Blender and the Space Navigator under Gentoo

I have used Blender for some years now and I recently began to think about buying a 3dconnexion Space Navigator.

I read that Blender and the Space Navigator worked under Linux and managed to borrow a Space Navigator from work over this long weekend.

I downloaded the 32bit drivers (3DxWare for Linux (i386)) from as well as the “Blender plug-in for Linux i386 (beta)

Installing the Space Navigator driver

I extracted the 3dxware-linux-v1-4-3.i386.tar.gz file to /tmp/3d/

tar -xvzf 3dxware-linux-v1-4-3.i386.tar.gz -C /tmp/3d/
cd /tmp/3d/
sudo ./

I then recieved an error saying was missing.

/etc/3DxWare/daemon/3dxsrv: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I pressed CTRL-C to abort the script.

After a little checking I found that I have but not 3, so I created a symbolic link from libXm 4 to 3.

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

I then re-ran the install script again.

This time it all worked.  I did not configure it to auto start though.

Now I simply started the driver via

sudo /etc/3DxWare/daemon/3dxsrv -d usb

and was greeted by the blue lights on the Space Navigator and the messages

3DxWareUNIX = V1.4.3
Device      = SpaceNavigator
Firmware    = V3.17

there was also a minimised window called 3DxWare 1.4.3, which appears the be the settings dialog (like the Windows Control Panel control)

I then ran the xcube example from /tmp/3d/ and the space navigator worked great.  I changed a few settings as I prefer pressing and pulling to be zoom in and out.

Installing the Blender plugin

I was a little surprised by this, as the forums said I should have a ~/.blender/ directory and I didnt.

I decided that creating the directory couldn’t cause any problems so I created a directory

mkdir -p ~/.blender/plugins/

and copied the 3DxNdofBlender.plug file into it.  The new NDOF icons appeared at the bottom of the viewport.  See

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