Render Farm Build 4

DISCLAIMER: This is a continuing series detailing the painful story of a DIY render farm build.  It is terribly technics and
somewhat frustrating.  Those who are unprepared for such “entertainment” are advised to ignore these posts.

Today I choose as my PDC an old PPC Mac Mini, because it is the weakest computer I have and has no other function.  I peruse the Dr. Queue install notes and realize that yes, in fact, Dr. Queue has very recently been compiled for “Tiger,” Mac OS 10.4, which the old Mini is currently running.  It is, in fact, the operating system that came with that computer, so it’s likely to run that one best of all.

Mac Mini PDC

So I must install Xcode for Tiger (v. 2.4?) and Mac ports (v1.9?  or the latest?) in order to build drqman (which is the X11 front-end for Dr. Queue).

I have already set the global environment paths for /usr/local.  I have set up the .conf files for master and slave on the PDC.  I have installed the X11 environment for Tiger. These are all steps that must be taken before we begin compiling the source.

Now I realize I am missing opt/local/lib/GTK, just as I did on the failed 10.7 office iMac attempt. I try to build anyway, to see what happens.


It fails, of course, and the error lets me know what library is missing: libgtk–X11–2.0.0.dylib

A “dylib” on a Mac is a “dynamic library,” which means a file that loads up when the computer program runs, and is not complied with rest of the code.  It’s like an extension.  Windows users know these as “DLLs,” which stands for something similar.  Macs usually hide the dylbs so you do not see them.

The upshot is that I’m missing that pice and I must have it before I can install Dr. Queue.  I must find it.

sudo port install scons

Remember, “sudo” stands for “Super User Do,” and that is the command that tells the terminal the command is from you, the big boss, who gets to override everything.  You have to type in a password so the computer knows you are in fact, the big boss.  So this command gets the port “scons” and installs it.  Everything is fine, as per the Dr. Queue instructions.

sudo port install GTK2


And that fails.  Hmmm… so I wonder if something else needs to be udpated?  I check to see if MacPorts is out of date.  It is, in fact – I should have installed the latest version.  I had thought the old version available when OS 10.4 was released would be the most compatible.  As it turns out, MacPorts is all Unix, so there’s no problem with the latest versions.  So I do a self update on Mac ports to 2.3.1, the latest.

sudo port install GTK2


The message tells me that GTK2 needs “py27-libxml” in order to build.  I have no idea what that is.  Some Googling reveals it is a Python file.  Python, as you may know, is a programming language.  GTK2 is apparently requiring a Python library that has something to do with XML.  I have no idea what any of this means, and I have to research every step of the way.

Well, if GTK2 wants it, I’ve got to get it, the big baby brat.

sudo port install scons

I try scons again, since MacPorts has been updated.  Now scons wants to install Python 2.7, which is fine by me – I just read that I needed that.  I was missing a Python library, maybe the computer will just get it for me, and the GTK2 build will go OK.  Apparently Python is a dependency for quite few things.

Thus, Dr. Queue needs

  1. Xcode (compatible with the OS)
  2. Mac ports (the latest!)
  3. X11 (installed with most Mac distributions up to a certain point)
  4. Via Mac ports:
    • scons (installs other dependencies)
    • GTK2

All this is just to compile and run drqman which is the X11 front-end for submitting jobs to Dr. Queue.  Still following?  Every step of the way in this project is hard-won.

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