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Processing programming language – on Ubuntu Netbook Remix Karmic

I have recently been having a go with the Processing programming language.

You can see my first attempt in the Interactive Diode circuit demonstration – Processing / Java applet on

I really do like the language. It was ideally suited to the applet that I have created and I hope to add a few more soon.

I did come across a problem running on Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 (Karmic). It only seamed to apply to my netbook (it worked fine in a VM running UNR 9.10), so I’m guessing it may be a problem with Java and / or the video driver on the netbook. The problem was that when running a Windowed application compiled in the Processing Development Environment (PDE), but not an applet or fullscreen app, then X would restart leaving me back at the login prompt.

I tried the Ubuntu Forums: Solved – Re: Processing restarts X on UNR Karmic, but with no response I also posed to the Processing bug tracking tool.

The response directed me at a FAQ page – which I had seen before, but this time I noticed that Processing required Java 1.5, but I’d got 1.6 installed. My other machines also had 1.6 installed and worked fine, but I tried installing 1.5 and it now works fine.

If you find similar problems here are the steps I took to get Processing working:

To get it working I had to install JDK 1.5 and then link to that instead. You have to jump through a few hoops to get to the appropriate download page on the Java site which I found at:

I then had to register to get a link to actually download the JDK (note must be JDK – JRE is not sufficient).

Once downloaded I ran the .bin file as root into the /opt directory. Then deleted the java directory in processing and replaced it with the following symlink:
sudo ln -s /opt/jdk1.5.0_21/ /opt/processing-1.0.9/java

There is now a new pre-release version of Processing – released this weekend, so I’ll give that a go and see if that works better with 1.6.

It looks like the future will see Processing for the Android smart phone which sounds exciting as well.

One Response to “Processing programming language – on Ubuntu Netbook Remix Karmic”

  1. Stewart Says:

    I have now found another solution to the problem. I’ve now switched from Sun Java to OpenJDK on my EeePC netbook.

    This appears to have fixed the problems that I experienced previously. I tried OpenJDK a long time past and found it to have some problems with certain programs. It seams to have come a long way since and is working with with Processing.

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