IEs4Linux Blank Screen Bug and Installation Issues

If you want / need to install Internet Explorer in Linux, I highly recommend IEs4Linux by Sergio Lopes.

IEs4Linux is the simpler way to have Microsoft Internet Explorer running on Linux (or any OS running Wine).

I recently purchased a new Dell 1420n with Ubuntu 7.10 pre-installed. One of the first things I wanted to do was install all of my development tools, including IEs4Linux. What should have been an easy installation turned into a nightmare. I kept running into python errors that aborted the install. Once I finally got the application to install it was unusable. The IE toolbar was missing, including the address bar, the application would frequently crash, and I experienced maddening display bugs.

Apparently the blank screen bug has been a widespread issue. Sergio has addressed it on his blog and pushed an emergency release of IEs4Linux, version, to resolve this issue only.

That’s all well and good, but I still had the python issues to deal with. What finally worked for me was to install IEs4Linux with the –no-gui flag, like so:

$ ./ies4linux --no-gui

For more information on installing IEs4Linux, including IE versions 5 and 5.5, visit the IEs4Linux installation page.

Mail Notification 5.0 With SSL in Ubuntu

The Problem

We recently began using SSL to connect to IMAP at work. Prior to switching to SSL I had been using the excellent Mail Notification to let me know if I had any messages in my inbox. As soon as we switched over to SSL, Mail Notification quit alerting me to the presence of new email.

I figured that all I had to do was change my preferences in Mail Notification and select SSL. Turns out I was right, except I couldn’t select SSL - all of the “SSL/TSL” options were grayed out. Why in the world would that be? After some research I discovered that:

  • SSL isn’t available if the package was built without SSL support (makes sense)
  • The OpenSSL license conflicts with the Debian license

Mail Notification is available in the Ubuntu repository, but without SSL support. Bummer.

Build it Yourself

The resolution is to build Mail Notification with SSL support enabled, but I quickly discovered that building Mail Notification was not as easy as I thought it would be. Although the installation is well documented in the INSTALL file, I still ran into a lot of problems with dependencies.

Dependencies Required

After a lot of troubleshooting and not a little frustration, I came up with a list of dependencies that I needed installed in order to configure and make Mail Notification 5.0 on Ubuntu Gutsy:

  • build-essential
  • gnome-core-devel
  • libnotify-dev
  • libgnome2-dev
  • libgmime-2.0-2-dev
  • libssl-dev

I used the Synaptic Package Manager to install each of these dependencies. Read on if you’re looking to troubleshoot a specific error that you’re running into.

Errors and Troubleshooting

The first time I ran

$ ./configure

I got this error:

checking for C compiler default output file name...
configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
See `config.log' for more details.

Installing build-essential took care of the C compiler issue, but I found a new one the next time I ran configure:

Error: checking for GNOME... no
configure: error: unable to find the GNOME libraries

This one drove me a little batty. What does it mean it can’t find the GNOME libraries? I’m running GNOME for Pete’s sake! After a decent amount of hair pulling and a seemingly endless amount of Googling, I finally found that gnome-core-devel, libnotify-dev, and libgnome2-dev resolved the unable to find the GNOME libraries error.

Next up was the GMIME error:

checking for GMIME... configure: error: Package requirements (gmime-2.0 >= 2.1.0) were not met:
No package 'gmime-2.0' found

At least by now I was making it most of the way through the configure process. I found that installing libgmime-2.0-2-dev resolved the issue, finally allowing me to complete the configuration.

Of course, the whole point was to build Mail Notify with SSL support. What do you think I found when configure finally ran all of the way through? Down at the bottom of the options list, I saw this:

--enable-ssl                 no (OpenSSL not found)

By now, I had started seeing a pattern: look up the dependencies, find their dev libraries, install their dev libraries, and voila, on to the next issue. With that in mind, I installed libssl-dev and ran

$ ./configure

one last time. Mail Notify configured without errors and with SSL support. A quick make and make install later and I had a Mail Notify 5.0 installation complete with SSL support.

Other Options

There seem to be a lot of different ways to skin this particular cat. The solution above is what worked for me, your mileage may vary. You may find it useful to refer to the discussion in this related bug report for background.

For another way to resolve this issue, you might try “How to make a small change to a Debian tool and repackage it.” I didn’t find this article until after I had resolved the issue myself, but it looks like it might be a lot simpler.

400mToGo Launches!

I’m proud to announce the launch of 400mToGo, a blog about all things Nike+, including tips, news, tutorials, reviews, and the personal experiences of three “very amateur but passionate runners.”

The brainchild of Scott Wills, the 400mToGo team includes Scott, Cory Wiles, and myself. We love to run, we’re passionate about the Nike+ sport kit, and we decided that we wanted to give back to and participate in the growing Nike+ community in a more meaningful way.

From the 400mToGo About page:

400mToGo is a Web site for Nike+® runners of all abilities. If, like us, you are obsessed with running data and refuse to go running unless you have your Apple® iPod® Nano and your Nike+ chip securely attached, then this is the Web site for you.

Current stories include a review of the Couch to 5k running plan, a piece about Scott’s excellent experiences with Nike’s customer support, and a bit of good advice for every runner by Cory.

Are you ready to get running? Visit 400mToGo today.

Welcome to

Thanks for visiting the personal site of Jeremy Kendall, web developer and entrepreneur. I hate sites that are “Under Construction” and have always felt that you should build content and flesh out your project in a development environment before going live. Yeah, well, I guess this makes me both the cobbler and the cobbler’s shoeless kid.

I’m a PHP / MySQL developer primarily. I’m working on my Java chops as we speak. My day job is a junior development position, I’m working on building a freelance development business into a second, viable stream of income, and I’m an Original Limu distributor as well. Find out more about Original Limu here.

2008 got here well before I was ready for it, and the new year finds me as busy as I’ve ever been with multiple new projects. What you’re seeing is a new CMS running on the home page, and me with no time to dig in and learn it. This is going to be a fun project, but as it’s a personal project, it will be catch as catch can until I get a few hours to spend reading some Drupal for n00bs stuff.

In the meantime I have some exciting Zend Framework projects in the works with a couple more on the way. I’m working on my first Java project at the day job, which is exciting but leaves my brain a pile of mush by the end of the work day. As soon as I deliver those projects there will be more time for my personal projects. I think this is what they call “job security.”