bit OS as it was a.) free b.) worked with Maya 2008 and c.) something I've always wanted to try anyways.
I started out by just downloading the latest stable release of Fedora Core 9 from the Fedora project website and burning it to a DVD. Then, after changing my BIOS to boot off the DVD drive first, I ran the installation. That's when I hit my first roadblock. The screen blanked out after the first couple screens of the installation (basically when the installation went graphical). I posted online for help and was told to get the latest Fedora Unity Re-spin since it was probably an issue with the original release not supporting my video card. Sure enough, with the re-spin, I was able to do a successful install.
I should note, that being a first time Linux user, I found the documentation on the recommended partitioning of my linux drive to be very helpful. As I was doing a dual boot setup I was forced to setup the partitioning of my drive manually. The installation documentation on the Fedora Project website was very helpful in this manner.
Anyways, moving on, the next thing I did was attempt to install Maya 2008 using the instructions provided in the Maya 2008 documentation. Unfortunately, the instructions were designed for use on Fedora Core 5 which apparently was what this release of Maya was tested with so I had just a little trouble getting it configured. In a broad sense, here are the steps you need to take to get it installed:
1.) Log into Linux as \root. If you are doing this just after install you probably haven't created a user account yet so you can just use the default account (which is root) that you created during setup.
2.) Next, go into your Command Shell. By default this is usually the BASH shell, but on the advice of others, I changed it over to CSH (C-Shell) by simply typing in csh and enter at the BASH command prompt.
3.) The next step is to mount the DVD drive. For people unfamiliar with linux this may sound odd to you like it did to me. So although you can access the DVD just fine through the graphical interface, you cannot reach it without first mounting the DVD file system when running from the command shell. The mount command will look something like this:
mount /dev/dvd or
Once this is done you should be able to access the drive.
4.) Next, you need to install the proper Maya 2008 packages on the machine. If you are also attempting to do a 64-bit install as I did, go ahead and use the ones in the maya-amd64 folder (that may not be the exact name of the folder on the CD but it's something similar to that). Use the rpm utility at the command prompt to install the packages. There are, I believe, 3 packages you must install, and a 4th (documentation) that is optional.
Anyways, after you get it all installed, type "maya" at the command prompt to try and start up Maya for the first time. This is the part where I got hung up on the longest. What was not clear in the documentation or on any one site anywhere was that even though you are trying to install Maya64 on a 64bit OS, the licensing application for Maya requires 32-bit libraries to run. If you did an install like I did where these 32 bit libraries weren't installed by default, you'll run into errors like...