A couple years ago, I tried the Linux port of the ADRIFT runner on my first Linux system, Kubuntu 12.10. Since then, I’ve had several distros on this old PC. I’ll never be an expert UNIX hacker, but I’m perfectly comfortable with Linux for most things. I’m currently using Linux Mint 16 Petra, with the Xfce desktop.
(You’ll have to click the thumbnail screenshots to view on Flickr – sorry.)
When I first downloaded the tar.gz package, my first reaction was to extract it to my home folder:
I found the …/usr/local/bin directory and tried to execute the shell script. It didn’t work. After verifying that it was indeed marked executable, I went back and found the readme in …/usr/local/adrift5.
There, I discovered that I was supposed to extract to the root directory:
This is very foreign to my prior experience using third-party Linux software. I’m used to compiling from source by extracting to a temporary location and following a list of terminal commands in the build instructions. I’m used to extracting to my home folder and running a script from there. I’m used to adding unofficial PPA repositories and then installing with the apt-get command. I’m not used to extracting to root.
I knew the real way to extract to root would be to use the terminal – the built-in tar command. I don’t know how to use that command, and as much as I’m to learn, I don’t have time today to Google it and figure out the appropriate syntax. (I should be doing something else, but instead I’m playing with ADRIFT because I’m loser.) So, I merely right-clicked on my Downloads folder and selected “Open folder as Root.” (Did I mention that Mint is awesome?) This gave me the permissions necessary to extract the files with the GUI.
There was still a problem. I thought it had something to do with packages. I had searched for “mono” in the Synaptic Package Manager before exracting, and I geussed that I needed to install libmono2.0-cil:
I installed the packages in the readme in the terminal with apt-get. I already had libmono-corlib2.0-cil.
Still, it didn’t work. The error message I was getting when trying to run the “adrift” script from the terminal in either directory (my home folder sub-directory or root) was this:
mv: cannot stat ‘/usr/local/lib/adrift5/LYDIAN.TTF’: No such file or directory
/home/paul/.fonts: caching, new cache contents: 0 fonts, 0 dirs
/var/cache/fontconfig: not cleaning unwritable cache directory
/home/paul/.cache/fontconfig: cleaning cache directory
/home/paul/.fontconfig: not cleaning non-existent cache directory
Cannot open assembly '/usr/local/lib/adrift5/MonoRunner.exe': No such file or directory.
I eventually figured out that extracting to root hadn’t worked out all that well:
Looking at the structure of the downloaded tar, I noticed that it mirrored the structure of my computer’s /usr/local/ directory. Again using the Thunar file manager as Root, I copied the script “adfit” into /usr/local/bin/ and the folder “adrift5” into /usr/local/lib/. Then I clicked on that version of the “adrift” script, and the Runner finally launched.
To run it, I have to either click on it in a Root terminal or enter the command sudo ./adrift from the terimal (entering my password, of course). Otherwise, an error message pops up repeatedly after just about every click. For a moment it seemed that the error would prevent the app from closing, but eventually the message stop coming if you close the error window enough.
I downloaded Jacaranda Jim as a test subject. I launched it successfully. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like a game I want to play.)
[size=150]Feedback on the “Open Adventure” dialog[/size]
The shortcuts on the left don’t make much sense for Linux. The “Desktop” shortcut does not display the shortcuts on my actual desktop. The “Personal” shortcut leads to the /usr/, which is not very useful. I put jim.blorb in my IF subdirectory in my home folder. It would be much more useful to have a shortcut to the home folder. In order to browse to where I put jim.blorb, I had to click on “My Computer” and then click on my hard drive, shown only by its hacky identification string.
I haven’t played much of Jacaranda Jim, but the Runner seems to work. I’m happy that it has been ported to Linux! However, it’s distribution model presents a serious obstacle to an average non-techincal Linux user like me. (The stereotype that all Linux users are programmers or expert terminal hackers has probably not been true at all for a long time now, and it’s becoming increasingly less and less true every year.)