Solutions for technical problems with lab machines

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If the StarCAVE won't start up

When you run opencover and it stops at a message like "connected to slave 2", it probably means that the one following the one in the message is frozen, in this case node 3. You can find the order of nodes in starcave.xml below the setting for NumSlaves. The 3rd node is tile-0-2. Try to ssh into it (ssh tile-0-2). If that doesn't work it has locked up and you need to reboot the node. The power button is on the side facing the wall. Wait until it has completely booted up and shows a black screen, then run opencover again. If you want it to show the calibration image, see below under "Display calibration images".

Display calibration images on StarCAVE walls

This normally brings any missing calibration images up again:

tentakel /home/covise/bin/calibration_grid

If Rocks overwrites images:

  • cp /opt/viz/sbin/tile-banner /home/covise/tmp
  • vi /home/covise/tmp/tile-banner
  • comment out at end of file:
  # gobject.timeout_add(10000, callback, self)
  • tentakel cp /home/covise/tmp/tile-banner /opt/viz/sbin

If background is black:

  • Copy in custom tile-banner script:
 tentakel cp –f /home/install/sbin/archive/viz/testpattern/tile-banner /opt/viz/sbin/tile-banner
  • Restart X on each node: ssh tile-#-# init 3; init 5

Enabling Frame Lock with Dual Nvidia Quadro 5600 Cards

  • Make sure GSync II card is installed and connected to both graphics cards in correct order (primary, secondary)
  • Configure four outputs in Nvidia Settings tool as 2x2 array (dual Twin View with Xinerama)
  • In Nvidia Settings tool:
    • open Frame Lock page
    • Click "Add Devices..."
    • enter ":0.0"
    • select first output as "Server", other outputs as "Client"
    • Click "Enable Frame Lock"

Problem with fonts in Emacs

xset +fp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi 
xset +fp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi 
xset fp rehash

Permanent solution: add the following lines to /etc/X11/xorg.conf as root (under the "Files" section):

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"

Install Coin3D with Simage


  • Download simage 1.6.1
  • 'configure'
  • 'vi libtool'
  • comment out the line starting with "predep_objects" to avoid multiple definition errors
  • 'make'
  • 'make install'


  • Download Coin3D 2.5.0
  • 'configure --disable-dl-simage'
  • make sure simage is listed to be statically linked, not at run-time
  • 'vi Makefile'
  • in line starting with 'CC' add '-fPIC'
  • to avoid linker problem with
    • 'su'
    • mv /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/
    • ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/
    • exit
  • Download Zlib 1.2.3
    • 'vi makefile'
    • edit the line starting with 'CC': add -fPIC
  • 'make'
  • copy libraries to extern_libs/lib64
  • Undo change to
    • 'su'
    • mv /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/