Thursday, October 22, 2009

IBM iSeries Access on Ubuntu Jaunty

At the company where I work we use a software based on IBM terminal emulation for warehouse management and the like. Usually everyone logs in from the windows client, except me :-). I made it to run under Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. Let's see how!
IBM provides an rpm package for linux users,

but Ubuntu doesn't like rpm's, so we have to create a deb from it.
You can install a package converter application called Alien from the repo.

I made a mistake with the parameters of this converter: I forgot to add parameter '-c', so some scripts included in the rpm package were gone. These scripts intended to create symlinks to Client Access files, so I had to recreate the symlinks. (The error message I got, was: „error while loading shared libraries:”)
This way I didn't have to reinstall the whole package.

After the installation was done, I had to deal with some new error messages :-) The install package had some unhandled dependencies, like this one: „error while loading shared libraries:”. I found a solution in this forum thread:

I had to install the 'libmotif3' package, which includes the library. OK, that's done, let's see the next one.

„Xt Warning: locale not supported by C library”

I had to generate the ISO-8859 locale for ibm5250 (instead of UTF-8) with this command:

'locale-gen en_US'.

Some other forum users needed to install a font package also ('msttcorefonts'), but I didn't need this (though it is still not installed).

And finally here is the result:

I am now able to log in to AS400 from Ubuntu.

Great :-)

So this is what IBM calls a native linux client :-) Have fun with it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mouse pointer disintegration

I took this screenshot of a new installation of Virtualbox yesterday, when I started a previously prepared VM.

I understand that sometimes it is difficult to decide which way to go. But when something is working properly, why do you have to ruin it with stupid questions? :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hibernate problems with my Windows 7 RC

I went through a few reinstalls recently and finally found a strange situation with Windows RC’s Hibernate function. It just didn’t want to work.

When I clicked on the Sleep button in Start menu (I use „hybrid sleep” if available), nothing happened. I looked in the Event viewer if something strange can be seen, but found nothing. I turned off hybrid sleep and tried to hibernate the PC, but no change. Screen went to black for a second, then I got the logon screen again.

Let’s think a little, what is happening during going to sleep mode? The system writes the memory content to a file on the hard drive with some additional info (processor state, etc.) and temporarily modifies the boot loader to start from hibernation, instead of normal booting. The file is there in the root of drive „C:”. Let’s see the boot configuration.


Oops. Now what is this? Google has several answers to this in various tech forums, but none of them worked for me. I could create another data store, but I couldn’t use it.

I have a multiboot system with usually at least 3 operating systems through Ubuntu’s Grub.

My Ubuntu with the Grub is on the first hard drive and my Windows 7 is on the second hard drive. If I changed the order and booted directly from Windows Boot Loader, everything worked OK!

So let’s take a look at the Grub menu now.


Something’s missing, right? Yes, changing the hard drive order, with command ’map’.

Let’s see what it does. The GNU GRUB Manual says:

Command: map to_drive from_drive

Map the drive from_drive to the drive to_drive. This is necessary when you chain-load some operating systems, such as DOS, if such an OS resides at a non-first drive. Here is an example:

          grub> map (hd0) (hd1)
          grub> map (hd1) (hd0)
The example exchanges the order between the first hard disk and the second hard disk.

So we need this:


That looks just a little better now. Windows „likes to be” the first HD, so Grub needs to fake it. After reboot to Windows 7, the Hibernate function worked perfectly, and “bcdedit” showed this picture:


So this is a good example of how you can fix a Windows related problem from a Linux environment (because I edited Grub from Ubuntu Jaunty).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Virtualization in a box

I’ve been using virtualization for many years now, mainly for testing, but for compatibility reasons either. MS VirtualPC was the most convenient for me for Windows clients, but I discovered Sun xVM VirtualBox recently. It is as powerful as clean, it’s easy to set up and to use.

imageSome of the supported features are:
- HW virtualization;
- shared folders;
- Seamless Mode;
- 3D acceleration … and many more.

At installation it configures a virtual network for the clients, with 1 or more virtual cards, DHCP server and everything. Clients communicate with the LAN or the internet through this tunnel.


But the funniest and coolest feature is called the Seamless Mode. If you install Guest Additions on the guest system, you get some bonus features, including mouse movement integration with the host … and the possibility of Seamless Mode. Turning it on your guest system will break out of its prison; the desktop background will disappear, only the taskbar(s) and the program windows will exist on the host’s desktop. It’s just unbelievable :-).


I think a similar solution will be Microsoft’s Virtual XP Mode in Windows 7, with a little more integration (including even the Start menu), but Seamless Mode works between Windows and Linux systems as well.

Another great thing is, that you can find completely prepared, ready-to-run .vdi images on the net, and try new operating systems with just a few clicks. You have to pay for some of them, but a great amount of the library is free, so you can start experimenting.

You can find the software on the project’s webpage: .

You can download .vdi images from here: .

In the near future I’ll show you some interesting OS’s I’ve tried.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Windows Vista quiz

I know that Vista is not "cool" already and everything, but this was one of those competitions where I actually WON something :-)

Not too bad for a half an hour "job" though ... I got the retail box version of Vista Ultimate, 32 and 64 bits on separate DVDs, and I used it for almost 2 years. Now running the Windows 7 RC, there is no need of Vista anymore, even if 7 is not a final version yet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Windows 7 article

This is my attempt on the Windows 7 Competition, organized by the hungarian Technet team.

I didn't manage to win anything, but it was a great fun to look a bit deeper into Windows 7 beta.