php: Could not startup.

Informative error message… NOT.

I’ve installed php-gtk on a machine and got the above error when trying to start php from cli via ssh.

After a while it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t forwarded X when I logged in via ssh. After that I was able to use php again. php with php-gtk is unable to start without a X server.

Php-gtk deb packages for Ubuntu Karmic

At work I was assigned to package some software to make it easier to distribute and update. One of those software packages was php-gtk which with one patch to the build/configure files now cleanly builds on Ubuntu. You will be able to find the package on my Ubuntu PPA. You will be able to find builds for both 32bit and 64bit platforms.

I’m also in the process of uploading packages for FriFinans which is an Open Source economy / accounting application. This should be easier… lets see how it goes :)

Running Tales of Monkey Island with Wine

I’m a proud adventure game fan boy and have enjoyed countless hours in the company of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Legend of Kyrandia among others. ScummVm have helped to re enjoy many of these titles after replacing my preferred desktop system with Linux.

When the news reached my ears about “Tales of Monkey Island” I was very exited. But also nervous if would be able to play these episodes without Windows… but fear no more.

It is possible!

My system:

  • Nvidia graphic card
  • Ubuntu Karmic 64bit
  • Wine from special package archive (to get native pulse audio support)

The episodes install on all Wine versions I’ve tried on so far (several guides on the internet suggests not to check for DirectX, though I haven’t personally experienced any difference). When the game starts you are asked to provide the serial number. In this phase I’ve encountered trouble several times. Earlier providing the serial number only worked in old versions of Wine (like version 1.0) but this time I got it working with the newest version of Wine (which at the time was 1.1.32). Also I had to delete my .wine folder in order to reset wine because I apparently had some IE6 leftovers in there which otherwise would mess up the registration.

After activating the episodes you need to install D3DX9_41.dll into .wine/drive_c/windows/system32. Remember Linux is case sensitive so it is possible to have several different files with the same name except for the case. If it still doesn’t work make sure you only have one d3dx9_41.dll and that it’s not the one provided by wine (which won’t work).

Now the game starts… but for me the sound jittered. After looking around I found that it was ALSA interface in Pulseaudio which kept loosing the “connection” re initiating it. My saviour was Neil Wilson who have packaged Wine with a native pulseaudio audio plugin. This did the trick for me and Tales of Monkey Island is now very much playable at least for me :D

I wish Boxee had Lovefilm support

After using Boxee for some time now I tried to find an European alternative and landed on Lovefilm. Sadly Lovefilm isn’t accessible through Boxee.

Lovefilm at least supports Firefox users… if I would ever find the time to try write a plugin myself this is the links I would use:

First of I’m not alone thinking Lovefilm for Boxee would a great idea :D

Next I would need some information about developing plugins for Boxee (incl. a tutorial).

Lastly I would probably need some stuff for Emacs which I’ve been using for a while now.

Undelete / restore deleted files on ext3 is possible

For a long time I thought the only way to restore something deleted on ext3 was to cat the device and grep for known strings from the deleted files. Which:

  1. only worked for text files like like config and code files.
  2. was very cumbersome and error prone.

Anyway thanks to Carlo Wood, ext3grep and this fine tutotial about HOWTO recover deleted files on an ext3 file system which has proven me wrong. Not that I need it right now but I’ve been there and will probably end up in the situation again.