Currently we support building against Houdini and Maya on Linux and Windows. If you don't want to self-compile, you can also download pre-compiled builds on our release page. To load the resolver, you must specify a few environment variables, see our Resolvers > Environment Variables section for more details.

Setting up our build environment

After installing the requirements, we first need to set a couple of environment variables that our cmake file depends on.

Using our convenience setup script

On Linux we provide a bash script that you can source that sets up our development environment. This sets a few environment variables needed to build the resolver as well as for Houdini/Maya to load it. This can be done by running the following from the source directory:


In the file you can define what resolver to compile by setting the RESOLVER_NAME variable to one of the resolvers listed in resolvers in camelCase syntax (for example fileResolver or pythonResolver). Here you'll also have to define what Houdini/Maya version to compile against.

It will then automatically set the PATH, PYTHONPATH, PXR_PLUGINPATH_NAME and LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to the correct paths so that after your run the compile, the resolver will be loaded correctly (e.g. if you launch Houdini via houdinifx, it will load everything correctly). The build process also logs this information again.

By default it also sets the TF_DEBUG env var to AR_RESOLVER_INIT so that you'll get logs of what resolver is loaded by USD's plugin system, which you can use to verify that everything is working correctly.

Manually setting up the environment

If you don't want to use our convenience script, you can also setup the environment manually.

# Linux
## Houdini
export AR_DCC_NAME=houdini
export HFS=<PathToHoudiniRoot> # For example "/opt/hfs<HoudiniVersion>"
## Maya
export AR_DCC_NAME=maya
export MAYA_USD_SDK_ROOT="/path/to/maya/usd/sdk/root/.../mayausd/USD"
export MAYA_USD_SDK_DEVKIT_ROOT="/path/to/maya/usd/sdk/root/.../content/of/"
export PYTHON_ROOT="/path/to/python/root"
## Resolver
export AR_RESOLVER_NAME=fileResolver

# Windows
## Houdini
set AR_DCC_NAME=houdini
set HFS=<PathToHoudiniRoot> # For example "C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\<HoudiniVersion>"
## Maya
set AR_DCC_NAME=maya
set MAYA_USD_SDK_ROOT="/path/to/maya/usd/sdk/root/.../mayausd/USD"
set MAYA_USD_SDK_DEVKIT_ROOT="/path/to/maya/usd/sdk/root/.../content/of/"
set PYTHON_ROOT="/path/to/python/root"
## Resolver
set AR_RESOLVER_NAME=fileResolver

Running the build

To run the build, run:

Houdini GCC ABI Change

Starting with Houdini 20, SideFX is offering gcc 11 builds that don't use the old Lib C ABI. Our automatic GitHub builds make use of this starting Houdini 20 and upwards. To make our CMake script still work with H19.5, we automatically switch to use the old ABI, if the Houdini version 19.5 is in the Houdini root folder path.

If you want to still build against gcc 9 (with the old Lib C ABI) with Houdini 20 and upwards, you'll need to set _GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=0 as described below and make sure you have the right Houdini build installed.

If you want to enforce it manually, you'll need to update the line below in our main CMakeLists.txt file. For gcc 9 builds Houdini uses the old Lib C ABI, so you'll need to set it to _GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=0, for gcc 11 to _GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=1.

See the official Release Notes for more information.

# Linux
# Windows

The files also contain (commented out) the environment definition part above, so alternatively just comment out the lines and you are good to go.

Testing the build

Unit tests are automatically run post-build on Linux using the Houdini/Maya version you are using. You can find each resolvers tests in its respective src//testenv folder.

Alternatively you can run Houdini/Maya and check if the resolver executes correctly. If you didn't use our convenience script as noted above, you'll have to specify a few environment variables, so that our plugin is correctly detected by USD.

Head over to our Resolvers > Environment Variables section on how to do this.

After that everything should run smoothly, you can try loading the examples in the "files" directory or work through our example setup section for a simple production example.

Customize build

If you want to further configure the build, you can head into the CMakeLists.txt in the root of this repo. In the first section of the file, you can configure various things, like the environment variables that the resolvers use, Python module namespaces and what resolvers to compile. This is a standard CMakeLists.txt file that you can also configure via CMake-GUI. If you don't want to use the bash script, you can also configure and compile this project like any other C++ project via this file.


If you want to locally build this documentation, you'll have to download mdBook and mdBook-admonish and add their parent directories to the PATHenv variable so that the executables are found.

You can do this via bash (after running source

export MDBOOK_VERSION="0.4.28"
curl -L$MDBOOK_VERSION/mdbook-v$MDBOOK_VERSION-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu.tar.gz | tar xz -C ${REPO_ROOT}/tools
curl -L$MDBOOK_ADMONISH_VERSION/mdbook-admonish-v$MDBOOK_ADMONISH_VERSION-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu.tar.gz | tar xz -C ${REPO_ROOT}/tools
export PATH=${REPO_ROOT}/tools:$PATH

You then can just run the following to build the documentation in html format:


The documentation will then be built in docs/book.