Frequently Asked Questions
(and answers)

If you have a question about xmcd/cda or encounter a problem, please read through this FAQ. You questions may already be answered in here. If not, send e-mail to the author. Suggestions to add new entries to this list are also welcome.


Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

[Q] Why do I have to type the disc and track titles into the CD database? Isn't the information recorded on the CD?

[A] No. There is no way to get such information by reading the CD. Fortunately, the Internet CD database is growing at a rapid pace and many of your CDs may already be in it. if your system is connected to the Internet, you can use one of the public CD Database servers.

[Q] When I compile the xmcd source code, I get an error about XmClientLibs.

[A] Your system's imake configuration is not set up to properly support Motif. To work around this problem, see the INSTALL file and read the comments in the xmcd_d/Imakefile.

[Q] I get the following warning when I start xmcd:

Warning: locale not supported by C library, locale unchanged

[A] This message is displayed when you do not have a properly defined LANG environment variable. If you are not using an international character set then you can usually ignore this message.

[Q] I get the following message when I start xmcd:

Error: attempt to add non-widget child "dsm" to parent "xmcd" which supports only widgets

[A] On certain platforms, there appears to be a problem with the vendor shell widget class in the shared Motif library. Rearranging the order of the Motif and X libraries linked may alleviate this problem, and re-linking with the static Motif library instead of the shared version usually solves this problem.

[Q] When I start xmcd, I get error messages such as these:

Warning: translation table syntax error: Unknown keysym name: osfActivate
Warning: ... found while parsing 'osfActivate: BulletinBoardReturn()'
Warning: translation table syntax error: Unknown keysym name: osfCancel
Warning: ... found while parsing 'osfCancel: BulletinBoardCancel()'

[A] The LIBDIR/XKeysymDB file is not installed on your system (where LIBDIR is typically /usr/lib/X11). A XKeysymDB file is supplied with the xmcd release. When the XKeysymDB is installed in the proper location this problem should go away.

[Q] Xmcd prints one of the following error messages:
The LIBDIR/app-defaults/XMcd file cannot be located, or is the wrong version. A correct version of this file must be present in the appropriate directory in order for xmcd to run. Please check your xmcd installation.

Neither the XMcd.libdir resource nor the XMCD_LIBDIR environment is defined!

[A] Your xmcd software may be improperly installed. If you compiled xmcd from the source code, be sure to use "make install" to install the software. Also, make sure that the xmcd_d/XMcd.ad file is installed as LIBDIR/app-defaults/XMcd (where LIBDIR is typically /usr/lib/X11). Check the contents of this file to make sure the XMcd.version parameter exists and matches the version of xmcd you're running. If the XMcd.version field is missing or wrong, do not edit the file to correct it. Install a correct version of the file instead.

If the above doesn't resolve the problem, check to make sure you don't have an old or incorrect version of the XMcd file installed in your home directory, or in any of the directories specified by your XAPPLRESDIR or XFILESEARCHPATH environment variables. Also, check your $HOME/.Xdefaults file.

[Q] Xmcd dies with a message similar to one the following upon startup:

ld.so.1: xmcd: fatal: libXm.so.2: can't open file: errno=2

dynamic linker : xmcd : error opening libXm.so.2

[A] Your xmcd binary was compiled to link with dynamic libraries. On SVR4 and certain other systems, a setuid program such as xmcd will search only the /usr/lib and /usr/ccs/lib for dynamic libraries (for security concerns). However, some of the dynamic libraries that xmcd needs are not in these standard locations. This is notably true for the Motif (libXm), Xt Intrinsics (libXt) and X11 (libX11) libraries.

In the example messages above, libXm.so.2 is not found. You may also run into the same problem with other libraries.

A solution is to create symbolic links such that these needed dynamic libraries are linked to /usr/lib, and thus can be found by xmcd. The xmcd install procedure ("make install" or "install.sh") has built-in support to search for the needed dynamic libraries and to create the links for you.

The install.sh script will only search the following directories for dynamic libraries:


If your xmcd binary needs a shared library that's not in these locations, you must create the symbolic link by hand with the ln(1) -s command.

If you don't like the symbolic link approach, an alternate solution is to recompile xmcd such that the dynamic library locations are specified with the -R option to the ld(1) command. To do this, you must be adept at editing the xmcd_d/Makefile and making the appropriate changes, compile the xmcd sources, and re-installing the binary.

[Q] Cda prints the following error message:

XMCD_LIBDIR environment not defined.

[A] You must set the XMCD_LIBDIR environment variable to run cda. Typically this is set to "/usr/lib/X11/xmcd" (your local set-up may vary). You set the environment variable as follows:

  • Bourne Shell, Korn Shell or bash:
    XMCD_LIBDIR=/usr/lib/X11/xmcd; export XMCD_LIBDIR
  • C Shell or tcsh:
    setenv XMCD_LIBDIR /usr/lib/X11/xmcd

[Q] Xmcd prints messages similar to the following (and some or all of the xmcd features are not displayed in their proper colors):
Warning: Cannot allocate colormap entry for "Grey75"
Warning: Cannot allocate colormap entry for "CadetBlue4"

[A] Your X display has run out of colormap entries. Colormap entries are a limited resource, and there are other color-intensive applications running on your X display that has consumed all of of them. This is especially prevalent on X displays that has 8 bit-planes or less (supporting 256 colors or less).

The solution is to start xmcd before running other color-intensive applications, such as web browsers or graphics programs.

[Q] Xmcd seems to consume more and more memory over time, or experience other functional or display anomalies.

[A] If you are using xmcd with the LessTif library (A free Motif clone), this may be the cause of the problems. Earlier versions of LessTif have been known to cause these problems. I suggest using the pre- compiled xmcd binaries that are distributed via the xmcd web site, as these are linked with the real Motif library. Alternatively, you can try a newer version of LessTif.

[Q] Xmcd or cda complains that the CD is busy.

[A] Check the system for another xmcd or cda process running on the same CD-ROM device. If there are no other xmcd/cda process, then look for a file /tmp/.cdaudio/lock.XXXX where XXXX is the hexadecimal string of the device number. Remove this file and the problem should go away. Normally a new xmcd/cda process will inherit the lock from a previously exited xmcd/cda process, but if the original process ID is now re-used by another process this will not work.

[Q] Xmcd or cda complains that the device is not a CD-ROM and quits.

[A] Ensure that the CD-ROM drive is connected and functioning, and that xmcd/cda is properly configured.

If you have one of those unusual OEM SCSI CD-ROM drives that identify themselves as a hard disk (such as the Toshiba CD-ROM XM revision 1971 units OEM'ed by SGI), you will need to add -DOEM_CDROM to the libdi_d/Makefile and recompile.

[Q] Xmcd and cda re-loads the CD tray a few seconds after ejecting.

[A] This tends to occur with some non-SCSI CD-ROM drives. If you have xmcd's closeOnEject parameter set to True, that could be the cause. Try setting it to False. If this still doesn't fix the problem, or cause other problems, send a bug report to the CD-ROM driver's author.

Meanwhile, you can increase the insertPollInterval parameter in xmcd/cda to make this "auto-load" behavior happen later.

[Q] If xmcd/cda is started without a CD in the drive, the Load/Eject control on xmcd/cda cannot be used to load a CD.

[A] This is a "feature". Xmcd and cda cannot issue a "load" command to the drive without having the device open. On many UNIX systems, the CD device cannot be opened until a disc is inserted. Thus, the CD must be loaded manually at the drive the first time around. Subsequently, the Load/Eject control on xmcd/cda should work normally.

[Q] If I eject and load a different CD, the xmcd/cda track list still shows the information for the previous CD.

[A] This is a problem with some versions of the sbpcd driver on Linux. The sbpcd driver caches the CD's TOC (table of contents) in the driver, but neglects to invalidate this cache when the CD is ejected. There is a workaround: Set the closeOnEject parameter to True in your XMCDLIB/config/DEVICE file and it should work. XMCDLIB is the directory where the xmcd/cda support files are installed.

[Q] On the BSDI BSD/OS 2.x system, I get the following message when I use some of the xmcd and cda controls:
data write failed: Read only file system

[A] You need to apply a patch to your disk driver. See the README file for details.

[Q] Xmcd seems to be real slow to respond to mouse clicks.

[A] Make sure your system has enough memory. X11 programs, especially Motif applications, consume a lot of memory. Xmcd is no exception. Your system may be swapping and paging heavily, causing the performance degradation. Try closing some unneeded windows. Also, the X server may have a memory leak which causes it to grow over time. Try stopping the entire X session and starting a new one.

Run some system performance analysis tools (sar, u386mon, vmstat, crash, etc.) to see if there is a system tuning issue.

Also, setting the xmcd X resource XMcd*mainShowFocus to False may improve performance somewhat.

[Q] Clicking the mouse button #3 on the volume control, balance control and track warp slider thumbs will not bring up the help window.

[A] Click on the label area instead of the thumb. This is a limitation of the Motif scale widget.

[Q] When clicking mouse button #3 on the volume control numeric label area, sometimes the help window does not appear.

[A] The problem occurs when the current keyboard input focus is on the volume control slider. This is a limitation of the Motif scale widget. The work-around is to click another button first to change the keyboard focus to another button, then click the #3 button on the volume control numeric label to bring up the help window.

[Q] Xmcd/cda seems to be playing the CD, but there is no sound.

[A] Make sure you are not running a "demo" version of xmcd. If you see this message when you start xmcd or cda, then you are running the demo version that does not actually work with a real CD-ROM drive:

CD-ROM simulator version x.xx (pid=xxxxx) starting...

You will get the demo mode if you compile and run xmcd/cda on an unsupported OS platform.

Also, make sure your CD-ROM drive audio output is connected to something. You may either connect headphones or amplified speakers to the front jack, or connect the rear audio output to an external amplifier.

On PC platforms, you can also connect the CD-ROM audio output to a sound card. If a sound card is used, you must also use an audio mixer program to set the CD Input Level and Master Volume. I recommend the xmmix (Motif Audio Mixer) utility, which supports the OSS and OSS/Free sound drivers. Visit the xmmix web site for information.

Xmcd/cda controls the CD-ROM drive only, and does not control the built-in audio hardware on SGI, Sun, HP and some other workstations. Thus, there is no way to make the CD-ROM play via the workstation's internal speakers, unless an external program is used to control the audio hardware.

For Solaris 2.x (Sparc and x86 systems not running OSS), you can try the sac package. Different Sun Sparc systems have different audio hardware, and x86 systems have an even greater variation of sound cards. There is no guarantee that sac will work on your system. Also, since sac is not developed by the author of xmcd, no support will be provided for it. If sac doesn't work for you then you should use external speakers as described below.

For SGI and other such systems, there is currently no external audio control program that I know of. I recommend using headphones or good quality external amplified speakers, connected to the front jack on your CD-ROM drive. This setup should provide superior sound quality than the system's internal speakers.

Note: The SGI O2 system does not provide a CD-ROM audio output jack. The headphone jack on the system is not connected directly to the CD-ROM drive. Thus, there is currently no solution to this problem on that platform.

[Q] I have a Toshiba SCSI-2 CD-ROM drive and sometimes when I run xmcd/cda I get no sound, even though the CD appears to be playing normally. The xmcd/cda volume control slider does not have an effect.

[A] Recent Toshiba SCSI CD-ROM drives support two means of software- controlled volume settings. One of these is the SCSI-2 method, using the "mode select" command. The other is via a SCSI-1 Toshiba vendor-unique command, and only gives mute/un-mute functions. Xmcd/cda will use the appropriate method, depending on whether you configured it to operate the drive as a Toshiba SCSI-2 or SCSI-1 unit.

Even though you are using xmcd configured to SCSI-2 mode, the SCSI-1 mode muting may have somehow been activated, thus silencing the audio. To determine if this is the cause, do the following:

  1. Run the XMCDLIB/config/config.sh script, and re-configure xmcd/cda to operate the drive as a SCSI-1 Toshiba unit (such as the XM-3201). XMCDLIB is the directory where the xmcd/cda support files are installed.
  2. Restart xmcd, play an audio CD, and move the volume control slider around. Note that it will only go to the 0 or 100 settings in this mode. Leave it in the 100 position, then quit xmcd.
  3. Configure xmcd/cda back to run as the appropriate SCSI-2 unit.
  4. Play a CD. Is there sound? Does the volume control slider work?

A possible cause of this phenomenon, is that some other application that accesses the CD-ROM drive was using the Toshiba SCSI-1 vendor unique command set to control the drive, and left the drive in the muted state when it exited. Xmcd, when configured to run the drive as a SCSI-2 unit, does not issue SCSI-1 vendor-unique commands to re-enable the sound.

To remedy this, you may choose to operate xmcd/cda only in the SCSI-1 mode (as an XM-3201), but you lose some of the features in xmcd/cda. The other option is to avoid using the other application that caused this in the first place. Or, send a complaint to the vendor/author of that application.

[Q] Xmcd/cda reports "no disc" even though there is a CD in the drive.

[A] Your system must be set up properly to use a CD-ROM drive. A good test is to see if you can mount ISO9660/High Sierra CD-ROM file-systems. If your system does not support ISO9660 but otherwise supports a raw CD-ROM device, you can try typing this command while logged in as the super-user (with a DATA CD loaded in the CD-ROM drive):

dd if=DEVICE of=/dev/null bs=2k count=10

where DEVICE is the CD-ROM device node, such as /dev/rcd0 (SCO ODT), /dev/rcdrom/cdrom1 (SVR4.2/x86) or /dev/rsr0 (SunOS 4.1.x).

If the dd command fails, then either your hardware is not set up properly, or your OS is not configured to support the CD-ROM device. You should fix the problem first before attempting to run xmcd/cda.

Once you have validated basic functionality with data CDs, then make sure xmcd/cda is properly configured. Run the XMCDLIB/config/config.sh script (where XMCDLIB is the directory where the xmcd/cda support files are installed).

Also, be sure that you are running on a supported operating system and hardware platform, and that the minimum OS version requirement is met. Some platforms require special kernel or driver configuration to run xmcd/cda. See the README and INSTALL files for details.

[Q] Some of the features of xmcd/cda do not work, such as the volume control, balance control, channel routing, caddy eject, or index search buttons.

[A] Your CD-ROM drive may not support some of these features. Another possibility is that the software is improperly configured. Run the XMCDLIB/config/config.sh script to re-configure xmcd/cda (where XMCDLIB is the directory where the xmcd/cda support files are installed).

[Q] The xmcd shuffle mode button doesn't work, it just beeps when I click on it.

[A] Shuffle mode can only be enabled when the CD is stopped. If your CD is playing, stop the playback and the shuffle button should work. This is a safeguard feature to prevent unintentionally interrupting the playback.

[Q] I am using a non-SCSI CD-ROM drive under Linux. The system seems to hang for a few seconds when I start or stop the CD via xmcd/cda, then everything works fine after that.

[A] This is the characteristic of the particular CD-ROM device driver and can be considered "normal" (or send bug report to the driver author).

[Q] I would like to install xmcd such that the binary and its configuration files are all on NFS-shared directories. However, the workstations using the shared NFS resources have different brand/models of CD-ROM drives, so the default configuration does not work. How do I deal with this?

[A] This can be addressed with a wrapper script around the xmcd and cda binaries and adding a symbolic link to the device node.

  1. Install xmcd and cda normally, except specify an NFS-mounted location for its BINDIR and XMCDLIB. Since root privilege is not applicable across an NFS-mounted directory, you need to run the installation as a non-root user. Care should be taken to ensure that these directories are writable to you. Also, be sure to fix the permissions of the xmcd and cda binaries to make them setuid root.
  2. Rename your xmcd binary as xmcdprog and cda binary as cdaprog (substitute BINDIR with the appropriate path):

    cd BINDIR
    mv xmcd xmcdprog
    mv cda cdaprog

  3. Create an xmcd wrapper shell script with the following contents and install with 755 execute permissions in BINDIR:

    exec xmcdprog -dev /dev/rcdrom.`uname -n` $*

    Similarly, create a cda wrapper as above, but substitute "xmcdprog" with "cdaprog".

  4. Create a symbolic link in /dev to link to the appropriate CD-ROM device (substitute DEVICE with the correct device on your system. e.g., /dev/rsr0 on SunOS 4.1.x, and HOSTNAME should be the workstation's host name):

    cd /dev
    ln -s DEVICE rcdrom.HOSTNAME

  5. Run the XMCDLIB/config/config.sh script for each workstation (where XMCDLIB is the directory where the xmcd/cda support files are installed). When prompted for the device name, enter "/dev/rcdrom.HOSTNAME" to configure the drive on that workstation host.

[Q] I would like to purchase a CD-ROM drive for use with xmcd/cda and for data CD purposes. Which do you recommend?

[A] I will not give specific brand and model recommendations, but I will recommend a SCSI-2 drive over a non-SCSI one. More features are supported by xmcd on SCSI drives than on non-SCSI units.

Furthermore, SCSI CD-ROM drives are universally supported on the various OS and hardware platforms (whereas non-SCSI units only work on some platforms). This makes a SCSI drive more portable between different systems, and there is less worry about getting obscure device drivers to work.

Note that not all SCSI-2 drives are created equal, some of them implement more of the audio-related commands than others. If you do a careful study of xmcd's libdi_d/cfgtbl/* files, you'll get a good glimpse at the CD-ROM drives' capabilities. Some of xmcd's features will not work unless these commands are fully implemented on the drive. Also, see the README file for specific drive-related notes.

Note that some workstations require special OEM versions of the CD-ROM drives (such as Sun, which requires support of 512-byte block sizes rather than the standard 2048).

[Q] Does xmcd run on any flavor of Microsoft Windows or Apple MacOS?

[A] No. Xmcd was developed to be an application for the X window system, which is found on most UNIX workstations as well as OpenVMS. Although there are products that turn your MS-Windows or MacOS desktop into a networked X display, there are currently no way of running an X application natively on these platforms. For MS-Windows users, you might want to look into one of the applications listed on the CD database web site. Better yet, convert to Linux, FreeBSD or one of the other UNIX flavors!

[Q] What If I Don't Have Motif?

[A] This is a common question for users of the FreeBSD, NetBSD, Linux and other platforms that do not come with Motif development and/or run-time environments. No problem, there are answers!

Pre-compiled xmcd binaries with statically-linked Motif library is distributed via this site for most of these platforms. You can just download it, install and run.

If you must build xmcd from source yourself and don't have Motif, you can use the LessTif (freely available Motif clone) package. As of this writing LessTif is still under development and the package is not yet complete or mature. While xmcd will link and run with the LessTif library in its current form, some of the features of xmcd may not function optimally. However, the LessTif developers are making quick progress, and if you don't have the "real" Motif, you may want to give LessTif a try. Here is the LessTif Web Site. I recommend lessTif version 0.83 or later.

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Last update
98/05/24 23:18:06