Jan 232011

During a recent upgrade of the software I have installed on my work laptop, Macports managed to get a trifle confused during the process. Firstly Enlightenment suddenly started crashing at the drop of a hat, and secondly dbus suddenly started refusing connections and claiming that X11 support was not built-in.

The first problem I solved by comping Enlightenment (E16) from scratch and overwriting the Enlightenment installed from Macports – probably not the right thing to do. It turns out that the Macport version of Enlightenment is very outdated and could do with a refresh.

The second problem was a little trickier, and may have been solved in a slightly more Macport compatible manner. In fact this problem was two problems in one. First of all, any attempt to start a GNOME-based (or presumably anything wanting to talk to dbus) would give an error indicating that X11 support was missing.

I fixed this by recompiling dbus manually :-

# port mirror dbus
#   Gets a copy of the source code used to compile the source
# cd /opt/local/var/macports/distfiles/dbus
#   Change to directory where the source code is located
# gunzip -c dbus-1.2.24.tar.gz| tar tvf -
#   Unpack the source code
# cd dbus-1.2.24
#   Enter the directory that we've just unpacked.
# ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
#   Configure the package.

If you look at the last few lines of the output from this configuration process, you will see a message of the form “Building X11 code: yes” which is what we want to see – that X11 support is being built. At this point we can build and install :-

# make
# make install

The next problem was that attempting to use the automatically launched version of dbus resulted in a “permission denied” error when trying to communicate over the socket. The work-around for this turned out to be to :-

  1. To turn off the launchd control of dbus by renaming the files /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop/dbus-session.plist and /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop/dbus-session.plist by putting a “.” in front of their name. This stops launchd from starting anything.
  2. Changing the .xinitrc to start dbus using the syntax eval $(dbus-launch –auto-syntax) (note that I explicitly ensure that this script is launched with zsh).
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