Friday, June 20, 2008

RSSOwl on Ubuntu with new shiny Firefox 3

Recently I became so frustrated with MS Vista (the reasons why probably deserve a separate blog post) which I stupidly had chosen as my OS at work several months ago, that when I had to analyse one problem with FishEye, SVN and symbolic links and use some Unix/Linux platform for that, it ignited my final decision to move to Ubuntu on my office laptop.

While configuring all my favourite development and office tools, I encountered the problem with RSSOwl, which I started to use a few months ago when it turned out that Google Reader leaks my confidential feeds.
The problem was that Just whenever I clicked on any feed, instead of list of news for this feed I was getting nothing, but the following error in the log:
No more handles (java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no swt-mozilla-gtk-3349 or
swt-mozilla-gtk in swt.library.path, java.library.path or the jar file)
at org.eclipse.swt.SWT.error(
at org.eclipse.swt.SWT.error(
at org.eclipse.swt.browser.Mozilla.create(
RSSOwl is really a great RSS reader tool, so I did not want to give up quickly.
It turned out that Ubuntu 8.04 out of the box + new shiny FireFox 3 + RSSOwl 2 (which bases on Eclipse) do not want to cooperate with some nudging.

The solution was simple in my case and was to install additional XULRunner support for gnome with:
sudo apt-get install xulrunner-gnome-support
and it did the trick. I found the original hint on this blog.
I decided to write this post, as there is very few hits in the web on this subject, for some people RSSOwl does not necessarily equals Eclipse and finally with recent Firefox 3 launch and millions of downloads this problem will probably affect many more people.

P.S. Probably some of you did not know that Vista finally introduced the concept of symbolic links to its file system. Now you can have real symlinks to files and directories, although there are as always some crazy features and limitation of this stuff. You can think why then I had to analyse this problem on Unix/Linux. The answer is simple: SVN compiled for Windows does not support yet symbolic links regardless of the version of OS.


  1. Hi Wojtek,

    Welcome to the club!

    I've changed the job very recently, new place is very Unix/Linux oriented and quite a few of bright engineers here use Ubuntu on their desktops.

    I had decided to give it a try, spent almost a week playing with it (not 'configuring stuff', but 'intentionally testing various configurations' - big difference!) and I must say I was amazed! Since then the list of my 'performance oriented' habit's list has been growing, every day single day I discover new tricks and apps, and honestly it's just unbelievable how better I perform in comparision to what I had been able to achieve on Windows.

    Hope you'll enjoy at least as much as I do! :)

  2. Thanks rm for your comment.
    I must admit that Ubuntu (version 7 and now 8) also amazes me.
    It is totally different experience comparing to old time when I used Linux (I have been using Linux since 1996). So much easier and beginner friendly than old RedHat (I used version 3 to 5), Debian or first releases of Suse (long before Novell acquisition).

    I can see that Microsoft does not progress with Windows (or just progresses sideways or backwards - Vista is the proof), whereas Linux distros made a huge leap towards normal consumers.

    I always had dual-life of Windows and Unix/Linux developer and thus used every day both systems (typically with dual boot or two machines). But with Vista onboard I believe than more and more time I will be spending on Linux. Anyway I am about to downgrade to XP (already asked Microsoft support for the procedure), as laptop with 2GB and T7700 is not enough for this beast..


  3. Thanks for the fix! I would never have guessed that xulrunner-gnome support had to be installed. Now I can finally use rssowl with my newly installed ubuntu! Yeehaa! Thank God for people like you!


  4. Hey thanks a lot for sharing this!! I could not get RSSowl 2 working but with your help I got it working! :)

  5. Ah there it is. Thanks so much for this fix, I never would have worked it out.