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JMRI Install Guide: OpenSure Linux

It's recommended that you install the Java SDK (Software Development Kit), which includes the Java compiler, etc, rather than just the JRE (Java Runtime Environment). Using the SDK seems to prevent various obscure problems.

The next part of this page was provided by Rob Plevier, and describes his successful experience installing JMRI on OpenSUSE Linux. Most of the effort when into getting the Java communications library installed and working.

First I deleted all references to rxtx from my java directory as
follows:

rm /usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/rxtx*
rm /usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/ext/comm.jar
rm /usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/ext/RXTXcomm.jar

Then I re-installed rxtx-2.0-7pre2 as follows
1. make sure there's a JAVA_HOME environment variable
# echo $JAVA_HOME
  should display something like
/usr/lib/jvm/java

2. add JAVA_HOME to the PATH
# PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH

3. unpack rxtx
# tar zxf rxtx-2.0-7pre2.tar.gz

4. install it
# cd rxtx-2.0-7pre2
# ./configure
        
    during configure it asks you whether to run the script to place
    comm.jar in the appropriate directory. On a side note, when I
    specified the comm.jar that you sent me (the 28034 byte one) it
    told me it was a Windows version of comm.jar so I grabbed the
    one that I downloaded the second time which is 29411 bytes which
    I got from javacomm20-x86. I thought Macs ran a flavor of
    linux? Oh well.
    This is the file I used:
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root  29411 2007-05-27 10:40 comm.jar

# make
# make install

and everything ended up in

/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/javax.comm.properties
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/ext/comm.jar
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/ext/RXTXcomm.jar
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxParallel-2.0.7pre2.so
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxParallel.la
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxParallel.so
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxSerial-2.0.7pre2.so
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxSerial.la
/usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib/i386/librxtxSerial.so 

and javax.comm.properties contains

Driver=gnu.io.RXTXCommDriver

with a line feed after it :^)

some other notes.. openSuse has no lock group, only uucp,  
I edited my /etc/group file like this:

uucp:x:14:robert

and permissions on /dev/ttyS0 are
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 64 2007-05-27 11:56 /dev/ttyS0 


Essentially I think I'd been messing around with it for so long I had
different versions of rxtx and comm.jar everywhere. At least I didn't
have to reinstall Linux (again!). Lesson - make sure you follow the
instructions. If I'd loaded commapi version 2 in the first place it
would have been fine :^) instead I just grabbed the first one I saw on
the sun site which was version 3.

Stephen Williams added a little more info about setting permissions:

The basic problem here is that you will need to add yourself to the
appropriate groups both to open the serial devices (/dev/ttyS*) and to
be able to create files in the lock file directory.  This is another
area where the RedHat-ish distributions (and Suse is in that camp) differ
from the Debian/Ubuntu distributions.

On your Suse system, do the following command:

    stevew@wallace:~/rxtx-2.0-7pre2$ ls -l /dev/ttyS*
    crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 64 2008-02-10 17:08 /dev/ttyS0
    crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 65 2008-02-10 17:08 /dev/ttyS1
    crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 66 2008-02-10 17:08 /dev/ttyS2
    crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 67 2008-02-10 17:08 /dev/ttyS3

The output is from my own machine which runs Debian.  Your system will
likely have a different group name listed after the 'root' user.  That
is one of the groups you need to belong to.  Then look at the
permissions and group ownership of /var/lock (ls -al /var/lock and look
at the entry for '.').  If there is a group other than root listed
there, you need to belong to that group (it is often "uucp" or "lock").

Hope that helps.