Installing SAX under Linux (including BSD)


Normally, to install SAX you should use the script supplied by Soliton.


An installation script used to be included in the install ("tgz") file but in June 2002 a newer version of SAX (6.0.2) was released and the script wasn't included in the corresponding file. The original installation script should have worked just the same but problems were reported with the install file and a fix hasn't been provided as of October 2002.


We had a look at the installation script and found the problems to be minor, yet sufficient to prevent a successful installation. In the process we even managed to install SAX under FreeBSD, in Linux mode.


The following is a step-by-step procedure to install version 6.0.2, including *BSD.



1.    If you are running BSD ensure that it is "Linux enabled". If you install FreeBSD from scratch you will be given the opportunity to do so at installation time. If it is not already installed you can append a line to the /etc/rc.conf file that reads
linux_enabled = "YES"
Reboot to make it effective.

2.    Get the latest SAX (6.0.2 as of 2002/10) from Soliton's ftp site. The link may change; it used to be at
do a "
tar -zxf ..." on it to materialize its items in the temporary directory you should be in (like /tmp/sax)

3.    get the installation script. There is one at

4.    If you want to install SAX under [Free]BSD change the install script to accept BSD. Do the same with the "xfonts.install" script: simply add "*BSD*|" before the Linux case statement.

5.    ensure directory /usr/sax exists otherwise the script will fail attempting to create directory /usr/sax/rel

6.    do a ‘chmod +x /usr/sax/rel/etc/conf/*’ to make sure that all scripts there are executable

7.    do a ‘chmod 666 /usr/sax/rel/lib/wss*/*.sf’ to make sure all public files are usable

8.    if you are running FreeBsd make sure all executables are of type 'Linux'. Do

   brandelf -t Linux /usr/sax/rel/bin/*

9.    run the install script
The script will verify that your environment is setup properly and will offer to install SAX in directory /usr/sax/rel.
DO NOT change this directory and accept the default. Changing the directory creates problems down the road

10.  answer the other prompts.


Once the script has completed you should

1.    ensure that the SVP has started.
SAX won't run without the Shared Variable Processor (SVP). After running the script the SVP should be up and running.
If it isn't it can be started by doing
/usr/sax/rel/etc/conf/rc_local.sax start # {1}
before starting sax.

2.   ensure that the SVP will start after rebooting the machine.
When the machine boots up it executes some scripts. Depending on the flavor of Unix being used, it may execute a series of scripts starting with the letters 'rc'.
Under FreeBSD the only scripts executed are '/etc/rc', possibly '/etc/rc.local' if it exists, and any /usr/local/etc/rc.d/*.sh script.
The SVP can be started automatically by inserting line [1] in the rc.local script, or, better, by creating a soft link equivalent as in
ln -s /usr/sax/rel/etc/conf/svp.local /usr/local/etc/rc.d/

3.    make your life easier by creating a soft link to the <sax> script by doing something like
ln –s /usr/sax/rel/bin/sax sax
This will result in calling SAX by simply issuing ‘sax’


Other Problems


Under BSD you may find out that starting SAX only generates 4 non-printable characters on the screen before stopping. This is a problem due to the <apd> file. This file needs to be replaced with the <apd.N20> file (renamed to <apd>, of course) found here. Also ensure that this <apd> file has xr access to everyone and that it is executable, otherwise the APs won't be accessible and you won't go anywhere. Type


mv /usr/sax/rel/bin/apd /usr/sax/rel/bin/apd.old

cp /usr/sax/rel/bin/apd.N20 /usr/sax/rel/bin/apd

chmod 555 /usr/sax/rel/bin/apd



Good luck!