VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Bug reports and questions about running Virtual Radar Server on Linux
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AbnormalChunks
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:37 pm

VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by AbnormalChunks » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:50 pm

Hi,

I've been running VRS 1.2.4 with the DB plugin reasonably stably since August 2013. There are a couple if things that I'd welcome comment on...

1. I've had no joy getting any newer versions to run, they all start and appear to launch but the web pages are all blank/not displaying anyone else had a similar issue and did you resolve it if so how?

2. For the last week or so I've had a strange issue with the GoogleMap.htm page where the labels appear in their correct positions but the aeroplane icons are stacked on top of each other, the stack then jumps from one label to an other!

I'm probably going to restore the SD Card from a backup after saving my DB to see if that help but hopefully I'll get some feedback here first! :)

Thanks Seb

agw
Posts: 2241
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by agw » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:40 am

1.2.4 will be asking Google for a version of Maps that Google no longer issue. When it asks for the out-of-date version Google will send the latest stable version. They changed the stable version to be 3.17 on August 18th - if that's when your troubles started then it's possible that the label marker code that shipped with 1.2.4 doesn't work with 3.17.

The new versions need more horsepower. Previously files were served from the application's resources (which were difficult to mess about with unless you built the program from source). Not being able to easily mess with the files that are being served does have its advantages. In version 2 the program switched to serving files from disk. To retain the advantages of not letting people mess directly with the web site the server checksums each file as it's served and compares it against a list of known good checksums. I imagine that could be a bit taxing on the Pi.

The other thing is that the size of the JavaScript used by the version 2 pages is much larger than the version 1 pages. The server now minifies the JavaScript and bundles it together into one file before sending it.

You don't have any control over whether the server checksums files before serving them but you can turn off minification and bundling in the server options (from memory I think they're towards the bottom of the web site options page). That might help.

The version 1 pages are still in version 2, at least for the time being. I'll make a note to have a look at whether the version 1 pages have a problem with Google Maps 3.17, if they do then I'll fix them in version 2 but I won't be doing a rebuild of 1.2.4. It might be worthwhile to see if you can get version 2 working on the Pi, even if it's just using the version 1 pages. The version 1 pages are still served from resources so there's no checksumming, although their JavaScript might still be subject to minification.

AbnormalChunks
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:37 pm

Re: VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by AbnormalChunks » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:31 am

Ah, I figured it'd be something like that and thanks for the detailed reply. I've persevered with 2.0.2 and finally got it working though I'm not entirely sure how. I did reset the permissions on the directory and subs using chmod -R 755 which I realise is bad practice however as my setup is only on my LAN this isn't really an issue. The stacking problem is still there on 2.0.2 but only when showing the legacy version as you predicted so if you could look at that as and when it'd be brilliant. The old layout does work better on the Pi as it loads faster and I kind of prefer the simpler look'n'feel. I really love VRS so thank you for writing it plus getting it to work on the Pi has proved an "interesting" project, my wife still refers to it as my margarine tub after seeing the early prototypes :)

AbnormalChunks
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:37 pm

Re: VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by AbnormalChunks » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:52 pm

**Update** VRS2.0.2 on the Pi really doesn't run at all well, we're talking minutes to serve the map and all the aircraft! I live 5 miles from the end of runway 24R at Manchester and there's a lot of traffic. I've now installed VRS on an Acer netbook running Lubuntu with the Pi doing all the Mode-S decoding via dump1090. This is a much better performance wise however this is not the elegant Pi based solution I was hoping for! I'm really waiting command line non GUI version of VRS to materialise as it could well solve my issues and allow my Pi to do everything again :)

agw
Posts: 2241
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by agw » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:38 am

I've built a custom headless version of VRS and ran it on a Pi with about 100 aircraft - it runs, but it's heavy on the CPU and that was with almost everything chopped out. I don't think the Pi has enough grunt to handle a lot of aircraft, the command-line version probably won't improve things. The GUI only updates once a second, it's not going to be adding that much overhead.

AbnormalChunks
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:37 pm

Re: VRS 1.2.4 on Raspberry Pi working for a year but...

Post by AbnormalChunks » Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:21 am

Fair enough, the most aircraft I've seen on my main list is 75-80 with a small antenna inside a building. In the SE of England you'll be getting much more traffic. Everything is running very well though and it's definitely much more reliable as a whole setup, the Pi would fall over every 7-10 days and the database got corrupted frequently too. While VRS 2.0.2 can run on a Pi it's really not worth the aggravation. 1.2.4 worked OK and I'd still be using it if it wasn't for the updated Google Maps causing the stacking glitch but I appreciate old versions are just that! Thank you for all the explanations, it all makes sense and your patience! :)

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