27 dic. 2013

Make Java applets work with chromium-browser on Ubuntu

The problem

On some Ubuntu versions, notably Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and some newer ones, Chromium >= 30 may not execute Java applets. In some browser versions, it will crash the browser process.

Run your own test:


The result should be something like this:



The problem is a name clash with a Java library: libnet.so.

This does not happen with all Chromium versions. In recent versions, all the provided libraries can't be linked statically into one single executable as before. (The resulting binary would be too big.) Hence the libs directory.

The solution

Of course, you can use Mozilla Firefox or some other browser which allows the use of Java applets. For me, the Google Chrome browser also works correctly.

So if you still want to use Chromium, go on.

Let's change all libnet occurrences with some other unused library name.

Here we go:

sudo su
apt-get install bbe
cp -a /usr/lib/chromium-browser /usr/lib/chromium-browser.bak
cd /usr/lib/chromium-browser
for f in `rgrep -l libnet .`
do
  bbe -e 's/libnet/libxet/' $f > $f.new
  mv -f $f.new $f
done
mv libs/libnet.so libs/libxet.so
mv libs/libnet_with_v8.so libs/libxet_with_v8.so
chmod +x chromium-browser

Before running the test again make sure all chromium-browser processes have stopped and kill them if necessary:
ps aux | grep chromium-browser
killall chromium-browser

Now run the applet test again and see if it works.

Take into account that the next package update may overwrite these changes.

Conclusion

Although a bit hackish, if you have to use Java applets in daily work like me and you really want to use Chromium, here you have a solution.

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