Mine the Harvest

Cross Platform Geekness

by on Aug.31, 2008, under College Stuff, IT Adventures

I rather get off on making apps run on things they were never meant for. It’s just good fun.

Last semester I had to use this “Windows only” program called Visual Logic for a class. I got it to run under wine easily enough and used it for the duration of the class.

Now Sydney is taking that same class but she wanted to run it under OSX on her Mac. Okay, no problem – mostly.

Using X Forwarding I set up a script that sets her local $DISPLAY variable (which does not get set automatically in OSX terminal), sets up Xquartz rather than the regular OSX X11 server to run correctly, logs her into my Linux box (using ssh key authentication) and then runs wine and the Visual Logic program which is in turn X forwarded over SSH and displayed on her OSX screen. Bwah ha ha . . .

I turned this into an executable script on her OSX Desktop – learning that OSX needs a .command suffix to make such click executable.

And viola – it actually works, well – mostly. The Windows “File Open” window is rendered without text (nice) and the screen refresh in Visual Logic itself is pretty crappy when you X forward it. But it does actually run.

And here is the little beastie. Should you need to X forward any apps to OSX you may find it useful:

$cat VisualLogic.command

#!/bin/bash
export DISPLAY=:0.0
/usr/X11R6/bin/Xquartz -xinerama&
ssh -X [email protected] wine /home/paracelsus/Desktop/VisualLogic-Course-2.2.exe

In order to make wine run automatically I just appended the remote command to run onto the end of the ssh command.

I found this site, which held the secret to the Xquartz server secret. Also, here is a good Apple site on X forwarding and the X11 server in OS X. You have to install Apple’s X11 server from your OS CD or download it for any of this to work – I have a bit more info on that on my OSX Darwin wiki article.

Even though it is a bit clunky, it was still fun taking a Windows app, running it under Linux and X forwarding it to OS X. Now that is just kind of fun.

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