Monthly Archives: February 2010

Build Scribus 1.3.6.svn in Ubuntu 9.10

Something to pass the time while I figure out why it won’t build on OpenSolaris…

Assuming a base, freshly patched install of Ubuntu 9.10 x86, install these packages using Synaptic package manager:


Installing prerequisite packages using Synaptic package manager


mkdir ~/scribusinstall
mkdir ~/scribussource
cd ~/scribussource
svn co svn://
cd ~/scribussource/Version135/Scribus
mkdir builddir
cd builddir
cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=~/scribusinstall
sudo make install
cd ~/scribusinstall/bin

Scribus 1.3.6.svn splash screen

Install and/or run qtconfig to fine-tune the look and feel of Qt-based applications (on Linux, sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig).


Scribus – New Zealand book

From Marcus Holland-Moritz, a stunning example of outstanding design chops coupled with open source software – and a New Zealand reference (my home) to boot:

New Zealand Book, made with Scribus and more...

In the author’s own words:

“I’ve put several months of work into this project. It features about 200 out of the 15,000 photos I took during my five weeks “down under” along with some anecdotes about my journey across the two islands of New Zealand.

The book was created exclusively using free and open source software. It is itself available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license.”


As I put it in my other entry about Scribus, I know of people who couldn’t assemble anything anywhere near this good with full access to a megabucks Adobe CS license.

The book may be purchased at: – and I might just purchase a copy myself. I love open source!

Opera 10 core dumps on OpenSolaris

Opera looks like a fantastic (albeit closed) cross-platform browser, but it’s been horrendously unstable on recent development builds of OpenSolaris (around snv_111 and up at least) such that it’s practically unusable.

Seems like this is quite a common occurrence with other Solaris users…the comments in this thread sum things up nicely, as well as threads here and here.

I made my own recent enquiries on the OpenSolaris Desktop developers’ forum, and happily it seems a major cause of the instability has been identified – refer to the post by Naoyuki referring to

Using the modified file in question things certainly seem a whole lot more crash-free – so looks like a resolution is not too far away!

Bugzilla report for the above:


Now, if they can only get Flash 10 support straightened out; with Oracle now owning Sun’s fantastic Sun Ray thin client computing solution you’d think a browser with a built-in kiosk mode would be a heck of an attractive proposition. C’mon Opera, please bring Opera for Solaris up to standard with the other platform versions! 🙂

(BTW I do see someone has helpfully made a Flash 10 wrapper as a workaround – which I intend to check out…)

Community meeting in Project Wonderland

Very good turnout with some 27 international users online – all running off a desktop Solaris machine as server. This marked the first time I’d really used Wonderland 0.5 running over the public internet; using my OpenSolaris snv_130 desktop to connect everything literally “just worked”. No special client software needed, just a JRE. I love Java.

Community meeting in Project Wonderland

Wonderland virtual meeting

Community meeting in Wonderland

With IBM backing OpenSim, and the appearance of an enterprise Second Life hardware appliance, I sure hope Oracle take a close look at Project Wonderland again in the near future…

Solaris 10 print serving using printmgr

Using CUPS would be the way to go (and I have an old blog entry from my Apple MobileMe site yet to import describing this), but to set up using the native Solaris 10 stuff:

Run the Solaris 10 printmgr GUI; in my example the printer to be configured is a networked HP LaserJet 4050N (so use “New Network Printer…” from the printmgr Printer menu).

First hiccup was the “Use PPD files” option in the printmgr Print Manager menu being grayed out; enabling the ppd-cache-update SMF service resolved this.

pfexec svcadm enable application/print/ppd-cache-update

PPD files option in Solaris 10 printmgr application

See for more information.


Filled out the relevant info for my printer:

Solaris 10 printmgr application

Second hiccup occurs whenever one tries to modify properties for an existing printer;

Solaris 10 printmgr java error

Can’t apply or OK any changes, and I’ve seen this consistently on several Solaris 10 machines; I can only assume that the problem is known and widespread. The only way around this I have found is to delete and create the print queue – not very convenient when all you might want to do is change banner page options…


Anyway, on the print server enable the IPP listening service:

$ pfexec svcadm enable svc:/application/print/ipp-listener:default

$ svcs -a | grep print

online         Feb_02   svc:/application/cde-printinfo:default
online         Feb_04   svc:/application/print/ppd-cache-update:default
online         Feb_05   svc:/application/print/server:default
online         14:08:17 svc:/application/print/rfc1179:default
online         15:02:18 svc:/application/print/ipp-listener:default

Print server should now be ready to receive print requests, run netstat -a:

   Local Address        Remote Address    Swind Send-Q Rwind Recv-Q    State
-------------------- -------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------ -----------
      *.631                *.*                0      0 49152      0 LISTEN

IPP listening on port 631.


With an OpenSolaris snv_130 client, using the Gnome Print Manager application, I connected to the network print queue using IPP. Worked fine – except a banner page would always be printed with each job, in spite of the server configured not to. Turns out this is a known issue:

Using the old-style printmgr application on OpenSolaris (i.e. /usr/sbin/printmgr) to “Add Access to Printer…” on the other hand works fine.


Printing from Ubuntu 9.10, using IPP:

Printing from Ubuntu 9.10 to Solaris 10

On Windows 7 Enterprise, had to use the “MS Publisher Imagesetter” driver to get sensible output with the HP 4050N. Using PCL5 / PCL6 resulted in no printer output (although jobs were logged at /var/lp/logs/requests), and using the PS driver results of course in streams of raw Postcript output:

Adding an IPP printer in Windows 7

Adding an IPP printer in Windows 7, using the "MS Publisher Imagesetter" driver



On the print server, view configuration for an installed printer:

cat /etc/lp/printers/sol10-4050n
Banner: off
Content types: postscript
Device: /dev/null
Interface: /usr/lib/lp/model/netstandard_foomatic
Printer type: unknown
Options: dest=,protocol=bsd
PPD: /usr/lib/lp/model/ppd/system/foomatic/HP/HP-LaserJet_4050-Postscript.ppd.gz



Gnome via VNC on Solaris 10

Bit fiddly setting this up.


First, grab SFWvnc off the Solaris 10 companion disc (if you don’t have it already)


Post install, followed the latter instructions in the SFWvnc readme:

“By default, vncserver will only run as root. In order to run as a user, you
must do one of:

Change the permissions of /tmp/.X11-unix to 777 by running
“chmod 777 /tmp/.X11-unix” as root
Change the permissions of /opt/sfw/bin/Xvnc (the VNC X server) by
running “chmod 2555 /opt/sfw/bin/Xvnc” as root”


Edited /opt/sfw/bin/vncserver, changing this:

    = ("#!/bin/sh\n\n".
       "[ -r \$HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb \$HOME/.Xresources\n".
       "xsetroot -solid grey\n".
       "xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title \"\$VNCDESKTOP Desktop\" &\n".
       "twm &\n");

to this:

    = ("#!/bin/sh\n\n".
       "[ -r \$HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb \$HOME/.Xresources\n".
       "xsetroot -solid grey\n".
       "xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title \"\$VNCDESKTOP Desktop\" &\n".
       "/usr/bin/gnome-session &\n");

(last line specifies the desired window manager)


Ran vncviewer as a non-root user, it launched the server and created a xstartup file in the newly created ~/.vnc folder.

Edited the xstartup file from this:

[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
twm &

to this

[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
/usr/bin/gnome-session &


Using Terminal Server Client (tsclient 0.150) on an OpenSolaris snv_130 machine, ensured I was specifying the correct display to connect to based on the information received at the CLI when running vncserver, e.g:

Et voila:

Gnome via VNC on Solaris 10

Sun/Oracle ends Project Wonderland sponsorship

Pretty disappointing really, but I guess Oracle are doing their best to get Sun into shape. Wonderland v0.4 was a pretty fantastic effort given in what an early stage of development it was, and it was with pride I demoed the software at a Virtual Worlds Symposium conducted at our local University.

Sounds like the Wonderland folks are determined to push ahead with it though, so I’m keen to revisit it (now at v0.5) and contribute to the project in whatever way I can.

Dave in Wonderland