2 questions - ltsp sound and unreliable booting

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at gmail.com
Mon Nov 13 10:43:18 GMT 2006


On Mon, 13 Nov 2006, Rob Shugg wrote:

> The first on is sound on the thin client- the sound works on logging in
> and I can get other system sounds to work but so far totem, xmms,real
> player, beep media player and VLC media player dont work - no complaints
> from any of these - just silence.  if I mouse over an mp3 file on the
> desktop it will stat playing and it also appears that rythmbox works as
> well. I have tested all the options in sound preferences and the only one
> that works is ESD - all the others fail silently.

As you probably already understand, all of these applications are running
on the server so in the normal run of things, they send their output to the
sound card on the server.  In the case of sound on thin clients, the
program is told that it must play through esd across the network to the
thin client.  It seems likely that some applications are aware of this and
some are still trying to play through the local sound card.

You could test this theory by putting speakers in the server sound card and
checking do you get sound through that.

As I understand it, the general way to instruct applications to play
through ESD is to set the ESPEAKER environment variable.  Perhaps you might
try this to investigate what's going on:

1. Start a terminal.
2. Type:
   if it replies <thinclientip>:<portnumber> it's correct, otherwise
   something may be wrong.
3. Try starting some of the problem applications direct from the command
   line and see does sound work.
4. If the ESPEAKER is not set, set it with
	export ESPEAKER=
   where the thin client ip is and the esd port number is
   16001 (I'm not sure what the port number usually is but this is probably
   a reasonable guess).
5. Try the applications again from the command line and see does [4] help.

You can certainly point xmms/beep direct at your esound daemon by hand,
under the output plugins you can tell it to use esound output, with ip and
port number.  It should really respond to the environment variable though.
I suspect you can probably configure vlc and totem similarly.

It would be interesting to get a list of those apps which you find ignore
the environment variable.

> The other problem I am having is unreliable booting of the thin
> client. it can take up to three power cycles to fully boot the client-
> it either hangs just after the progress bar starts moving on the
> edubuntu boot screen or it boots successfully. How do I debug this
> sort of thing are there any kernel messages on the thin client? if so
> where are they.

I'm not sure about this, there should be some way to get it to boot in a
"verbose" mode, but I'm still in ubuntu dapper which is a little more
talkative at boot time so I haven't had to do this.  Does any text appear
at all?


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