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Installing JMRI on Asus EeePC

This procedure outlines the steps taken to install the JMRI suite on an Asus EeePC.

The Asus EeePC is a flash-based device running a customized version of Linux (based on Xandros). As a result, the majority of the installation steps are similar to that when installing on any other (recent) Linux distribution. It is also important to remember that, unlike MS Windows, Linux commands and filenames are case-sensitive (i.e. the filename 'DecoderPro' is not the same as the filename 'decoderpro').

This has been tested on a UK-spec EeePC in conjunction with a KeySpan USB-Serial adapter.

Layout connection tested with a Serial SPROG.

Note: It is the understanding of the Author that the 2G models of the EeePC do not come with a suitable Java Runtime Environment installed.

Installation procedure

Download necessary files

Firstly, the JMRI suite should be downloaded and saved into 'My Documents'. (For version 2.0, the filename is JMRI.2.0.tgz - substitute the appropriate filename for other versions).

Also, the files rxtx.tgz and easymodeicons.tgz should be downloaded and saved into 'My Documents'.

When entering some of the commands listed below, it is necessary to refer to the 'My Documents' directory. To allow for the space in the pathname, this is written as My\ Documents. On an EeePC with a UK English keyboard, the \ character is entered by the key combination Fn+Z.

Open Terminal and assign super-user (root) permissions

In order to install the JMRI suite, you require root permissions. By default, this is not the case.

Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T)

In this window, at the prompt '/home/user> ' type 'sudo su' (without the quotes)

This will now change this terminal session to one with root permissions - BE VERY CAREFUL - any commands typed into this window will now be running with full root permissions.

This terminal window should remain open throughout the installation procedure.

Install the software

To start, it is necessary to install the communications libraries by typing the following commands: cd /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun- tar -zxvvf /home/user/My\ Documents/rxtx.tgz cd lib/i386 ln -s ln -s Second step is to install the JMRI suite by typing the following commands: cd /usr/local tar -zxvvf /home/user/My\ Documents/JMRI.2.0.tgz chown -R root:root /usr/local/JMRI chmod -R 755 /usr/local/JMRI

Modify the start-up scripts

Due to installing the JMRI suite as a user program, it is necessary to modify the start-up scripts.

Change directory to the install directory by typing the following command: cd JMRI Modify start-up scripts to allow execution from the install directory using the command: nano DecoderPro This will now start-up a text editor in the terminal window.

Using the cursor keys, find the line that reads: # cd /usr/local/JMRI Modify the line by removing the leading # (it should then read): cd /usr/local/JMRI Press Ctrl+O and then Enter to write-out the file. Press Ctrl+X to exit

Repeat this modification for: PanelPro and optionally for: JmriDemo This completes the necessary start-up file modifications.

Create EasyLauncher icons

Install the icons for the AsusLauncher menu: cd /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher tar -zxvvf /home/user/My\ Documents/easymodeicons.tgz

Exit administrator shell

To finalise the modifications to the AsusLauncher menu, it is necessary to leave the administrator shell by typing the following command: exit This will result in the prompt changing to '/home/user> '.

Modify AsusLauncher menu

Before modifying the AsusLauncher menu, it needs to be determined if a user copy of the configuration exists.

This verification is achieved using the following commands: cd .AsusLauncher ls simpleui.rc If there is an error 'ls: simpleui.rc: No such file or directory', it is necessary to perform the following steps. Otherwise, skip the section 'Copy default AsusLauncher file'.

Copy default AsusLauncher file

If there is no file 'simpleui.rc' in the '/home/user/.AsusLauncher' directory, it is necessary to copy the default AsusLauncher file.

This is achieved by using the following command: cp /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher/simpleui.rc simpleui.rc Confirm that the file 'simpleui.rc' exists by typing: ls simpleui.rc This should then display: simpleui.rc

Make the AsusLauncher modifications

Now that it has been determined that a user copy of the AsusLauncher configuration exists, it is necessary to modify this configuration.

This is achieved by entering the following command: nano simpleui.rc Scroll down to the end of the file. This should be a single line showing: </simpleui> Insert the following lines before the last line (copy and paste from here, or the launcheritems.txt file): <parcel extraargs="/usr/bin/xterm -hold -e /usr/local/JMRI/DecoderPro" icon="decoderpro_norm.png" selected_icon="decoderpro_hi.png" simplecat="Play"> <name lang="en">Decoder Pro</name> </parcel> <parcel extraargs="/usr/bin/xterm -hold -e /usr/local/JMRI/PanelPro" icon="panelpro_norm.png" selected_icon="panelpro_hi.png" simplecat="Play"> <name lang="en">Panel Pro</name> </parcel> Press Ctrl+O and then Enter to write-out the file. Press Ctrl+X to exit

Note: the new icons will not show until after the EeePC has been restarted.

Complete the installation

Close the terminal window by typing the following command: exit Now, restart the EeePC by your preferred method.

Once restarted, icons for Decoder Pro and Panel Pro should exist on the Play tab.


  1. Certain dialog boxes are too large to display on screen - use Alt and drag with mouse to see everything.
  2. Some Asus updates will cause the icons to be removed. In that case, redo the 'Modify AsusLauncher menu' steps.