Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jungle Disk 3 Linux: Automatically start on reboot

I've been a long time user of Jungle Disk, and it's historically been pretty good software. Recently, version 3 was released, and among various features and fixes, they also removed the command line version for Linux for "Jungle Disk Desktop", which I use. I wanted to run Jungle Disk on a simple file server that didn't have X, but that isn't possible with version 3. The issue has been raised with Jungle Disk by some other people, and it sounds like there's a chance they will do something about it... maybe/eventually.

In the mean time, I opted to just install a full desktop version of Ubuntu 9.10 on my file server so I could use Jungle Disk 3's GUI. But that brought to light another problem: you can't auto-start Jungle Disk 3 after a reboot because it requires a valid X display... A user must actually log in and start it! Instead of that nonsense, I run vncserver after a reboot using @reboot in a crontab, and get vncserver to run junglediskdesktop via it's xstartup file. A hack, but it seems to work well enough.

Here's a basic overview of what's needed to make this work.

  1. Install vnc4server and set it up for gnome-session, as described nicely here.
  2. Add the following line to the crontab for the user who should run Jungle Disk:
    @reboot   /usr/bin/vncserver :1
  3. Make sure ~/.vnc/xstartup looks something like the following for the user that should run Jungle Disk:
    # Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
    # exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
    [ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
    [ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
    xsetroot -solid grey
    vncconfig -iconic &
    #xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
    gnome-session &
    junglediskdesktop &

To test that this is working, reboot the box and then use a VNC viewer ("Remote Desktop Viewer" in Ubuntu) to connect to the server on port 5901.

Update - 18-Jul-2010: As of version 3.05 of Jungle Disk Desktop Edition, the CLI is back. See this thread at Jungle Disk for discussion. It's not perfect: you need the GUI to configure everything (which is then written to a big XML file), but once configured you can run headless.

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