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Houdini Vs. Feisty Fawn


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thank to the help of photex I yesterday installed Houdini on Ubuntu 7.04.

As there were some issues I decided to keep notes and compile a small walkthrough/howto.


The target audience are users like me. For industry scale installations there might be a lot of different things to consider.

If you find an obvious error, please post them here.


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Thanks for the walkthrought....

I'd suggest couple of advices... .and looking forward for your opinion

- instead of chaning the houdini install script (which would happen every time you upgrade houdini) why you dont just symlink /bin/sh to /bin/bash?.. this fixes the problem, specially since /bin/sh is symlinked to "dash" by default (in Ubuntu).. which i doubt will be of any use by people here.

- instead of loading sesinetd every time (dont need to) .. just wait those few seconds for the first launch .. then it will be immediate next times.. what I suggest instead is to -kill- it before logginf out of the machine...

reason: i posted long time ago a bug to sesi.. which makes my machines (surprisngly It happears I'm the only one.. ) to HANG during shutdown if I dont shutoff sesinetd before loggin out..

I solved this problem (Ubuntu, fedora, Suse... no matter which distro, the bug is still there) by editing the /etc/gdm/PostSession/Default file .. by adding "killall sesinetd", I'm sure there's a cleaner way .. but this worked for me (sudo for Ubuntu users).

- also .. I created a alias for my houdini install, since I upgrade Houdini almost every build.. but I dont need the license server to be reinstalled every time.. hence.. --no-license is in my alias.

my 0.02

thanks for the guide :)

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Your input is highly appreciated.

The symlink is a good idea.

I didn't understand the sesinetd part, though.

I will add an additional techniques section.

The reason why I explained the editing of the file is:

I didn' want this to be a "do this - do that - no need to know why" - tutorial.

Symlinking is a unknown procedure among dos-users - sad but true - as links on windows are something really unsymbolic (though the file system would support them).

The sesinetd part really could be improved as my version asks for passwords - and don't ask me why - even responds if the wrong password is enters. Probably because of the reasons you give.

If the walkthrough would be to detailed, I fear it would alienate people like me: Somebody who just wants to run the software.

If I gets hocked by houdini - I will sure want to know more about the environment and learn how to use it.

Houdini not only got the files structure in common with *nix systems: If you know what you do you can create cool stuff.

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I can now confirmyour experience.

With the help from chip I added sesintd to rc.local and this caues the system to hang on shutdown.

sesictrl -Q also - but I am not sure I added it to all sections.


kill -2 `pgrep sesinetd`

does it - like your killal

if I had known that ubuntu supports that big icons ... I'd switched years ago


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the system hangs no matter I use chips (kill -2) or your killall version - but only if houdini had run during the session.

But who cares? Who shuts down computers anyway?

Maybe me because even beeing the notebook runs extremely hot.

TOP says 0 %CPU on all processes.


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About changing x11 config files --

I'm pretty sure you won't have to reboot the entire machine, just X11. You can restart your X11 desktop by hitting Ctrl+Alt+Bksp.

Again, I'm not sure if you actually do have to reboot ubuntu itself, but it seems like you'd be able to get away with just restarting x11.

Otherwise, great article. I've had some problems getting Houdini working with Feisty Fawn and was thinking about just moving back to 6.10, but this gives me hope. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...
Hi Georg,

I'm really new to Linux, so.... forgive me the n00b question.

Can you tell me how to un-install Houdini :-) ?

**(just an older build, not the License Server)

me n00b, too :D

I guess you would just need to delete the directory where Houdini was copied to?

If you made any modifications to .bashXYZ-whatever-files, like to source the houdini envirnoment - you would need to remove those references as well ...

maybe photex can add some hints ... I'll ask him.


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You can just rm -rf /opt/hfsx.xx.x and rm -rf /usr/lib/sesi and you probably need to remove the sesinetd startup script from /etc/rc.d or /etc/init.d (depends on your distro and - to get a bit more technical - init system you are using).

If you need to shutdown your computer (why?) you can kill -9 sesinetd and hserver (ugly) or add some lines of bash to the shutdown script (somewhere in /etc called something like rc.shutdown.local - which is for user changes). If you got a "normal" distro it will run the sesinetd startup script with the stop option (when booting it uses the start option, surprise, surprise...). In fact when shutting down, sysvinit will rerun all the scripts you started with this option (like stopping cups, soundservers, kdm/gdm whatever). At the end it will run a kill -9 to terminate all other process which didn't get caught by the scripts.

Oh and rebooting? Why? When? What for? It's linux remember, only reboot is needed when you install a new kernel (and even that you can do without rebooting).

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