Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Installing Selenium-RC as a Windows service

Installing Selenium as a Windows service is reasonably straightforward - based on the instructions for Fitnesse, which unfortunately seem to have been deleted from the Fitnesse wiki, but which have been reproduced here.

There are two parts to doing this - the first, registering the service using srvany.exe (which wraps any executable as a service), and the second, adding the keys to the registry to tell srvany.exe how to launch Selenium-RC. srvany.exe is a part of the Windows Resource Kit, if you don’t have it already you will need to download it from Microsoft.

The following will register the Selenium service - on the command line (all in one line):

"C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\instsrv.exe" SeleniumRC
"C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\srvany.exe" -a [myuser] -p [mypass]

This is assuming the Windows Resource Kit has been installed to its default location, “C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits”. Also, note that the user supplied needs to have the Log On As Service permissions assigned.

Now, add the following keys to the registry - this text can simply be copied-and-pasted to a .reg file, then double-clicked to add the entries to the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
"AppDirectory"="C:\\Program Files\\selenium-server-1.0.1"
"AppParameters"="-Xrs -jar selenium-server.jar"

You should now be able to start the service - if you get an error about the service failing to start due to a logon issue, make sure that the user you are using to run the service has been granted Log On As A Service permission (editing the service logon credentials in the Services MMC snap-in and saving the changes will cause this to happen automatically.)

posted by Nick at 10:08 pm - filed in testing, windows  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Adding a Windows service using sc

The ‘sc‘ utility can be used to create, delete or edit a Windows service. It can be used for any executables (as opposed to installutil, which can only be used for .Net services). Its help is available using sc /help (and is also available on MSDN); however, I found the output slightly confusing, so for my own reference here’s an example for creating a service for the Subversion server:

sc create svnserve binPath= "\"C:\Program Files\CollabNet Subversion Server\svnserve.exe\" 
  --service -r \"c:\svn_repository\" --listen-port \"3690\"" DisplayName= "Subversion Server"

This passes two parameters, the binPath and the DisplayName (the rest are the directives Subversion expects when running as a service). The trick here is the space between the ‘=’ sign after the parameter name and the parameter value; the service won’t be installed otherwise.

posted by Nick at 12:53 pm - filed in windows  

Monday, December 1, 2008

Event Log access permissions for ASP.NET application pools

When running an application pool in IIS under a different user than the default, for an application that requires write access to the Event Log (for example, when trying to create a new event source in your application), it is necessary to grant that user sufficient access to the event log in the registry. Otherwise, you would receive the following error:

System.Security.SecurityException: Requested registry access is not allowed.

However, using Windows 2003 Server, I found that granting ‘read’ access to the event log wasn’t enough; the full set of permissions I ended up need to grant to the app pool user on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Eventlog key in the registry is as follows:

Permissions for event log access in IIS

I hope that this helps someone.

posted by Nick at 7:43 pm - filed in windows  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

WSE 2.0 in Visual Studio 2008

A slightly older .Net 2 application I wrote for a client to upload files to Amazon S3 makes use of the Amazon S3 SOAP API. The SOAP API has the advantage over the REST API of being able to stream large files as DIME attachements when uploading to the S3 servers, rather than trying to load them up in one go, which is handy when uploading large files. The S3 WS API requires Microsoft’s Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 2.0 though, rather than the later WSE 3.0, because in WSE 3.0 DIME is replaced by MTOM (which Amazon doesn’t support - in typical WS-* way).

However, when I tried to install this, I got the following error:

Unknown error in CorBindToRuntimeHost

Error 1001.InstallUtilLib.dll: Unknown error in CorBindToRuntimeHost

The workaround (a reminder to myself) is to use the WSE 2.0 SP3 installer rather than the older versions that come up when searching for WSE 2.0 on google.

posted by Nick at 6:24 pm - filed in .net, windows  

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vi! Vi! Vi!

I’ve been using Vim for about 4 months now, and I must admit that I’m not sure how I did without it. Modal editing seems like a natural paradigm to me (similar to lifting your hands off the keyboard to perform operations with the mouse, except without lifting hands from the keyboard :-), and the movement commands seemed intuitive and somehow logical, much easier than remember all the different keybindings Emacs has. Vim is a great text editor; however, it isn’t as well suited to more specific tasks, such as being an IDE or a document editor, as dedicated software such as IntelliJ IDEA or Word/OpenOffice are. The problem with those, in turn, is that text editing isn’t half as smooth as with Vim.

So, I was quite pleased when I stumbled upon this:


A Netbeans module for Vi-like editing in Netbeans. I’ve been playing with it a bit and it definitely looks promising; this goes at least some way to resolving the IDE question, as I’ve found Netbeans to be great for Ruby/Rails and second only to IntelliJ as a Java IDE. For work, I’m thinking of splashing out on this:


I’ve had a go with the demo and it works great. They have a version for Word/Outlook too, which is definitely very enticing - even though I already find editing text with Vim a lot more efficient than with a traditional editor, I still feel like I could be quite a bit more productive, and the more I get to practice, the easier this should hopefully become. Now if only I could find an equivalent for Open Office and Thunderbird…

posted by Nick at 11:15 pm - filed in linux, windows  

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Multiple Monitors using Windows Remote Desktop

One of the main limitations of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop client (Terminal Services Client) was its inability to span multiple monitors. This limitation has been fixed in the latest version of Remote Desktop client (v6.0); in my case, this means I can connect to a remote Windows workstation from my home machine and have the remote desktop span both of my monitors, which helps productivity no end. To do this, the latest version of Remote Desktop client is required:

(for Windows XP - it is bundled with Vista)

You can then start remote desktop up to span multiple monitors via the command line:

mstsc.exe /w:2560 /h:1024 /v:<server>

Or by editing the .rdp file in Notepad:


Gives this:


posted by Nick at 10:57 am - filed in windows