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May 1 2009

There is a growing divergence between KeckCAVES utilities and the printed/online CAVE troubleshooting guide. Oliver will update the guide soon, but here is a brief list of steps to perform when in trouble.

Symptom: CAVE applications do not start

1. If you ran an application via its icon in the CAVE Demo Programs folder on the desktop, please run it again from a terminal to see error messages. Here's how to do that:

- Right-click on the application icon in the CAVE Demo Programs folder and select “Properties” from the pop-up menu.

- In the dialog box that pops up, go to the “Basic” tab (should be visible by default), and highlight the entire contents of the “Command” text field (triple-click in the text field, or right-click on the text field and select “Select all” from the pop-up menu).

- Open a terminal window, by going to the “Applications” menu in the top-left corner of the desktop, then selecting the “Accessories” submenu, and finally the “Terminal” menu entry.

- Middle-click in the terminal window. This should paste the entire contents of the “Command” text field into the terminal window. If that somehow does not work, follow these alternative steps:

  • a. Right-click on “Command” text field and select “Select all”.
  • b. Right-click on “Command” text field and select “Copy”.
  • c. Right-click on terminal window and select “Paste”.

- Press “Enter” in the terminal window. This will attempt to start the application, just as double-clicking on the icon would, but print diagnostic and/or error messages.

2. If the application does not start (i.e., returns to the command prompt at some point), look for error messages in the application's messages. These are the error messages to look for, and how to respond to them:

- “MulticastPipeMultiplexer: Unable to bind socket to port number <some number> while initializing cluster communication”

Cause: Another application is already running, or remnants from another application are still blocking some of the CAVE cluster nodes. Solution:

  • a. Open a terminal window.
  • b. Type “CleanUp” and press “Enter”. This will ask for your password, then first list all running processes, then terminate them, and then list all running processes again (of which there should be none).
  • c. If the same problem persists, email

- “Ignoring input device adapter CAVEAdapter due to exception TCPSocket: Unable to connect to host caveman on port 8555”

Cause: The VR device daemon, which receives tracking data from the tracking system, is not running. Solution:

  • a. Open a terminal window.
  • b. Type “RestartVRDeviceDaemon”.
  • c. Wait for about 15 seconds,
  • d. Type “cat /var/log/VRDeviceDaemon.log”.
  • e. If the file *does not* end with “VRDeviceServer: Waiting for client connection”, something is seriously wrong. Email
  • f. Email anyways, to let us know that there was a problem with the tracking system.

- On any other error messages that do not come from the application itself (missing input data, wrong data formats, etc.), please email

Symptom: Stereo in the CAVE does not work

This has a variety of sub-symptoms, such as:

- Glasses flicker

- Glasses flicker when looking at an edge or corner between two or three screens

- Large amounts of “ghosting”, i.e., double images

The first step is to check synchronization between the graphics cards.

1. Double-click on “Video Card Control” icon on desktop.

2. Select “Frame Lock” in the list box on the left side of the dialog that appears.

3. List entries for r2:0, r1:0, r3:0, and r4:0 should appear in the box on the right side. If they are not all visible, increase the size of the dialog box. If there are missing entries, or no entries at all, please email

4. The list entry for r2:0 should have three black bullets on the left, and a check mark in the “Server” box. The other list entries should have three green bullets on the left, and check marks in the “Client” boxes. The “House” bullet should be red on all four entries.

5. If there are any red bullets on the left side of any of the entries, wait a few seconds – they should turn green after a while. If they don't, press the “Disable Frame Lock” button in the lower-right hand corner, wait a few seconds, and press the button again (it's now labeled “Enable Frame Lock”). Then wait another few seconds until all lights turn green. If they don't, please email

6. Close the dialog box.

If this doesn't help, try another pair of glasses. They do run out of battery after a while, and sometimes they break. If switching glasses helps, please mark the non-working pair of glasses and email

keckcaves/trouble_shooting_updates.txt · Last modified: 2009/05/01 20:15 by sumner