Software related problems & solutions

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Eclipse reports that my workspace is in use but nobody is using it

  • go to the workspace directory
  • enter the .metadata subdirectory
  • erase the .lock file

Eclipse is using all my quota

Please notice that:

  • Moving the eclipse directory to the SSDL's RAID will prevent you from working on Eclipse in the public Linux farm.
  • The code wasn't tested on a users home directory (so let us know about any problem).
  1. create a directory on the ssdl RAID. See Quota / Additional disk space - Working with SSDL's raid (lets assume that your user name is suser) mkdir /raid/suser
  2. move the .eclipse directory to the raid (put it the the directory you have just created) mv ~/.eclipse /raid/suser/eclipse
  3. create a soft link betwin ~/.eclipse and the .eclipse directory on the raid ln -s /raid/suser/eclipse ~/.eclipse

Fire Fox (FF)

What if Firefox does not start

Firefox uses a file based locking and sharing mechanism. In other words, whenever Firefox starts, it check for the existence and content of special hidden files in your home directory. Depending on the contents of these file, Firefox starts a new session, or opens a new window which is associated with an active section. The mechanism is fairly robust, but it has its faults. For example, confusion may occur if a user is logged on in more than one workstation.

You can try to resolve such issues by running

firefox -no-remote

from the command line. (Use "Applications/Terminal" menu path to start a command line window.) If you type

firefox --help

you will get many other options that could also help.

If Fire fox won't start and display a message that another instance is working when you know that this is the only instance of FF running in your account. Reset FF

  • remove the lock files
rm ~/.mozila/firefox/technion.default/.parentlock
rm ~/.mozila/firefox/technion.default/.lock

For more reading see Profile in use

  • light reset (create a new defualt profile) – use Applications | Internet | Reset Firefox
  • total reset – remove the ~/.mozila directory

Important Notice !!! – this will also remove your favorite , plugins and reset all your settings

What if Firefox becomes very slow

There are issues with adobe's flash player, which can slow down the Firefox immensely if you browse pages with lots of flash animation. We are working on this issue (see Launchpad bugs XXXX).

In the meantime, a good solution is to install the famous Adblock Plus Firefox add-on, which prevents useless flash animation from showing up.

Other experts highly recommend Flashblock add-on (which is distinct from Adblock): Instead of showing flash content, the browser will show place holders; loading and playing the flash content only happens when the user clicks on the place holder.

Another solution will be to disable the Java plugin. Go to: Tools | Add-ons | Plugins, locate the java 1.6 plugin, right click on it & select disable.

Microsoft Office

MS Office can't be installed on Linux. (If you insist, you can install it under Wine.)

OK, so what shell you do if you have an MS Office document and you need to use it under Linux?

  1. Use Open Office and hope that everything will work.
  2. Use Microsoft SkyDrive and MS Office web apps.

Microsoft SkyDrive

  1. Microsoft gives user of windows live a free online storage.
  2. You will have to create an MS passport to connect.

MS Office web apps

Microsoft supplies for free an online (partial implementation of) Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications. To access the web apps:

  1. Using web browser connect to your SkyDrive.
  2. Make sure that your interface language is English!
  3. Upload your MS Office files to your SkyDrive.
  4. Select the document you wish to view / edit
    • Select edit in browser

Open Office (OO)

Currently we know about several compatibility issues between Open Office (OO) and Microsoft Office (MSO).

  1. Open Office don't display formulas in MSO documents.
  2. Open Office don't display tables in MSO documents.
  3. If you set tight field boundaries in MS Power Point, Then in Open Office some of the text may be truncated because of differences in font size.

Ask your course stuff to publish the course material in PDF format as well.

Create new OO document

If you would like (when in file browser) to use (right click &) "Create document" sub menu to create new OO document you have to:

  • Open the OO application you like
  • Create new empty document
  • Save the document in ~/Templates . Use a name that will remind you the application that creates the file.
  • Now you will be able to create new OO document with "Create document" sub menu.

Visual Paradigm


After the upgrade of the JRE, the software seems to work FINE. The upgrade of the JRE also solved the printing issue.

If things doesn't work

If you still have problems, or if you don't want to upgrade the JRE, do:

How to run Visual Paradigm with the original JRE

If you try to run the software as is on Linux machines you will get a blank dialog box. You should disable desktop effects for proper usage of Virtual Paradigm. You should:

  1. Alt+F2 to get the "run application" dialog box
  2. run "metacity --replace" (you should type this in the empty line)
  3. run VP
    1. at first run, you will need to install a license key, see Home usage
  4. re-enable desktop effects
    1. Alt+F2 to get the "run application" dialog box
    2. run "compiz --replace" (you should type this in the empty line)


With the original JRE printing doesn't work. You can buy-pass this by one of 2 ways:

  1. Export the diagrams as image.
  2. Create a PDF report

Export as image

  • From the file menu select "export"
  • Select "diagram as image"
  • Select the diagrams you want to export
  • Press the export button

Now you can print the image files you got

PDF report

  • From the tools menu select "report"
  • Select "generate PDF report"
  • Customize your report
  • Generate the report

Now you can print the PDF files you got

X over SSH

  • use: ssh -X user@host
  • start your X application
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