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Project Looking Glass Howto    Print this jdshelp HowTo

Project Looking Glass is based on Java technology bringing 3D windowing and visualization to your JDS system. Currently the proof of concept LG3D-CORE demo is available for download at https://lg3d-core.dev.java.net/. This page explains how to prepare and install lg3d-core on to your JDS.

Before beginning the process of setting up your LG3D environment, you need to first check to make sure that your system meets the necessary requirements:

Operating System = "Sun Java Desktop System Release 1 or 2".

As this tutorial is based on SJD no other Linux flavour will be mentioned.

CPU = "2 GHZ or faster"

It is recommended by Sun Microsystems that you have a fast processor; I am personally using a 2.3GHZ SMP.

RAM= "512 or more"

Graphics Card "3D accelerated graphics card with supported drivers for OpenGL, version 1.2 or greater.

If intending to use LG3D with full screen resolution a 24-bit display depth is required!

So now we have that information out of the way lets start by collecting some information on your system just to make sure we cover the minimum system requirement.

# Step One:

Open a Terminal session within you SJD Graphical interface.

. Launch Applications System Tools Terminal

The next couple of steps are simple commands executed in the new Terminal Window that you have just opened.

# Step Two:

As the Project Looking Glass requires a colour depth of at least 24 bits and many systems are configured by default with 16 bit colour depths the Project Looking Glass will not run correctly as it is supposed to. So for you to be able to identify your current display depth there are many ways to do it but the two most popular methods used by myself are mentioned here:

Command: # cat /etc/X11/XF86Config | grep DefaultDepth

By executing this command you are using the standard Unix - Linux "cat" command to display the content of the XF86Config config file, followed by a pipe sign and the simple "grep" command. By using the "grep" command you are gripping the only information that you are interested at this point in time and discarding all the other information.

Now assuming your screen depth is set to the minimum depth of 24 this is the result you should expect to see from the above command:

DefaultDepth 24

Now the second option to display your current screen depth is a simple command that you can run to view the same information as the one above:

Command: # xdpyinfo | grep "depth of "

Once again assuming your screen depth is set to the minimum depth required this is the result you should see from the above command:

depth of root window: 24 planes

Once you have run the above commands and you are satisfied that you meet the necessary requirement go directly to step four omitting step three. Or if the result does not meet the requirements i.e. display "DefaultDepth = 24" or "depth of root window: = 24 planes" then continue with step three.

# Step Three:

From within a terminal session you have earlier open, run the sax2 command:

Command: # /usr/X11R6/bin/sax2
SaX: root Password: "enter root password" if you are not yet logged in as root.

Once the SaX2 application has opened:

Colour and Resolution Properties

In the "colour selection panel", click on the menu and choose "16.7 Mio. [24 Bit]".

Following that on the "Resolution(s) for 16.7 Mio. [24 Bit] colours" tab, select the preferred resolution for your desktop.

For example the maximum resolution available to my monitor is 1280x1024 so I have selected the following options:

[x]1280 x 1024

[ ]1280 x 960

[x]1024 x 768

[x] 800 x 600

[x] 640 x 480

Once you have made your choice press "OK" followed by the Finish button.

Now you should be back to your original sax2 window and to complete the configuration select "Finalize …"

When you click on Finalize, a new window will pop up and it is recommended that you do run the test to make sure that the new setting will work correctly.

A blue test screen should appear, adjust it as required so that you screen is nicely laid out in the middle of your monitor once you are satisfied click the "Save" button on the display and then "Ok" when you return to the SaX2 window, followed by "Yes" to exit from SaX2

If the test screen did not appear correctly, leave the system IDEL for 30 seconds, the test will exit after that period and your previous desktop session will be restored. At this point you should then try alternate resolutions at the 24-bit colour depth to find a resolution that works for your monitor.

When you are satisfied with the settings and your test goes correctly log out and re-login to your desktop session and verify that the colour depth is now 24-bit or higher by using the same commands provided at the beginning of this step.

# Step Four:

Step four is quite simple all you real doing is downloading the necessary components for the installation of LG3D Project on to your existing Java Desktop System.

You will need to register at the java.net web site before you are able to download any software so therefore if you have not previously registered atjava.net then you will need to open and create an account:

Navigate to http://www.java.net and click on the "Register" link at the top of the page.

Enter your preferred user name and e-mail address and then press the "Register" button.

You will receive an e-mail message with instructions on how to set a password for your account. Once you have entered your password and accepted the java.net website terms of participation you will be logged in:

The installation instructions assume that you download all of the components into /tmp/lg3d, so before you start downloading execute the following command:

Command: # mkdir /tmp/lg3

Now you should be ready to start downloading, so lets go:

  • First Download

Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition 1.5.0 Beta 2 or later

The installation instructions will also assume you download the RPM version of the JDK Standard Edition for your Sun Java Desktop System.

  • Second Download

Java 3D SDK 1.3.2-build4

Follow down the directory structure j3d-core Experimental Builds 1.3.2-build4 and in that sub-folder download java3d-1_3_2-build4-linux-i586.tar.gz

  • Third Download

Java Advanced Imaging API (JAI) 1.1.2 JDK

Select the "JDK(TM) Install: Bundle for installation in a JDK Download". After reading and agreeing to the Software License Agreement, choose the "Linux JDK Install" the file you are actually looking for is "jai-1_1_2-lib-linux-i586-jdk.bin"

  • Fourth Download

Project Looking Glass installation package


Follow down the directory structure lg3d-core stable builds.

Select the link named release_0.5 and select a directory we created earlier on to download the file to.

# Step Five:

After downloading all of the components, install them by following the instructions below

Now that you have all the necessary components to install and configure lg3d-core it is a good time to begin the installation, first of all if you have closed the terminal session you had opened before open a new one and log in as root.


Command: # su - root
Password: enter root password

For our first step in the installation process you are going to install the Java 2 SDK.

NB. I am assuming that you have download all of the components into /tmp/lg3d

Command: # cd /tmp/lg3d

This will simply take you to the directory where all your files have been downloaded to.

Command: # sh jdk-1_5_0-beta2-linux-i586-rpm.bin

The above command is now extracting the rpm file and installing it onto your system.

Well you are now getting closer to seeing your lg3d working on your system. Now you need to install the Java 3D SDK: If you are not already in the directory that contains all your source files for LG3D run the first command otherwise just start at the next step.

Command: # tar -zxf java3d-1_3_2-build4-linux-i586.tar.gz

The above command is using the tar archiving tool to extract the java3d-1_3_2-build4-linux-i586.tar.gz file.

Command: # cd /usr/java/jdk1.5.0/jre

Now you are entering the directory where all your java files live, this directory was actually created when you installed your jdk01_5_0.

Command: # /usr/java/jdk1.5.0/bin/jar xvf /tmp/lg3d/java3d-1_3_2-build4-linux-i586/j3d-132-build4-linux-x86.jar

The above command looks complicated but it is actually quite simple, you have first entered the directory where you wish to extract the java3d jar file and then all you did was actually extract the jar file from your source directory /tmp/lg3d

At this point there is only one extra Java installation needed before you can actually install the Project Looking Glass files. So now you will install a Java API and the API you are going to install is the Advanced Imaging API for Java. For those wondering what a API is – it is a (Application Program Interface)

Command: # cd /usr/java/jdk1.5.0

Return to your java installation directory where you are going to run the next command:

Command: # sh /tmp/lg3d/jai-1_1_2-lib-linux-i586-jdk.bin

The above command is extract the lg3d/jai-1_1_2-lib-linux-i586-jdk.bin file into the current directory.

Now all your java is installed and before you go any further you can delete some unwanted files.

Command: # cd /tmp/lg3d

You’ve now returned to your source directory.

Command: # rm jdk-1_5_0-beta2-linux-i586.rpm
Command: # rm jdk-1_5_0-beta2-linux-i586-rpm.bin

Command: # rm -r java3d-1_3_2-build4-linux-i586

The last three commands you have run have removed the source files you used to install the Java utilities required to run the Looking Glass Project.

# Step Six:

Ok the installation of the Java software is now done, but just before you continue, you need to set some variables to your environment. I am assuming that you do not normally run as root but a normal user so your first step will be:

Exit from the shell as root so that you once again become your normal user:

Command: # exit

Several environment variables now need to be set in your shell profile. Here are examples appropriate for bash / sh or ksh shell:

If you are running on the default bash shell you need to run the following command:

Command: # echo "JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.5.0" >> ~/.bash_profile
Command: # echo "PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.bash_profile

If you are running on the sh & ksh shell you need to run the following command:

Command: # echo "JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.5.0" >> ~/.profile
Command: # echo "PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.profile

Now to set the same variable for the root user:

Command: # su – root

Repeat the above steps so that you will also have the root user’s environment setup.

# Step Seven:

Now it is the time you have been waiting for as it is time to Install the "Project Looking Glass Developer's Release"

Command: # cd ~
Command: # tar -zxf /tmp/lg3d/lg3d-0.5.tar.gz

Those files will be extracted to a directory named lg3d in the current directory which if all has gone well that should be your home directory.

# Step Eight

In my point of view this is the most exiting step through the whole process as you are about to Run "Project Looking Glass"

There are two ways to run Project Looking Glass (i) in a window within an existing desktop environment or (ii) as a full-screen desktop.

Remember that only the full-screen desktop mode supports a key Project Looking Glass feature, the integration of native, unmodified X11 applications.

The easiest way to verify that your Project Looking Glass installation is correct is to run the demo within an existing desktop. Once you are satisfied it is working correctly, you can then configure your system to run Project Looking Glass full-screen.

Note that running Project Looking Glass in a desktop window is a good way to develop and test 3D applications and enhancements to the Window Manager (Scene Manager).

Running Project Looking Glass within an existing desktop environment

In this mode, a Project Looking Glass session runs in a window in your desktop. This is the simplest way to run Project Looking Glass but this mode only allows you to run Project Looking Glass 3D applications, such as the CD chooser. X11 applications, such as xterm will appear in the X session that you launched the Project Looking Glass session from.

Log into your account and change directory to where you installed Project Looking Glass:

Command: # cd ~/lg3d/bin

Now start the Project Looking Glass session:

Command: # sh lg3d-dev

If you have successfully installed Project Looking Glass you should see the familiar Project Looking Glass desktop in a window on your desktop:

Running Project Looking Glass full-screen

This mode allows you to run Project Looking Glass in full-screen and gives you the ability to launch other application, including native X11 applications. To do this you must first shutdown your X session before starting Project Looking Glass.

To run Project Looking Glass you must first shut down xdm. Since this process is respawned automatically if you kill it you must first disable this service using the chkconfig command:

Once again launch a terminal session and log in as root:

Command: # su - root
Password: enter root password

Now to disable the xdm from respawnning automatically every time you kill it, run the following command:

Command: # /sbin/chkconfig -d xdm

xdm  0:off   1:off   2:off   3:off   4:off   5:off   6:off

Now close any desktop applications and save any open files. Then shutdown the display manager:
From the same terminal session run the following commands:

Command: # pkill gdm-binary

and if that does not work:

Command: # pkill X

Starting the Project Looking Glass desktop session

To start a Project Looking Glass desktop session from the console not within an X session, login as your self enter in your password, become root and change directory to where you installed Project Looking Glass:

Command: # cd ~/lg3d/bin

With the above command you are changing to the directory where Project looking glass was installed.

Command: #su - root

Now it time to start the Project Looking Glass desktop session

Command: # sh lg3d-session
If all steps of the way went successful, after a few seconds the Project Looking Glass desktop should appear.

#### Congratulations! ####

To re-activate the X Display manager so that you can launch your Default Graphical interface, enter the following command as root, and then reboot your system:

Command: # /sbin/chkconfig -a xdm


If you have problems starting the desktop session, refer to the Troubleshooting section for assistance.

Explore the Project Looking Glass desktop and start dreaming of new ways to enhance the desktop user experience with 3D! When you're ready to do development, skip over to the Project Looking Glass Developer's Guide for information about developing with Project Looking Glass.

Created on the 15th July, 2004 by Ricardo Wagemaker and based upon documentation provided by Sun Microsystems imbibed with first hand experience.