Tuesday Feb 09, 2010

Installing and running Fluidsynth on OpenSolaris

I'm a sucker for a good multimedia package.  I love playing with software that does movie playback on encoding, audio playback, transcoding...you name it, I love playing with it.  So naturally I was pretty psyched to see that somebody has contributed the Fluidsynth software synthesizer package to OpenSolaris.  Here is what I did to install it and run it in order to prove that the package actually works.  (here's a spoiler for you: it does work.)

Fluidsynth was put into the OpenSolaris "pending" repository, the idea being that people will check it out and if it's deemed to be of reasonable quality, it'll get voted into the contributed software repository.  The "contrib" repo is where good packages go after they've been testing in the "pending" repo staging area.  We haven't voted on Fluidsynth yet as of the time I write this; I'm hoping that will change after people read what I've done here.

(note: for my testing, I am running OpenSolaris build snv_111b)

First things first: set up OpenSolaris to find packages from the Source Juicer "pending" repository with these two steps:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
Next, I launched the Package Manager application and chose the "jucr-pending" repository from the pop-up menu on the right side of that application's user interface.  After Package Manager thought about its new catalog of apps for a moment, I saw a list of hundreds of packages available to me.  I used the search field to type "fluid", and found the "fluidsynth" package.  Selected that, saw that it lists several other packages as dependencies (i.e., those other packages had better be installed for Fluidsynth to work correctly), then I installed it.  Nicely, the Package Manager installed Fluidsynth and its dependent packages for me.

At this point I ran into a little snag, which is not the fault of OpenSolaris: I'm testing this within OpenSolaris, but OpenSolaris is running as a VirtualBox guest on my Mac Book Pro.  Turns out that audio support in OpenSolaris under VirtualBox needs a little bit of work to get going.  It's easy enough, though, and took less than five minutes to get it working.  The instructions on how to make it work are in this blog post, which is clearly written.  And I had fewer problems than were mentioned; I didn't have to reboot or uninstall the "SUNWaudiohd" package.  Good times!

At this point, my big challenge was where to find two files to test Fluidsynth: a sound font (basically, a description of instruments that Fluidsynth uses to play music), and some music (a MIDI file).  I did a Google search to find a nice Yamaha DX-7 electric piano sound font (I happened to find it here), and it was easy to find any number of .mid files to play.

To test, I typed "fluidsynth <name-of-sound-font.SF> <name-of-MIDI-file.mid>".  That worked just fine: I heard the music loud and clear, although Fluidsynth complained that there is no /dev/midi.  I believe it is expecting me to connect a MIDI keyboard to the computer and start playing, which is not necessary for this test.  Also, Fluidsynth had to re-map some of the MIDI file's preferred instruments to what was available in the sound font's instrument library.  Not a problem, though.

Just for fun, I tried turning off the built-in chorus and reverb effects, and I boosted the amplitude to see if these features worked:

"fluidsynth --chorus no --reverb no --gain 0.8 <name-of-sound-font.SF> <name-of-MIDI-file.mid>".  I also tried changing these parameters individually to isolate the effects.  Again, this worked fine.

As far as I can tell, Fluidsynth works perfectly well on OpenSolaris.  It should make a fine addition to the contrib repo.


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Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

How To Install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris (it's easy!)

I just published a short how-to video showing how you can easily install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris.


Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working with Drupal for a couple of years now; I also use Acquia Drupal to develop and maintain this web site, which also hosts my personal blog.  The Drupal community is amazingly vibrant and growing by leaps and bounds, and Acquia has done a nice job of commercializing the Drupal open source content management software package.  Acquia Drupal is still free, but it has some nice additions that any Drupal user or developer would want.

Anyway, check out the video; it's about 8 minutes long and walks you through the steps to find the catalog of third party applications, then get Acquia Drupal and configure it on your OpenSolaris system.  It's easy, and it just works.

Oh and by the way: props to our Sun Learning Exchange web site and staff for making it so darned easy to publish content.  Nice job, folks!



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Friday Nov 06, 2009

Installing and running Ruby-rack on OpenSolaris

Rack is a webserver interface for the Ruby open source programming environment.  Amanda Waite took the trouble of making this package available via the OpenSolaris packaging mechanism; ultimately, ruby-rack will be in the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, but not until it gets a little testing and review, and some votes from the community, this functionality is now in the OpenSolaris "pending" repository.  I admit to great naivete about Ruby, so I'll refer you to this excellent explanation of what Rack does for Ruby developers.  (my summary of what I got from the explanation: Rack is a web framework for Ruby developers; in other words, if you like writing Ruby code and you want to write code to create a web-based application, Rack is a nice extension to Ruby to make doing this easy).

Anyway, been doing some testing of the package that Amanda submitted.  Here's what I did and what I observed:

First, I made sure I had access to the OpenSolaris Source Juicer "pending" repository.  As I've noted before, two steps:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  You will find the package "ruby-rack" there.  Note that case matters; the package name is all lowercase.

So I did this and downloaded the package.  The package notes that it depends on the Ruby package.  The Package Manager pulled it in just fine.  How do I know?  Before installation, I could not type "ruby" and get anything back.  Afterward, it worked.

Next step:

$ cd /usr/ruby/1.8/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rack-1.0.1/example
$ rackup lobster.ru


This starts a web server on port 9292 with a little "lobster" program.  I launch the web browser and go to "http://localhost:9292" and I saw a simple web app that shows a crude "picture" of a lobster, and two things I can do: flip the lobster from right to left and back again, and show a crash dump of the Ruby Rack program.  I tried both of those things; they worked just fine.

After this, I killed the "rackup" program then tried it again with the other ".ru" file in that same directory, "protectedlobster.ru".  That gives an added feature of authenticating into the web app (password is "secret"; as far as I can tell, use any username you wish).  That worked, too: if I didn't provide the right password, nothing happened.  If I provided the right password, it worked fine.

So that all worked just fine.  The next set of tests was more in-depth, running a partial test suite.  For this set of steps, I had to install both the "SUNWgcc" and "SUNWgmake" packages, again with the Package Manager.  I did these steps:
  1. su - (i.e., pretend you're root; without doing this, step 3 below complained that it couldn't write to /var/ruby/1.8/gem_home/bin)
  2. Add /var/ruby/1.8/gem_home/bin to your $PATH
  3. type CXX=/usr/sfw/bin/g++ gem install memcache-client ruby-openid camping mongrel thin test-spec --no-ri --no-rdoc
  4. type "gem install rake"
  5. type "rake test".
The output showed it compiling some stuff, then it said "Started" followed by a bunch of periods showing status, then "Finish in 3.960495 seconds."  Finally, a results line said "267 tests, 928 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors".

That sounds like good news to me!

So folks: the Ruby Rack web framework is available via OpenSolaris.  Check it out and see if it works for you, Ruby developers.  Let us know how it goes, will ya?


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Tuesday Oct 27, 2009

Installing and running Silverstripe on OpenSolaris

SilverStripe is an open source content management system (CMS); we in Sun's ISV Engineering department have been working on getting this and other important open source applications into the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, a place meant for third party applications that anybody can contribute.  I've been testing the SilverStripe package that Jenny Chen contributed; here are my notes.

Mostly, SilverStripe installs just fine; however, it has the same little hiccup as Joomla! did when I tested its installer.  (I documented that problem and workaround here)  No big deal, though: it's easy to apply the same quick workaround for MySQL before you get on your way.

Once done, I launched my web browser on my OpenSolaris box and went here: "http://localhost/silverstripe".  That brings me to the web-based SilverStripe installer.  It all looks good, but one thing to note at the bottom of the page (in the "Webserver Configuration" section) is that SilverStripe can't tell what web server OpenSolaris is running.  With the Web Stack, we're running the Apache web server.

One other note from the SilverStripe installer: it advises me to set the "allow_call_time_pass_reference" parameter in /etc/php/5.2/php.ini to "On", which I did just to avoid getting warnings shown to me during the installation process.

Anyway, did that, then pressed the "Install SilverStripe" button to get the installation on its way.  The installation took two minutes fifteen seconds (really; I timed it) under a fairly heavily-loaded computer.

It worked fine; I was able to add a couple of pages to my site, add a user and give that user privileges, and see it in action.

So now, if you use SilverStripe you can get to it in OpenSolaris via the Package Manager.  If you don't know how to install packages from the OpenSolaris "pending" repository (a staging area we use to test packages before they're promoted to the "contrib" repo I mentioned above)., then the main thing you need to learn is how to add repositories to your Package Manager application.  Do these two steps from a shell on your OpenSolaris installation:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  You will find the package "silverstripe" there.  Note that case matters; the package name is all lowercase.

Check it out and let us know what you think.  Did SilverStripe install and work fine for you in OpenSolaris?  Give us some feedback.


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Friday Sep 11, 2009

Installing and running Joomla! in OpenSolaris

The OpenSolaris "/contrib" repository is a place where anybody can contribute open source software packages, which are then available for you to install on OpenSolaris.  Before a packages gets promoted to the contrib repo, you submit your package / application to a repository called "pending".  The idea is that people can test packages and get others to try them out before they get promoted so that the packages in "contrib" have been at least smoke-tested.

Recently I've noticed the number of packages and apps available growing pretty nicely, and I've been testing some of the apps that our own group (Sun's ISV Engineering organization) has been contributing.  Most of the packages I've tested have gone smoothly.  One gave me a little hiccup so I thought I'd describe what I did to get it working.

That package is the Joomla! content management system.

Installation was actually a snap; once you install the package with the OpenSolaris Package Manager, just fire up the web browser and go to http://localhost/joomla and you get the Joomla! installer.

Well, it's a little more complicated than that; you need to make sure you create a database for Joomla! to use, like this:

mysqladmin -u joomla -p create joomla

mysql -u joomla -p
mysql> grant all privileges on joomla.\* to 'joomla'@'localhost' identified by [password in single quotes here];

(assuming I created a MySQL database user called "joomla", I'm also creating a database called "joomla")

After a few web screens, I can login as the Joomla! admin just fine, but trying to go to the Joomla! front page as a regular non-admin person causes a long series of errors to spit out at me (and rather rudely, I might add); see the end of this post for the details.

Turns out it's a MySQL problem; you can see the discussion here.  The current workaround is to run MySQL in 64-bit mode, but in order to do that, you need to make sure you're running OpenSolaris in 64-bit mode.  If you type "isainfo -k" and it returns "x86", that's not good enough.

I am doing my testing in VirtualBox; to make sure I'm running OpenSolaris in 64-bit mode, I go to the VirtualBox main application panel where I can see the settings for my virtual machine.  Near the top, the section called "General", The "OS Type" field sais "OpenSolaris".  I change that to "OpenSolaris (64-bit)" and the next time I boot OpenSolaris, it's in 64-bit mode.

One more step; making sure to launch the 64-bit version of the MySQL service.  Do this:

svccfg -s mysql:version_51 setprop mysql/enable_64bit=true
svcadm refresh mysql:version_51
svcadm restart mysql:version_51

I did just this, and went back to http://localhost/joomla and everything worked perfectly well.  Joomla! works just fine in OpenSolaris, as you would expect.  Nice looking app, too.

P.S.:  (Joomla / MySQL error message below)



\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
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Friday Mar 20, 2009

Notes on Setting up a Drupal automated test bot on OpenSolaris

On drupal.org, there is a topic about how to set up an automated test bot.  I'd like us at Sun to contribute to Drupal's automated test farm, so I'm trying to set up a computer running OpenSolaris to be a test server.  Here are notes I've taken based on the work I've done so far to get it working.


I got the test package here.  Unpacked it into /var/local, as per the instructions listed here.

- To get my test bot running on OpenSolaris, I have modified the following files in the directory tree:
First, I created a new profile, called it "opensolaris" (here it is).  Some parameters are different on OpenSolaris than on CentOS or Debian / Ubuntu; re-defined as appropriate for OpenSolaris.  (example: starting, stopping, and re-launching services like Apache.  Use the Service Management Framework (SMF) In OpenSolaris for easy start/stop/restart of services and automatically take care of other services which may need to be managed as dependencies.)

Next, tried to run the "testing_server_install.sh" script to see if everything just worked.  Nope.  Ran into several obstacles; here they are, with the fixes / workarounds to make things work.

Obstacle #1: cvs checkout with "-z6" option seemed to stall.  I think the check-out happened okay and cvs just isn't exiting, but I'm not sure.

Fix #1: added new variable to the profiles: CVS_COMPRESSION.  Then, modified the "install" shell script; whenever it used to say "$CVS -z6", substitute "$CVS $CVS_COMPRESSION".  Now in the platform-specific templates (in the profiles/ directory), look where "CVS" is defined.  Add a line before it, creating a new variable called "CVS_COMPRESSION" and on OpenSolaris, define it as empty (i.e., don't pass the "-z6" flag).  The cvs works fine without the "-z6" option.

Note to self: need to find out why -z6 didn't work.


Obstacle #2: tried running the script, it complained that it can't log into MySQL with root user & password.

Fix #2: I forgot to set up the DB with password.  Went into MySQL and did that.

Obstacle #3: APACHE_INIT didn't work as currently defined.  Needs to accommodate different ways of starting services; in particular, the OpenSolaris svcadm command syntax different from using init.d.

Fix #3: Modify the definition of $APACHE_INIT for OpenSolaris.  Also, modify the "install" script to just invoke "$APACHE_INIT" with no arguments (i.e., no "restart") since it'll now be part of the $APACHE_INIT variable itself.

Obstacle #4: during useradd, complains that usernames are too long. Red herring; it's a warning, not an error.

Fix #3: ignore it.  Ideally, either have OpenSolaris accept usernames longer than 8 characters (really, it doesn't do that?), or shorten the usernames for Drupal test package.

Obstacle #4: during useradd, the use of the "-m" flag caused useradd to fail.  Why does "-m" fail?  It's a conflict with trying to add directory in /home, which is automount-mapped to /export/home.  There's an OpenSolaris bug about this.

Fix #4: Specify a "-b" option to set the base directory to /export/home, i.e., "-b /export/home".  Added a variable to the profiles: "USERADDFLAGS", specified "-b /export/home" in the opensolaris profile.  Then, changed the "install" script to invoke $USERADD with $USERADDFLAGS.

Alternate Fix #4: disable automounting for the test apparatus.  I didn't try that.

Obstacle #5: PHP complains about not having valid timezone set.  Script continues fine, doesn't complain, but I'd like to get rid of the warning complaint message.  I'd rather not modify the php.ini file to set timezone, but setting TZ didn't work either.

Fix #5: Set /etc/php/5.2/php.ini line "date.timezone" to "US/Pacific"; that eliminates the warning complaint message.


After these fixes, the script ran to completion.  Next, launched the browser, tried to visit my virtual test site's virtual domain, which I called "www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com".

Obstacle #6: In my browser, went to http://localhost.  Nothing appeared.

Fix #6: Don't go there; go to http://www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com instead.  That's the virtual site used for the testing.

Obstacle #7: In my browser, went to http://www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com.  Nothing appeared.  Need to tell my system to resolve "www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com" to "127.0.0.1" (i.e., localhost).

Fix #7: added "www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com" to the end of the line in /etc/hosts that contains "127.0.0.1".  The entire line now looks like this:

127.0.0.1 vbox-testhost localhost loghost www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com

Obstacle #8: In my browser, went to http://www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com.  Apache told me it couldn't access this site; didn't have permissions to access the drupal subdir in /var/www, where the drupal instance is installed.  As it turns out; the install process creates a "vhosts.conf" file to tell Apache that we're creating a virtual host (www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com); the install process puts this in /var/apache2/2.2/vhosts.conf which is fine, but the default Apache install on OpenSolaris denies access to virtual directories. 


Fix #8: Reverse access policy for the virtual host.  Modify the "install" script, the section that begins and add the following two lines to that directive:

Order allow,deny
Allow from all

(note: no space around the comman separating allow and deny)


Next, restart the web server (go to the GNOME Applications menu and choose "Applications -> Developer Tools -> Web Stack Admin -> Start Apache2/MySQL Servers".

Now, browsing to http://www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com works; I see the DrupalTestBot page and can log into Drupal.

Note to self: was this the correct way to give permissions to Apache for the drupal directory root /var/www/drupal on the VirtualHost www.opensolarisdrupaltest.com?


Okay, so now it's all configured; so far, so good.  What next?

How can I try out my test bot to see if it's configured and working correctly?

How do I make my test bot part of the test server farm?

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