Summary: Rhino 4.0 with Service Release 2 (or newer) runs fine on all flavors of MS Vista, but there are serious issues for Rhino 3.0. Please add reports on your experience.
Note: Since Microsoft issued Service Pack 1 for Vista, it has proven to be much more stable and reliable. We recommend all users keep their operating systems up to date with all of the “critical updates” issued by Microsoft. The Windows Update Tool, found in the Tools pull-down menu of MS Internet Explorer, is an easy tool to use and makes keeping your system up to date relatively painless. Added 5 March 2009 - John Brock
Rhino 3.0 and 4.0 run on Windows Vista, but the 3-D display performance (OpenGL) can be much worse than on Windows XP or 2000 using the same hardware. Independent benchmarks show discouraging results for other CAD applications that use OpenGL.
Vista also has new security features that may cause a few extra security messages during startup.
Rhino V4 starts with no plug-ins loaded
A small number of users have reported that installing Rhino V4 (SR2 and newer) on Vista has resulted in no plug-ins and occasionally no toolbars loaded unless logged in and running as the local Administrator. This has been more common on Vista Home Premium systems, but has been reported on all flavors of Vista. Most users do not report this problem and we have not been able to duplicate the problem here in the Rhino Development Team.
Users have reported that if they turn off User Account Control (Control Panel - User Accounts), and temporarily disable any antivirus and system protection software before running the Rhino installation again, solves the problem. After reinstalling and running Rhino once, you should restart your antivirus and system protection tools. You can turn UAC back on if you want to as well.
Added 5 March 2009 - John Brock
Non-accelerated OpenGL, sometimes called OpenGL Software Emulation or Standard OpenGL, is supported on Windows Vista. Rhino runs with Non-accelerated OpenGL, but because it is not accelerated, it can be quite slow - especially with large models.
Windows Vista does not support accelerated OpenGL directly, and some video card manufacturers do not have drivers available for their cards. We do not know if drivers that support efficient accelerated OpenGL will ever be available for these cards.
Upgrading from XP to Vista
You may have an OpenGL card that provides excellent 3-D acceleration under Windows XP. If a driver is not available for Vista, upgrading to Vista will likely reduce or eliminate the benefits of your OpenGL card. This means that Rhino's 3-D display could be worse under Vista than XP with the exact same hardware.
New computers with Vista
If you are looking to buy a new computer with Vista pre-loaded, be sure to check if an OpenGL driver is available for the video card you select. If it is not, Rhino's display will likely be very slow.
Graphics Drivers for Vista
Rhino 4 Fix: The first service release of Rhino 4 will contain several display fixes that will allow Rhino to properly use accelerated graphics on Vista. In the mean time you can try one of the following two options:
Vista uses more memory than XP does. While the total amount of memory available for a process is unchanged, the amount of available RAM will be smaller with Vistas. Thus, if you are running up against the limits of memory with Rhino 3.0 on Windows XP, it will get worse with Vista. The maximum amount of RAM that Rhino 3.0 can use on Vista is 2GB.
Rhino 4.0, however, is compiled to use 3GB of RAM if it's available. On both Windows XP and Windows Vista, Rhino can use 3GB if it is available. More memory will be available with XP than with Vista, because XP uses less memory.
If memory is very important to you, XP will make more available for Rhino than Vista does.
There are several problems in Rhino 3.0 when running on Vista that will not be fixed. McNeel recommends upgrading to Rhino 4.0 if you use Windows Vista.
The problems are:
Advice on running V3.0 under Vista from McNeel's Jeff LaSor:
You can try configuring Rhino to run in certain compatibility modes in
Vista…Try the following:
1) Right-click on the Rhino icon on your desktop and select “Properties”
2) Click on the “Compatibility” tab.
3) CHECK the option “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and then
select “Windows XP (Service Pack 2)”
4) Further down on the dialog CHECK these 2 options:
[X] Disable visual themes [X] Disable desktop composition
Note: Disabling visual themes will hide the red X closer button on floating toolbars.
That should hopefully help get V3 running a little better…but note: This
will also cause all of Vista's Ultimate “effects” to be temporarily disabled
(ex. see through windows, etc..) while V3 is running.
When i try to install RhinoCeros 3.0 on vista, its says that it is already running and to close it before resuming setup, although its not even installed and no other instances of RhinoCeros is running?
Is that on a new machine that come with Vista or on an old machine that used to run something else? -P.Shenkin
My only Vista experience is on a new machine built (supposedly) for Vista. Also, I'm not sure my problems are all OpenGL-related: Graphics performance hasn't really been an issue so far–most problems I've encountered are in the UI elements, like toolbars. As of 06/19/2008, still can't find a mode that shows tooltips on hover. (Just a blank box.) –M.K.Mori