Quite often, Pentaho Kettle Spoon - the GUI for designing transformations and jobs - starts up just fine on Linux OSes. Sometimes though, there might be some dependencies to install or special flags to set.
When starting Pentaho Kettle on Fedora I came across this nasty error message:
spoon.sh: line 166: 10487 Aborted (core dumped) "$_PENTAHO_JAVA"
On other systems I also got this error message:
The error was 'BadDrawable (invalid Pixmap or Window parameter)'.
(Details: serial 13561 error_code 9 request_code 62 minor_code 0)
(Note to programmers: normally, X errors are reported asynchronously;
that is, you will receive the error a while after causing it.
To debug your program, run it with the --sync command line
option to change this behavior. You can then get a meaningfulbacktrace from your debugger if you break on the gdk_x_error() function.)
To fix this problems, just add this to the spoon.sh OPS section:-Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.DefaultType=mozilla
Another error message you might come across is the following:
org.eclipse.swt.SWTError: XPCOM error -2147467259
Matt Casters recommends installing libwebkitgtk instead of xulrunner.
sudo yum install webkitgtk.x86_64
It turns out on Fedora 20 you do have to install xulrunner, but not via yum. Victor Sosa provided some instructions on this Jira case which I copy here for reference:
1) download the xulrunner 1.9.2 from here: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/xulrunner/nightly/2012/03/2012-03-02-03-32-11-mozilla-1.9.2/xulrunner-126.96.36.199pre.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2.
[ ... and copy it to a directory of your choice. Extract it.]
2) change this line in the spoon.sh
The only change you need is
OPT="$OPT -Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.DefaultType=mozilla -Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.XULRunnerPath=/opt/xulrunner-1.9.2"
Did you get any other error messages when starting Spoon and found a solution for it? Please comment below and I'll add it to this blog post so that we have a good resource for trouble shooting.
FYI, the package to install on Ubuntu is usually libwebkitgtk-1.0-0 (as documented). I'm sure it's the same on Fedora. I would avoid all that xulrunner stuff if possible.
For those of us on Kubuntu there are bugs in theme oxygen-gtk so best switch to another theme like Ambiance of turn off a bunch of fancy-shmancy animations with oxygen-settings.
If you're having Spoon problems on Linux/OSX after an upgrade, try upgrading swt.jar from http://archive.eclipse.org/eclipse/downloads/drops4/R-4.3.2-201402211700/