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Graphics card/chip, JAVA, and X Server

Hi All,

system specs:

Server - Dell PowerEdge 2950 MKIII

OS - RHEL5

Graphics Card/Chip - ATI ES1000

We appear to be having an issue running a software program called IDV (http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/idv/) although I don't think that that piece of software is what is causing the problem. IDV requires Java and Java3d to be installed - which they are - and the program is typically run from a GUI interface which we access by using an X server and exporting the display to a local machine. However, IDV also offers the ability to not open a GUI and simply run from the command line. When we try to run a particular script w/the GUI it works perfectly but when we try w/out the GUI we get the output at the end of this post.

Ultimately I think the issue boils down to the graphics card b/c my googling as turned up a large number of problems w/the same error msg - not involving the use of IDV - which centered around JAVA and the ATI graphics cards/chips. Any info I found that had solutions seemed to involve updating the driver for the ATI card but after speaking w/RS support they do not seem to think that this is possible w/the hardware I mentioned above. As I see it there are two options:

1) Use a program like Xvfb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xvfb) to export the display to a virtual frame buffer so that we can "trick" IDV, etc into thinking that it is using the GUI. My attempts at using Xvfb so far have failed w/a Xvfb seg fault (similar to this bug report https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=467370).

2) Figure out if it is actually possible to update the driver for the ATI hardware.

Any chance people can provide some insight into any of these options or anything which seems even remotely similar to what is going on here for that matter? Thanks in advance.

Cheers,

Matt

Output:

[wtiops@rs1 idv]$ /usr/local/bin/IDV_2.7b2/runIDV SUPER_NATIONAL_8km_VIS.isl
Tue Jun 02 16:14:47 CDT 2009: Loading bundle: SUPER_NATIONAL_8km_VIS.xidv
Java 3D WARNING : reported GLX version = 1.2
GLX version 1.3 or higher is required
The reported version number may be incorrect. There is a known
ATI driver bug in glXQueryVersion that incorrectly reports the GLX
version as 1.2 when it really is 1.3, so Java 3D will attempt to
run anyway.
JAVA 3D: OpenGL 1.2 detected; will run with reduced functionality
Java 3D ERROR : FBConfig doesn't support pbuffer or pixmap returns None

DefaultRenderingErrorListener.errorOccurred:
OFF_SCREEN_BUFFER_ERROR: Renderer: Error creating Canvas3D off-screen buffer
graphicsDevice = X11GraphicsDevice[screen=0]
canvas = visad.java3d.VisADCanvasJ3D[canvas0,0,0,960x720,invalid]
Java 3D ERROR : FBConfig doesn't support pbuffer or pixmap returns None
Java 3D ERROR : glXMakeCurrent fails

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  • I'm not aware of a method to run the X-server without some form of graphics hardware. Many server platforms have at least an embedded VGA. Perhaps others know of a way to force xorg without a hardware check.

    When an X-server is running, it's helpful to run from a remote machine:

    ssh -2 -Y user@servername

    Then try:

    gnome-panel

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