Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Mon 15th Jan, 2007

Odd hackery across operating systems

So the next step in getting MixMeister working under WINE seems to be to get a bunch of SELinux context problems sorted. The command to do this is chcon -r textrel_shlib_t <file> - it allows the file to be loaded as a shared object library. I must remember that. This got MixMeister to show its front screen, but it still complains that WMVCore.DLL is missing.

Aside: my fallback, if this WINE hackery wasn't going to work, was going to be starting up in Windows (I still have an XP Home license installed on a smallish partition, since I'm loath to throw away something that costs money when I'm given it and I can find a use for it.) Resigning myself to not using Linux, I restarted in Windows. And then discovered two problems. One is that I only have a demo version of MixMeister Studio 7 that I was trying out a while ago. I'd have to grab the install files and my registration key off my home server - not impossible despite its 34MB installer size.

The second problem was that my portable drive, which regular readers will recall I specifically formatted into FAT32 (yes, using the -F 32 switch to mkfs -t vfat, which otherwise will give you a 12 or 16 bit FAT) in order to make it accessible under Windows should I have to go to this fallback position, is not recognised under Windows. It sees the drive, and the partition, and can even determine that it's a 32-bit FAT partition and see how much free space there is. But it just remains greyed out, and there is no option active in the context menu apart from "Delete Partition". Strangely enough, I don't want to do that.

Of course, Windows won't bother the user with such useless information as why it won't allow me to see that partition. Or what I can do about it. Or why it sees my LVM partition and assigns it a drive letter without being able to read it in the slightest. That's totally useless information to the user. Oooh, sorry, I said too much: that's totally useless. That's all that I need to say.

So, it's back to Linux again to see what I can do. Using Windows has reminded me that I have a perfectly working copy of Windows on my hard disk, with MixMeister installed and working on it. This means that there's a fully working copy of WMVCore.DLL in there somewhere. And thanks to prescience, I have already loaded the kernel NTFS drivers and can mount NTFS partitions. A bit of finding later, I've copied the WMVCore.DLL and another one it seemed to need (wmasf.dll) over to my WINE \windows\system32 directory and given them the necessary permissions. And MixMeister is now no longer complaining about it missing DLL files, or producing SELinux audit messages in the system message log.

Instead, it's just crashing with the message "wineserver crashed, please report this."


Another thing to try and figure out. Another thing to wade into, blindly trying to find out any information I can about what's going wrong. Another thing to stab haphazardly at, pressing buttons at random just to see if anything changes. I'm sure at this point more clueful people just give up, knowing smiles on their faces, saying "only a true lunatic with far more time on their hands than is good for them would ever bother to try and work out what's going wrong at this point."

Maybe this would be a good Lightning Talk.

So, I find wineserver and find out how to run it in debug mode (-d2 -f). That didn't actually really help - nothing in the debug was any different between a good run (with the unpatched server) and a bad run except the bad run just cuts out with the helpful message (null)( ). Antti Roppola, looking over my shoulder at one point, suggested running wineserver under strace, and this revealed that wineserver is getting a segfault. Now to try and put a bit of debugging in the things I've added to see if this can tell me why.

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