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Thread: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

  1. #1
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    Vuescan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    I have a test system that I just upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 B1. General system specs are AMD Phenom II X4 940, 8 Gigs of Ram and an Nvidia GeForce 7900GS video card.

    I did an online upgrade from 10.10 x64 to 11.04 x64 beta 1 without any particular issues and all my installed programs seemed to transfer OK. I did have some issues with Google Earth but I sorted those out quickly and easily enough.

    I use Ed Hamrick's scanner program, VueScan Pro, for a flatbed scanner, an Epson Perfection 4490 PHOTO. Vuescan is currently at version 9.0.28, although I have seen the problems described below in 9.0.26 and 9.0.27 as well.

    In order to get the scanner program to work before a native x64 bit version was released (the version 8 series was only x32), I had to run some pretty peculiar kludges swapping out 32 and 64 bit library files on the fly as the program was loading, but it worked. Since version 9 of Vuescan, there is a native x64 version that was compiled under Ubuntu 10.10 that I have been using and it runs without any of the workarounds of the old version 8 under Ubuntu 10.10.

    However, something strange is happening now with Ubuntu 11.04 B1. With the Unity shell running, Vuescan 9 starts but does not display an icon for itself in the left hand Launcher bar. It queries the scanner and then just stops running (enters sleep mode). I can keep relaunching Vuescan and it just creates more zombie processes. It doesn't open its GUI window at all. I get the same symptoms if I log in to 11.04 using Ubuntu Classic or Ubuntu Classic without Compiz. But, if I log into 11.04 in Ubuntu Safe Mode, Vuescan works correctly without any problems at all.

    Vuescan keeps a log and looking at this log shows no crashes or errors when it hangs. In fact I could not see any difference between the Vuescan log when it failed to open versus when it opened OK in Safe Mode log in.

    It seems that something has changed 'under the hood', so to speak, with the way Ubuntu 11.04 expects to get calls to open a GUI. The vuescan program only has three files in total that it installs - an executable named "vuescan" and two support libraries named "vuescan.8ba" and "vuescan.ds" that are in the same directory as the executable. No other files are installed anywhere in the system, it is simplicity itself.

    I created a desktop launcher for the program but that made no difference to the outcome except that I could drag the desktop launcher to the Unity Launch bar and have it stick there. Launching from a terminal also produces the same result. Only a Safe Mode log in allows Vuescan to run properly in Ubuntu 11.04.

    So, what might Ubuntu 11.04 be looking for from this program (or conversly, what might vuescan be looking for from 11.04)? What is disabled when Ubuntu 11.04 is logged into using Safe Mode?

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by myoldhouse; April 8th, 2011 at 01:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    I just tried my version of vuescan 9.0.20 and it works perfectly. All you need is that one vuescan file in order to use it.
    boot_info_script | AMD64 Athlon X2 Dual-Core - nVidia Geforce 6150 SE - 4GB DDR3

  3. #3
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    Re: Vuescan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    Are you using the Nvidia proprietary drivers?

    I don't have access to any versions of Vuescan earlier than 9.0.26 so I can't test version 9.0.20.

    I wonder if some required library for Vuescan is missing when Unity is active. It is strange.
    Last edited by myoldhouse; April 8th, 2011 at 01:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Cool Re: Vuescan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    OK. I have found the culprit that causes Vuescan 9.0.xx to not draw its GUI under Unity. If 'Window Decorations' is turned on in Compiz when Vuescan 9.0.xx (64 bit) tries to start, it will fail to launch its GUI window. If I turn 'Window Decorations' off in Compiz, Vuescan 9.0.xx will start and establish its GUI window, without borders of course. I can then turn 'Window Decorations' back on in Compiz and Vuescan 9.0.xx will continue to function normally with proper window decorations. So, as a clumsy workaround, this disabling and re-enabling of 'Window Decorations' will work. I have tested the workaround with all 64 bit versions of Vuescan from 9.0.26 to 9.0.29.

    Since the Vuescan 9.0.xx (64 bit) series is compiled by the author (Ed Hamrick) using Ubuntu 10.10, I suspect that the bug that prevents Vuescan from launching is in Natty and the way it has implemented 'Window Decorations' and not in Vuescan itself. I'll file a bug report with the Natty developers.
    Last edited by myoldhouse; April 8th, 2011 at 01:50 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vuescan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    I've experienced the same thing on and off as I've iterated thru the various pre-launch releases. Right now Vuescan is working perfectly on my main system an updated 11.04 beta with ATI hd5770 graphics. I currently can't start it in another system with nvidia graphics. Right now I am just sitting tight because who knows what we will see by the RC. I had a simular problem during testing of 10.10 and wrote Ed Hammick about it when it didn't work on the RC (he was upset and expressed some reluctance to continually be dealing with turbulence in Ubuntu behavior). It was working at the final release of 10.10!

    I think you are right that something in Natty (or perhaps changes in X) is the culprit. But since Natty is still a work in progress it may be premature to raise the alarm. I think you have some good insight regarding the interaction with compiz and it is probably worth a bug report. I'll be happy to verify the behavior.
    12.10 Quantal w/grub2/Mint13 installed on raid0, Gigabyte AMD MB, AMD 64x4 CPUs at 3.2GHz, 16 GB ram, HD7770 ATI video, dual boot win7 on 64gb ssd and win8 on 1Tb SATA raid. 13.04 installed on raid0 and ssd

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    Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    Your right, it doesn't work. Wonder what was the difference between the last install and this one. I also can't run the previous versions.
    Last edited by VMC; April 8th, 2011 at 04:16 AM.
    boot_info_script | AMD64 Athlon X2 Dual-Core - nVidia Geforce 6150 SE - 4GB DDR3

  7. #7
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    Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    Ha, ha - changed your tune since last night.

    The behavior changes from update to update. I can understand Ed Hammick's frustration - you don't know what to expect from day to day!

    I have simular problems to various degrees trying to use FakeRAID on my system since 7.04. You don't know what to expect from release to release.
    12.10 Quantal w/grub2/Mint13 installed on raid0, Gigabyte AMD MB, AMD 64x4 CPUs at 3.2GHz, 16 GB ram, HD7770 ATI video, dual boot win7 on 64gb ssd and win8 on 1Tb SATA raid. 13.04 installed on raid0 and ssd

  8. #8
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    Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    Oh,oh. I just ran the update manager with 273 updates. Vuescan still won't load on my system with nvidia graphics. But now I can't log off with Vuescan sleeping - everything locks up (fortunately ctrl-alt-backspace still works). Really anoying. But who knows - tommorrow..............

    Edit: Tried again on system with ATI graphics. Runs fine on install with default drivers. Won't run on install with ATI proprietary driver. Compiz is not available on any of my natty installs.
    Last edited by ronparent; April 8th, 2011 at 08:26 PM.
    12.10 Quantal w/grub2/Mint13 installed on raid0, Gigabyte AMD MB, AMD 64x4 CPUs at 3.2GHz, 16 GB ram, HD7770 ATI video, dual boot win7 on 64gb ssd and win8 on 1Tb SATA raid. 13.04 installed on raid0 and ssd

  9. #9
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    Question Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    Quote Originally Posted by VMC View Post
    Your right, it doesn't work. Wonder what was the difference between the last install and this one. I also can't run the previous versions.
    Try turning 'Window Decorations' OFF in the Compiz Configuration Settings Manager and see if it starts OK after that.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vuscan 9 x64 and Unity problem

    myoldhouse: Verified. Turning off windows decoration allows Vuescan to display after start.
    12.10 Quantal w/grub2/Mint13 installed on raid0, Gigabyte AMD MB, AMD 64x4 CPUs at 3.2GHz, 16 GB ram, HD7770 ATI video, dual boot win7 on 64gb ssd and win8 on 1Tb SATA raid. 13.04 installed on raid0 and ssd

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