Wednesday, August 11, 2010

InstallShield Wizard Fails With OpenJDK

I tried installing software packaged using InstallShield but each time I ran the installer it would fail with the message:

could not load wizard specified in /wizard.inf (104)

The problem turned out to be that after recently installing Lucid Lynx the JRE is OpenJDK, even though I had installed the Sun Java packages (sun-java6-*) I hadn't updated my Java alternatives. All that was needed was to switch to the Sun JRE, thus:

sudo update-java-alternatives -v -s java-6-sun

In fact, I subsequently removed all OpenJDK-related packages.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

External Monitor as Primary/Default Display

I recently installed Lucid Lynx on my Dell Inspiron 9400. One niggling annoyance was that the Dell's LCD screen was the primary display, whereas I wanted my external monitor (BenQ T2200D via DVI) to be the primary display.

Ultimately, the solution was simple:
  1. run the NVidia X Server Settings tool (gksudo nvidia-settings)
  2. in the X Server Display Configuration I made sure the Dell's display (Seiko) was disabled
  3. when saving to the X Configuration file, i.e. /etc/X11/xorg.conf, I chose not to merge with existing file
  4. restart X

Installing Lucid Lynx 10.04 on Dell Inspiron 9400

After successfully installing Lucid on a Compaq Evo 510s and a Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4020 I decided to get serious and upgrade my workhorse Dell Inspiron 9400 from Hardy to Lucid.

I decided to do a clean install rather than an upgrade as I've generally had better success doing so in the past, and the result is usually cleaner as I only reinstall packages that I need rather than upgrading packages that I might no longer use. The downside is that it can take considerably longer.

The installation went smoothly and I have only a couple of unresolved problems:
  1. I have an external monitor (BenQ T2200HD) connected to the Dell via DVI. Whenever X-windows (re-)starts (e.g. boot, logout) the display switches back to the Dell's LCD display, so I have to manually switch to the BenQ (Fn+F8 twice) before logging in. Switching displays after logging in results in the LCD's display resolution being applied to the Benq, which is annoying.
  2. If I switch users and then logout of the second user account the display goes irretrievably blank/black rather than displaying the first user's screen-saver (locked). This appears to be a known bug.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lucid Lynx cifs support needs smbfs package

After a recent upgrade to Lucid Lynx I attempted to mount a network drive using mount -t cifs ... It failed each time with the following in dmesg:

CIFS VFS: cifs_mount failed w/return code = -22

Ultimately, the solution was to install the smbfs package.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No XDMCP in Lucid Greeter

I recently upgraded a Compaq Evo 510s from Hardy to Lucid. The Evo is essentially a thin-client via XDMCP. However, after upgrading I found that the gdm greeter in Lucid no longer offers an option to remotely connect to another X-server.

This appears to be a bone of contention for many users, me included. Several options exist to work-around this problem. Ultimately, I chose to install kdm, whose greeter does include an option to use XDMCP to connect to a remote X-server.

X unstable running Lucid on a Compaq Evo 510s

I recently upgraded a Compaq Evo 510s from Hardy to Lucid. The first problem I encountered was instability running X-windows. The display would go black with a few white stripes.

It seems I wasn't alone - other Lucid users with Intel's integrated graphics chip were reporting similar problems. Several solutions have been proposed. I went with the simplest - switching to the VESA video driver. This solves the problem at the expense of losing hardware accelerated graphics. However, as the Evo is essentially a thin-client this wasn't a problem.

Installing Lucid Lynx 10.04 on a Compaq Evo 510s

I have a policy of only installing Ubuntu's LTS releases, so with the release of Lucid Lynx it was time to migrate from Hardy. I started with an aging Compaq Evo 510s. I used the upgrade path via the update-manager.

Things went smoothly aside from a couple of warnings regarding the flashplugin-nonfree package. I dismissed these, however, at the completion of the upgrade the warning became an error and the upgrade process exited before clean-up and completion.

Upon rebooting the Evo appeared to have Lucid installed but it was very unstable (a separate issue). Fortunately, the Evo is little more than a (XDMCP) thin-client. So, I burned a Lucid ISO and performed a fresh installation. This time the installation completed successfully.