I've written some python scrips that use the ArcPy module to do some pretty intensive processing. I'd like to be able to run these on the fast unix server we have in our department so that I don't have to tie up my machine for hours running these.

Firstly: is this possible?

If it is, then do I need to install some part of ArcGIS on the machine (I can't seem to find ArcGIS Desktop for linux/unix), do I need ArcGIS server on there, or do I just need to put the python modules on there, plus something to let it find the license?

I've tried to research this but have ended up getting very confused about the various parts of ArcGIS and what does what!

3 Answers 3


ArcGIS Desktop is Windows only, but you can install ArcGIS Server on Linux or Solaris, and use ArcPy to access geoprocessing tasks. I believe that you'll need to have ArcPy loaded on the same machine that you have ArcGIS Server installed on.

License considerations

You'll need a separate license of ArcGIS Server to run on your unix server for this to work at all.

  • Is this a "properly" license situation, though? If they purchased one license for AGS and install it on Windows, can they then install it on a linux box and authorize it? Never tried it myself, but I have a feeling it's not going to work. Oct 5, 2010 at 19:22
  • 1
    Um, no; not remotely "properly" licensed. In order for this to work on the "fast unix server", it's going to need its own license.
    – Herb
    Oct 5, 2010 at 19:52
  • Thanks guys. I'm at a university, so I assume the site license will cover it. I'll get the IT department to look into it.
    – robintw
    Oct 5, 2010 at 20:38
  • Depending on your license situation, the simplest install that you could do on your server would be to install ArcEngine. I don't believe that it will be supported for much longer on unix though.
    – DavidF
    Oct 6, 2010 at 14:04

Actually on unix/linux you can run either server or engine products. Engine may be a better solution for you if all you want to do is run python scripts. You can still get access to all gp tools.


I have done this. I had installed arcgis engine on Redhat linux. Once installed it has arcpy also in it..hence you can run it.

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