©2019 Open Acoustic Devices

Sep 20, 2018

Appimage won't run

11 comments

Plan B was to run the Configuration software on my old netbook using a portable Linux distro from a USB drive. I've tried 3 different versions: Knoppix (possibly too old), Lubuntu 16.04.3 and Puppy Linux: Slacko 6.3.0. In each case I can't get "AudioMoth-1.1.1.AppImage" to do anything. I've checked that permissions are set and created the rules file but double clicking the icon does not work and there is no Run option in the context menu. The Appimage file was on the USB stick but I also tried copying it int bin and onto the desktop without any success. Linux utilities, browser etc all run properly.

 

Can any Linux Guru suggest a solution?

Sep 20, 2018

In Ubuntu 18.04.1 I can just double-click them to run them. From the command line it should just be:

 

> chmod a+x AudioMoth-1.1.1.AppImage

> ./AudioMoth-1.1.1.AppImage

Sep 20, 2018

We originally used Chrome Apps for the configuration as this was a nice cross-platform framework. You had to install the Chrome browser but everything just worked from then on. Unfortunately Google stopped supporting it. Cross platform development is unnecessarily difficult these days.

Sep 21, 2018Edited: Sep 21, 2018

After wasting the best part of another day downloading eight different Linux distributions, installing them to a USB drive and testing on several machines and operating systems, it is now obvious that the Linux build of the configuration software only supports recent versions of 64 bit installations. Unfortunately Linux does not give any error message if you try to run an unsupported AppImage file from the graphical interface - if you double click or right click and select run it just sits there doing nothing at all. Errors and warnings are only generated if you try to launch the app from a terminal window, which led to a huge amount of wasted time and effort trying to work out how to configure 32-bit Linux when the problem all along was incompatible software.

 

Of the distros I tested the app ran only on Ubunto-18.04.1 (latest version - only available as 64-bit) and 64-bit Ubunto-16.04.5. It did NOT run on 32-bit Ubunto-16.04.5 or 64-bit PuppyLinux-Slacko64-6.3.2. The other distros where it failed were all 32-bit: PuppyLinux-Slacko-6.3.0 & -tahr 6.0.4, Lubuntu-16.04.3 and a fairly old version of Knoppix on DVD.

 

In addition, the Flash app does not run on 32-bit Windows 7, although the config app does. Whilst the AudioMoth USB driver appears to install in both 32- and 64-bit Linux, I was unable to check out Flash.exe itself on these platforms, since the entire Open Acoustic Devices repository appears to have been taken down from GitHub!

 

Whilst lack of support for XP is regrettable and annoying it is perhaps understandable - however I see no excuse for failure to support 32-bit Linux or Windows 7. Please will you at least read the documentation of the GitHub tools that you are using to build apps and make it plain to us which platforms obviously cannot - or will not - be supported. We shouldn't individually have to waste several days of effort fruitlessly trying to install software only to discover that the probems are due to limitations that should have been obvious to the developers in the first place.

Sep 21, 2018

Hi,

 

Yes all the builds were originally 64-bit and then we added a 32-bit version for the Windows configuration app for someone who requested it.

 

The github repository is down due to a vulnerability detected in the Electron 2.0.0 module. This was automatically detected a couple of days ago it seems. We're using the opportunity to update everything for the new version of the AudioMoth firmware (version 1.2.0 which supports long file names and querying of the installed firmware version and description, plus some stability improvements) and will bring it all up again next week.

 

We'll also take the opportunity to clean up the website and make clear the compatibility of the various apps. I think this might end up being restricted to 64-bit versions macOS, up to date Linux distributions that support AppImages, and Windows 7 and 10. We'll then support various other distributions on a case by case version, and try to encourage other people to support these versions, as it's increasingly becoming a challenge to balance the maintenance of the desktop software with the hardware and algorithm development and the science which the Andy and Peter are doing for their Phds.

 

Alex

 

Sep 23, 2018Edited: Sep 23, 2018

Alex

 

An acceptable minimum compromise for users of older laptop computers will be to run the configuration program from a Linux distribution loaded from a USB flash drive. Obviously this will require a 32-bit Linux release but clearly this is a possibility, since a 32-bit AppImage of Linus Torvalds' dive log app - Subsurface - is available as an example from the front page of the AppImage.org website.

 

I have installed and run this app successfully on one of my old Acer Aspire One XP netbooks using a 32-bit live version of Xenialpup Linux.

 

 

 

Sep 23, 2018

We'll see what we can do. We've only had two requests for 32-bit support so this seems to be an edge case at the moment.

Sep 23, 2018

It’s all open source and we’d encourage anyone who wanted to make their own configuration tools (a command line tool might be of interest to some), or to take on the support of versions for different operating systems (Raspberry Pi maybe).

Sep 23, 2018Edited: Sep 23, 2018

Alex

Peter Prince Jun 4: " the 32-bit installer functions on 64-bit systems, so now 32-bit is the default".

 

That was in answer to the enquiry " Is the 32 bit software still available ?" with no mention of the specific platform.

 

That is why I assumed that the Linux release would be 32-bit and consequently wasted a hell of a lot of time, download bandwidth and effort trying numerous Linux distributions before I realised that it wasn't!

 

Since you already build the Windows executable as a 32-bit app (it works perfectly on 32-bit Windows 7) - surely it shouldn't be a big deal to do the same for Linux, from what I assume is the same source code.

 

If the problem is AppImage then could it not be installed more conventionally?

Sep 23, 2018

Yes, we originally had mac, Linux and Windows as 64-bit versions. Added a 32-bit Windows version when someone requested it. Then realised that 64-bit Windows would run the 32-bit Windows build, so we removed the link to the 64-bit build.

 

We hadn't really thought of 32-bit Linux builds at that time. Nothing here is impossible. It's just a balance of where we should be spending our time and the gradual creep in the number of different builds that we have to maintain over time. My preference would be to do a better job of maintaining a smaller number of versions and encourage others to take on the support of other versions.

 

At the moment the next firmware and hardware releases, the corresponding 64-bit desktop tools, and updating the website are our priorities. Once the dust settles from that we'll also look at which 32-bit builds we can support as well. This will probably be in a couple of weeks time.

Sep 24, 2018

Not quite as straightforward as I thought - I had assumed that a 32-bit app would run on a recent 64-bit build of Linux (as in all 64-bit versions of Windows) but it appears that this is no longer the case.

 

However, since Linux can be loaded from a USB drive on almost any machine - including Wintel & Mac, a 32-bit build of the configuration software would allow it to run on almost any computer that is not unreasonably antique so I hope that you will give serious thought to making a 32-bit AppImage available if it is reasonably feasible.

 

It will also be very good for the environment as it may help to prevent some perfectly servicable older laptops being sent to landfill! ;-)

Sep 24, 2018

We should probably aim to support the 32-bit Ubuntu 16.04.5 Desktop which is the last supported 32-bit version of Ubuntu and should come with all the necessary USB HID and CDC drivers. I'll have to try to find a real 32-bit computer to try it out on.

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