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I haven't used Blender for months but since I am in need of some 3D graphics for a presentation I decided it was a good time to try out the new 2.5 version. Building blender from source is usually quite painless so after following the Fedora 12 guide (and using the pre-built Python 3.1 rpms) I was surprised to discover that running the binary caused an error:

found bundled python: /home/stou/src/blender-svn/install/linux2/.blender/python
Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: can't initialize sys standard streams
ImportError: No module named encodings.utf_8

The problem was the existence of the empty blender-svn/install/linux2/.blender/python directory... maybe it was causing blender to think that it should use the bundled version of python3.1 instead of the system default one. Who knows, deleting the directory (rm -rf /home/stou/src/blender-svn/install/linux2/.blender/python) fixed the problem:

http://www.siafoo.net/image/193?w=500

Oh and the relevant lines of my user-config.py file are:

BF_PYTHON="/usr/lib64/python3.1"
BF_PYTHON_LIBPATH = '${BF_PYTHON}/lib-dynload'
BF_PYTHON_VERSION = '3.1'
BF_PYTHON_INC = '/usr/include/python${BF_PYTHON_VERSION}'
BF_PYTHON_BINARY = '/usr/bin/python${BF_PYTHON_VERSION}'

By the way if you run blender but none of the tools show up:

http://www.siafoo.net/image/192?w=500

you are missing the .blender directory