Thursday, November 04, 2010

Desktop Progress Continues

Problems can be solved, they just need time. :)

I had been kind of putting off a few technical issues while I explored options to see if better solutions existed. Our online friend "Pepp" has been poking at getting Helix/Real Player to compile natively in 64bit. The 32bit version runs, but the problem is that I was having problems getting padsp working to redirect the sound to PULSE. This is because you cannot wrap a 32bit application with 64 bit pulse libraries (padsp). I used cpio to extract the 32bit version of from the i586 RPMs and installed it into /usr/lib and created a padsp & padsp.64 to run both types of applications. Everything is working as it should now. Circled in purple below is real player running seamlessly from 64 bit Firefox. CPU usage is excellent, and sound and video are synced well. Seems like it's going to work just fine. I still would love a native port however! :)

I also was having some problems with the mail-notification popup applet, it apparently is still expecting the icons to be in the layout of older versions of GNOME and certain pieces of art were not displaying (stock_unknown and stock_mail and others). I went into the source code and forced it to read these icons from /usr/share/mail-notification/ as a quick hack and now everything is working. I also wrote a few lines of code to always force working settings into the mailboxes.xml file which houses the email account information to ensure it's working each time users log into the server. The ability to get popups when email arrives has proven very popular with the end users and it was important to bring this over to the new server.

The last major piece of testing is with our Microsoft Windows applications. I mentioned in an earlier blog that on the production desktop we were using three different connection methods to launch Windows, and we are standardizing them all now with RDP/Rdesktop. So some QA and testing days ahead for me.


Anonymous said...

48 cpus? 64G of ram? looks like a nice machine that you have there :)

fm said...

are you using the old rdesktop? I would strongly suggest to upgrade to xfreerdp it supports newer Windows way better and has a lot less bugs and an active team.

Dave Richards said...

@anonymous: It's a huge server for sure. We are not going to replace it for five years...and expect huge growth in Internet services, Flash, Java etc; all of which chew CPU.

@fm: I didn't even know about that fork, wow, thanks. I'll build it tomorrow and see how it all works.

trs80 said...

I recently found remmina, which is an awesome RDP/VNC client, although I don't know if it fits your use case.