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Fixing broken local lockers on Athena

Note: This applies to Athena 9.3 and 9.4 only.

Athena copies some locker software to the local machine to make it run faster. At the moment, this software is Acrobat Reader and OpenOffice. Network errors or disk problems can cause this process to fail, leaving users with broken copies of the locker software. For the most part, the software will crash or refuse to load, but in some cases it can be harder to track down. In at least one instance, the user was left with a copy of Acrobat that did everything except print.

Here is how to fix broken locker software. Note that this is done as root and uses the "rm" command, and typos can leave a workstation unusable. Be sure the user is aware of these concerns and has backed up
any data stored on the local workstation.

  1. Close all programs (Firefox, Acrobat, OpenOffice, etc).

  2. Look at the directories in /var/athena/local:
      athena% ls /var/athena/local
      acro_v8.1.2/  ooffice_v2.4.1/

    In this example, there are two lockers copied locally, acro_v8.1.2 and ooffice_v2.4.1
    Because it takes a while to copy a locker locally, we only want to remove the one that's causing the problem. For this example, let's say it's acrobat.

  3. Detach the locker that you want to remove:
       athena% detach acro_v8.1.2 
  4. Become root

  5. Delete the directory:
       bash# rm -rf /var/athena/local/acro_v8.1.2

    Note: Typos here can cause problems. Never give clients an "rm -rf" command that involves a wildcard (*)

  6. Delete the validated symlink:
       bash# rm /var/athena/local-validated/acro_v8.1.2

  7. Exit the root shell
       bash# exit

  8. Explicitly run the software out of AFS either with athrun:
       athena% athrun acro acroread

    or the traditional way

       athena% add acro
       athena% acroread

    Note: This will run much more slowly than the user is accustomed to because it is running out of AFS. If the user logs out and leaves his machine running overnight, the local copy should re-appear after a day or two.


Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community

Last Modified:

February 07, 2012

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