Posted by: reformedmusings | June 22, 2010

Real-time Sunlight Wallpaper vs. 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid

I posted earlier about using Real-time Sunlight Wallpaper (RSW). It’s very cool, but has some issues in 64-bit Ubuntu Lucid. I’ve been working with RSW’s developer, Carles Sentes, testing the issues. AFAIK, these issues only exist in 64-bit systems.

I’ve nailed the problems down to two symptoms: 1) after setting any wallpaper and exiting the setup GUI, RSW no longer updates until you restart; and 2) when RSW does update after restarting, it only updates to the Mercator projection no matter what view you had set in the GUI.

After some investigation, it turns out that RSW indeed removes itself from memory whenever you run and then exit the setup program. The workaround is to restart it manually, either from Alt-F2 or the terminal. Type:

gtk-sunlight –nodisplay &

If in the terminal, then hit the Enter key to exit the script when it finishes. This will load RSW into memory and it will update the wallpaper every 30 minutes.

The wallpaper setting issue is a bit trickier. It turns out that the x86_64 build doesn’t create the setting file. Without it, RSW defaults to the Mercator wallpaper. The workaround is to manually create the settings file. The easy way is with gedit.

The file contains only two numbers at most. According to Carles:

In it are only 2 numbers: the first one is would go from 1 to 3 for the first set of radio buttons and the second number goes from 1 to 4 for the second set of radio buttons.

If you choose Dusk to dawn or Moon Phase, you only need the first number, which would be 2 or 3 respectively. If you want one of the flat projections, you’ll need 1 as the first number and any of 1-4 as the second depending on which wallpaper you wish to use. Separate the two numbers with a space. For example, if you wanted the Mollweide wallpaper, you’d put “1 3” in the settings file without the quotes.

Save the file as “sunlight_options” without the quotes in /home/[user]/.gnome2/RealtimeSunlightWallpaper/ (substitute your home user directory name for [user]). You may need to substitute “.gnome” for “.gnome2” depending on your setup. Check your home directory to see if .gnome2 exists, remembering to make hidden files visible. Linux names that start with a ‘.’ are hidden by default.

That’s it! With these two workarounds, RSW will run perfectly and retain your desired wallpaper design on your x86_64 Lucid system. Many thanks to Carles for helping me through the testing. If you’re bored and want to read the last part of the exchange (it started in email), you can read it here.

If you find any other bugs, be sure to report them on RSW’s launchpad site.

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