2 questions - ltsp sound and unreliable booting

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at gmail.com
Mon Nov 27 00:06:47 GMT 2006


On Sun, 26 Nov 2006, Rob Shugg wrote:

> I checked the export settings when starting programs from the menu and
> I'm seeing:
> export ESPEAKER=''
> so that looks good.
> I dont seem to be able to repeat my previous results now the only
> sound that works on the client are:
> -the test tones in sound preferences
> -mouseover on an mp3 file on the desktop (top shows this as mpg123)

So mpg123 is respecting the ESPEAKER and sending output to the thin client.

> So I wonder if this is hogging the sound device. 

Assuming ESD is running, ESD hogs the sound device so nothing else could.
mpg123 would have to play via esd.  If you think about it, mpg123 isn't
even running on the thin client so it has no direct access to sound card to
hog it.

> I tried to uninstall mpg123 but apt says its not installed - I suspect
> its part of another package, 

It's probably mpg321 (a re-implementation with better license).  But don't
remove it, it's one of the things that _is_ working right.

> in any case I disabled it by renaming the binary and rebooting - no joy
> sound still comes out of the server.  hmmm...

Sound from what program?  Your problem seems to be at least one of:

1. Individual programs are not respecting the ESPEAKER variable.  Instead
   they're ignoring it and sending sound output to the server sound card.

2. The ESPEAKER variable is not actually set in the environment of the
   programs your running.  You mentioned that totem's sound worked when
   you started it from the command line.  This might indicate the ESPEAKER
   variable is not set except from the command line.  This is why I
   suggested adding the debug line to /usr/bin/firefox -- so you can see
   what ENV vars are set.

3. esd is not behaving well on the thin client, eg crashing.  

If a program consistently plays through the server sound card, it seems the
issue must be [1] or [2].  If you can figure out which, that would be a big
help.  If it's [2] we need to fix the environment, if it's [1] we need to
report a bug against that program.  What would be best is if you could
compile a list of programs you've tested, which work properly, which play
to the server and whether they work better when you set the env var and run
from the command line.  Also, if there's any reliability issues, ie [3], we
need to know about them too.

Sound support on thin clients in Edubuntu is new in Edgy so there are
inevitably some wrinkles.  The quickest way to get them fixed is with
detailed reports of what works, what doesn't and when.

> on the other issue I have tried this :
> http://wiki.ltsp.org/twiki/bin/view/Ltsp/NFS#NFS_Server_not_responding
> and so far it seems to have improved the boot reliability but I need
> to do more testing to be sure

Sounds like progress.

Is there an Edubuntu thin client troubleshooting page?  If not could we
start one on a wiki somewhere?  I have a few standard problems which need
documenting, eg problems caused by having two network cards in a thin
client (say an on-board and a pci pxe card).  The above issue seems like a
good one to get documented clearly.


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