So I’ve just spent three hours on trying to install the WebSphere Message Broker 7.0 (CZ4VEML) on Ubuntu 10.10 and it seems the current state of the affairs is really sorry. Had the installer been a normal set of DEBs or RPMs, I would’ve had no problems with it, but instead IBM had chosen to make it a Java, an Eclipse-based, one. Sorry guys, but being written in Java doesn’t help at all, why should it. Besides, maybe users don’t mind having to install dozens of JREs and Eclipse instances but people certainly do mind it.
So what went wrong anyway? Frankly, I don’t know. I’ve prepared everything on MQ side, created the necessary users and groups and then run the installer using the -console switch (again, the convention for long options is to use –console, that’s two dashes). It went just fine, stopped at 100%, said it was a pleasure to be executed (OK, not that exactly ) and I thought that was all.
Well, not really.
After typing “mqsicreatebroker MB01 -q QM01″ I was greeted with a “BIP8011E: Unable to create the components configuration data.” error and its oh-so-helpful explanation “Ensure that the userid that is running this command has adequate authority to update the configuration or registry files.” That’s a designing user interfaces 101 guys, really. How can you possibly mention any configuration and registry files in error messages if the very concept hasn’t been defined anywhere in the documentation? How am I supposed to know what files you are talking about?! About the only registry that springs to mind is stuff you modify through the mqsichangeproperties command, but I have no idea if that’s what the author had in mind. I can – though I’d rather didn’t – pretend I didn’t see that in the installation guide you say “SELinux is not supported” (how is that making the planet a safer place) but on seeing such an error all I can do is to chmod 777 the whole system and hope it’s going to help.
After a while it turned out there was a guy who had the same problem some time ago and indeed, when I took a look at /var/mqsi it looked a bit strangely, like if the installer forgot to install half of the stuff it was supposed to put there.
So being an adult, what I did next was to have a look at that installer thing, the one written in Eclipse. I unzipped the setup.jar and saw a bunch of MD5 hashes of names pointing to who-knows-where on the file system. Each of the files had a 78 9C header so it was obvious these were the missing files, compressed with zlib. I unpacked one of them and it seemed fine, if only I’d known where they were to go, which one belonged to /var/mqsi! Just compare it with the wealth of information regarding normal package formats.
OK, so I thought maybe I could somehow put the damn thing into a debug mode so that it started logging what it was really doing. Amazingly, there was a wizard.xml file which contained interesting entries like “eventsLogged”, “logEchoedToScreen” or “optionalLogOutput” – ah, and while we’re at it, please don’t invent your own logging levels, my heart cringes when I see things like “wrn”, what is it, are we running out of vowels? How do you expect me to use a debug level? Should it be “dbg”, “dbug” or what? So anyway, I modified the file according to my best telepathic skills hoping it would be the right incantation and I would finally see why the files weren’t being installed but then when I started the installer I hit upon a “The wizard cannot continue because of the following error: wizard file has changed since it was created” message which was the last straw I’ve had enough at that point, here I am trying some obscure magick just to install this software but no, I’m not even supposed to peek under the covers because of what, really? Has any of you, authors, even bothered to ask the question of what you’re hiding and from whom?
So that’s how it looks like right now. I’m sure in some time the situation will change – and I honestly would like to help you out with it but I’m merely a user so what do I know, I can only wait for a miracle, but when it has I’ll be sure to blog about how to install the Message Broker on Ubuntu – it’s just it’s nothing to be proud of as of today. Too bad it couldn’t have gone as smoothly as with the WebSphere MQ installation which I covered some time ago.