OpenSong on Kubuntu from scratch

Date: 10 Mar, 2008
Posted by: admin
In: christianity, faith & religion|linux, open source & software

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OpenSong on Kubuntu

Installing a free lyric projection software on Linux from scratch

This is just a quick review of how I installed OpenSong on Kubuntu (the KDE version of Ubuntu) from scratch on a Windows XP (SP1) laptop.

  1. Install Kubuntu
  2. Install REALbasic using adept, alien and dpkg
  3. Compile / Install OpenSong
  4. Use …

Installing Kubuntu

The laptop is a Toshiba TECRA (T9100) and works really well. I did think that the install had failed to find the sound drivers, but it turns out that I had the volume dial turned down! Doh!

Haven’t tested the wireless LAN (orinoco kernel module) nor the inbuilt IR receiver yet.

Our pastor (bless him) took about 3 weeks to get hold of the power cable for me. So, when I didn’t have the password I thought I’d just hack in and get on with it rather than wait to get hold of the password. The laptop has a MS Windows XP(SP1) install that has been used for his work. So I thought I’d keep that as is and install a dual boot Kubuntu – partly because I’m a geek and wanted to have a go at a Kubuntu install. I downloaded the kubuntu live CD a few weeks earlier in anticipation of helping someone else get Linux in their lives, but hadn’t used it.

First up was getting in to the Toshiba BIOS, <esc> then [F1]. Then changing the boot order to boot first from CD (then LAN then HDD1, then FDD1 … the BIOS config on this thing sucks. I also booted into windows (via the administrator password reset on UBCD) so that I could clean up the drive, install and run AVG antivirus, Spybot Search-and-Destroy and Lavasoft Adaware and ensure that a defrag and chkdsk had run smoothly. This laptop is actually still running on VFAT for some reason and not NTFS.

Then I just rebooted with Kubuntu in the drive. Everything was configured and running pretty well. I was piggy backing the ‘net connection from my desktop – something wasn’t quite right, but it seems that changing the MTU to 1400 (down from 1500) fixed that [found there were lots of “frame errors” given in the monitoring program when I was troubleshooting this and thought I’d try changing the mtu with “sudo ifconfig eth0 mtu 1400“]

The install procedure was as easy as clicking on install on the Kubuntu Live desktop. I was helped a little with by experience when it came to deciphering the details of hte partitioning options. I chose to have Kubuntu resize my HDD1 and use the reclaimed space for the new install. At one point I had to click on a “hd(0)” and type in “/dev/hda” for the position in which to place GRUB, but I don’t know that it wouldn’t have worked anyway.

So, whilst I played “Enemy Territory::Return to Castle Wolfenstein” Kubuntu installed itself on the laptop. It took quite a while, maybe an hour in all to do the install. Then the machine was rebooted and grub took us straight into Kubuntu again but without the noise of the DVD drive spinning.

I did have to tweak the ifconfig to make it work (see above) and I thought the sound was borked (but it turns out it’s not) – otherwise it all works pretty much out of the box.

Installing REALbasic …

REALbasic is available as an RPM but not as a Debian package. Now I’d never run Debian / Ubuntu / Kubuntu before (except Knoppix for fixing other computers) so I was a bit daunted. I’m used to Slackware and doing alot of manual installation.

First I checked the dependencies and, once I had network going smoothly, fired up “adept” [K > System > Adept]. REALbasic needs So, I had to used Adept > Manage Repositories to include the “universe” (just about all possible general use packages are made available). Next I searched on libstdc and saw that in fact the package above was installed already! I did install stuff at this stage but can’t remember what … oh yeah, I installed “alien” (and possibly dpkg?).

So, next was to get the RPM. No problems there. Then I opened a “konsole” I checked the dependencies and, once I had network going smoothly, fired up “adept” [K > System > Konsole] and used:

sudo alien -d REALbasic-2007-1.i386.rpm

to create a package called REALbasic-2007-1.i386.deb which was installed with

sudo dpkg -i REALbasic-2007-1.i386.deb

(IIRC). Note that sudo will ask for your password in order to run these higher level commands. Use the password on your user account – Kubuntu does weird things with root accounts (ignore that comment if it makes no sense).

Now, REALbasic is installed and linked from the K-menu at “K > Development > REALbasic 2007 Release 1” so was easy to find.

Installing OpenSong

Now the reason for all the faff with REALbasic was that OpenSong for linux has to be self-compiled. Presumably this is due to licensing issues with REALbasic.

Note: I actually downloaded a slightly older version by following a link on the OpenSong page, I’d check the pages first to be sure you have the latest stable release.

I’d already downloaded the OpenSong source files to “~/App-source” (note that “~” is shorthand that refers to the /home/user directory, for me this is called /home/church. So, again in a Konsole I did an “unzip” which created a directory with all the source files in.

Now, firing up REALbasic (remember it’s in teh K-menu) I just opened a project file that was in this source folder, chose the “build” button on the REALbasic toolbar and waited for opensong to be made.

An executable file called “opensong” (suprise!!) was then placed in the opensong source folder. I ran it by typing the full path in to the Konsole.

That’s it, all done.

Use …

Does it work?

Now I have to test the system out in real life. I just thought that this page of info might help someone trying to do a similar thing. Particularly a church fellowship on a budget that wants to use free (as in beer & gratis) software for presenting lyrics and scripture on screen during services. Digital projectors have really come down in price recently afterall.

Use the hotmail address here if you want to get in touch.

I’ll probably end up trying several pieces of software, currently in line are easislides (.net based, will it work with Mono?), lyricue (having minor mysql problems with this), openlp (windows, requires directX9).


One Responses to "OpenSong on Kubuntu from scratch"

Justin says:

Just wondering if you ever got OpenSong working well under Linux? Did these instructions work?



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