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Home Designer Software for Linux OS

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 7/24/2010

If you are moving or if you are thinking about making some redesign at home, then you have to measure everything in order to decide what to put where. With Linux, this can be entertaining and fun. Plus, you will have a plan that looks like one drawn by a professional!

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    There are a lot of home designer software applications in the market that you can purchase with varying prices. But for a user who is not professional in this area, the options look very complicated. The added downside is that the majority of them are available for the Windows operating system, but Linux users are not alone. They have Sweet Home 3D.

    Before analyzing the software, I have to tell you that I have used the software to the maximum degree before I was married to design our new home. To do that, I have purchased an ultrasonic distance measurer with a laser pointer to take measurements. (I have purchased it for a price of about USD 20 in my country and Amazon has a similar gadget at a similar price. I strongly recommend purchasing one, because it greatly reduces the time, and the tiredness, you will experience.) Then, I recorded every measurement that I took and finally had my plan, which I carried with me everywhere.

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    Sweet Home 3D

    To download Sweet Home 3D, go to its website, click Download and select the file that is appropriate for your Linux installation (32-bit or 64-bit). Once downloaded, open the file by double clicking it and extract the contents to a convenient location, such as /home/user_name/Downloads/SweetHome. After the installation, just run the SweetHome3D executable under the SweetHome directory. The program comes as a “complete installation package", which means that you do not need to think about the dependencies; everything the program needs to run is in the downloaded file. The total download is about 45 Megabytes.


    When you run the software, you will see that the screen is divided into four panes: the upper right is the 2D model of your house, the bottom right is the 3D view, the upper left is the containers section, where you choose the furniture type by rooms (such as kitchen, bathroom, etc.). and the bottom left is the list of items/furniture that is available in the container that you selected in the upper left pane.

    Begin by selecting the walls that surround the house and make sure that you follow the dimensions that are presented real-time to you when you are drawing. You will need this when you are exporting your image. Then go on with drawing the interior walls and finally place your furniture in the 2D or 3D view. In the bottom right pane, you will see that the items have width, depth, and height values. You can modify them according to your requirements. For example, if you want to see how the particular IKEA item will fit in your living room, modify the furniture’s dimensions and place it in your living room to get an overview of your prospective purchase. I’ll let you explore more things to do, such as changing your wall and floor colors and the textures.

    This excellent home designer software for Linux does not fall short of anything- you can even import more furniture or other items to your containers. Make a Google search and you will be amazed with the number of items that you will see. If this is not enough, you can take photos of your virtual home, and if that still is not enough, you can create a 3D video in which you can set the walking path inside the house and create a video that is the same as yourself walking with a camera inside the drawing. And finally, if you are interested in 3D modeling, you can export your home design to a 3D program, such as Blender and apply some lights. You will not believe what you will be seeing.

    Image credit:

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    We have just scratched the surface of this powerful and simple home designer software for Linux. You can export your drawings to PDF or image files, of which I find PDF to be handier due to its lower file size and the fact that it can be opened in virtually any computer.

    To compare Sweet Home 3D with Google’s Sketch up, I personally find Sweet Home 3D easier to use with more functions when designing the interior of the house; it does not have the ability to design the exterior. The second downside is, although it can be enhanced with plug-ins, there are not many of them available. Aside from these, the program is a must-have for any Linux user who needs home designer software.