boinc-manager needs /var/lib/boinc-client to launch

Bug #1260990 reported by Ken Sharp
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
boinc (Debian)
boinc (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

This stems from Bug #1250652

"When launching BOINC Manager from the Gnome menu it produces an error that it is unable to find /var/lib/boinc-client, which of course does not exist unless boinc-client is also installed. Launching from the terminal does not produce this error.

This is solved by removing the Path= variable from the .desktop file (and logging out/in).

[Desktop Entry]
Name=BOINC Manager
GenericName=BOINC monitor and control utility
GenericName[cs]=Monitorovací a ovládací nástroj pro BOINC
GenericName[de]=BOINC Überwachungs- und Kontrollprogramm
GenericName[pt]=Monitorização BOINC e utilitário de controlo
Comment=Configure or monitor a BOINC core client
Comment[cs]=Monitoruje a nastavuje klienta BOINC
Comment[de]=BOINC Basis Client konfigurieren oder überwachen
Comment[pt]=Configurar ou monitorizar o cliente básico do BOINC


This exists so that boincmgr can connect to the client automatically.

A better solution was a simple:
mkdir /var/lib/boinc-client
Then boincmgr does not complain.

Unless there is some intelligence that the menu system can use to ignore the Path= if the directory does not exist, then it might be worth adding an empty /var/lib/boinc-client to the boinc-manager package to avoid this error."

This is reproducible by installing boinc-manager with --no-install-recommends, when you simply do not want the boinc-client installed.

AFAIK upstream BOINC doesn't care about Gnome, Unity, etc. so it needs to be fixed Debian/Ubuntu end.

apport claims I'm not running the official version (I am) so that didn't work.

$ dpkg -s boinc-manager
Package: boinc-manager
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: x11
Installed-Size: 4019
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <email address hidden>
Architecture: amd64
Source: boinc
Version: 7.0.24+dfsg-1
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.10.0), libnotify4 (>= 0.7.0), libsqlite3-0 (>= 3.5.9), libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1), libwxbase2.8-0 (>=, libwxgtk2.8-0 (>=
Recommends: boinc-client, ia32-libs-gtk
Suggests: libgl1-mesa-glx, libxt6

Will look into this further and send upstream asap.

Revision history for this message
Ken Sharp (kennybobs) wrote :
Changed in boinc (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
Revision history for this message
MestreLion (mestrelion) wrote :

Manually creating a /var/lib/boinc-client dir solves the bug, but if this is done by the package itself at install I wonder if apt will see this as a conflict with the boinc-client package, since both would create (and thus "own", apt-wise) the same dir.

Also, in boinc-client this dir is owned by a "boinc:boinc" user and group, so boinc-manager would probably have to mimic that too, which may lead to more conflicts.

Does anyone know how apt deals with packages that creates the same users, groups and dirs? A clumsy solution would be to create a "boinc-common" base package that creates this "infrastructure", and set both boinc-client and boinc-manager to depend on that.

Another completely different approach, and perhaps a better solution: if the problem is only the .desktop file that contains a Path= entry pointing to an nonexisting dir, what if instead of a Path= entry we use boincmgr --datadir /var/lib/boinc-client in the Exec= entry? Gnome/Unity would not complain anymore, but would boincmgr complain if we use a nonexisting dir as datadir? Would it (a) bork (b) create the dir or (c) work just fine ? If (c), then problem solved. (b) is fine, as long as it doesn't conflict if/when boinc-client is installed later (will it change the ownership to boinc:boinc?). But, if (a), we have a problem :P

Revision history for this message
Gianfranco Costamagna (costamagnagianfranco) wrote :

I don't think this is worth a fix, specially because the concerns in #2 are correct

Changed in boinc (Ubuntu):
status: New → Opinion
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