Markovian Parallax Generate: On digital writing and poetics

Howto: Installing Gnoetry 0.2 On Any Platform

Posted in Gnoetry by Eric Goddard-Scovel on June 23, 2009

Updated and Corrected: 2 July, 2009 @ 1:33 PM

rousselThis guide will install Gnoetry 0.2 on your computer, whether it’s PC or Mac. For some idea of what the Gnoetry program can do, visit Beard of Bees Press and look at the Gnoetry collaborations published there or browse through the Gnoetry Daily weblog. The program is still in its development stage, so it is not all that simple to get it running. It is more complicated depending on your operating system.

Gnoetry was originally written to run in Ubuntu using the Gnome desktop environment. This guide will first show you how to install a working virtual partition or virtual machine image of Ubuntu onto a Windows or Mac OS X machine, then it will guide you through the installation of Gnoetry 0.2 in your Ubuntu installation.

It’s worth all of the work in the end, though.

Installing Ubuntu on a Windows System with Wubi

powered_by_ubuntuA project that the Ubuntu team has been working on for a while now makes it much simpler to install a working virtual partition of Ubuntu on a Windows system. I have chosen this method for simplicity’s sake.


First, download the Wubi installer, run wubi.exe, and follow the instructions. Everything should work and you’ll have the option to run Ubuntu or Windows on your next reboot.

It the wubi.exe file is downloading the wrong image for your system architecture (what it did to me), then you will have to download the newest installation image for Ubuntu. Go to the Ubuntu Dowload Page. The latest version should be selected already. Make sure you choose the correct system architecture for your computer (whether it has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor) at the bottom of the page. Currently, the 32-bit version file is named ubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso.

Once that has downloaded, make sure that the Ubuntu installation image you downloaded above is in the same directory as the Wubi installer (wubi.exe); e.g., if wubi.exe is in c:\, then your Ubuntu ISO file should also be in c:\. Run wubi.exe and follow the prompts to install.

If you have trouble, refer to the FAQ’s on Wubi website.

Now you have to option on every restart to enter either Windows or Ubuntu. Isn’t it wonderful?

Installing Ubuntu on Mac OS X with VMWare Fusion

vmware_fusion_featuresVMWare Fusion is a virtualization suite for the Mac OS X operating system. Unfortunately, it is not free software ($79.99), so you may have to fork over some cash to get it. There is a free evaluation option if you just want to try it out. As of June 2009, VMWare has not released a free Player for OS X like it has for Windows and Linux.

Fortunately, though, there is already an excellent howto on Laurent’s Weblog called “Install Ubuntu 8.04 using VMware Fusion on Mac OS X.” Follow the instructions there. The only difference of note is that Ubuntu is now on version 9.04, so make sure you get the newest version to install.

Gnoetry Installation HowTo – Ubuntu 9.04

Now that you are in Ubuntu Linux, by whichever method you have chosen, you can get to installing Gnoetry 0.2. The only requirement at this point is that you have a working internet connection and that you remember your Ubuntu username and password. You will often need to enter your password for sudo commands (see below).


In the terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), run the commands below. NOTE: Each command begins after the %, and you should hit enter to execute it:

% sudo apt-get update
% sudo apt-get install subversion libglib2.0-dev python2.6-dev python-gtk2 libgtk2.0-dev

That should install the above files and all other necessary build files for step 2. This may take some time, depending on the speed of your internet connection. Make sure you spell everything correctly, or it will not work.


Still in the terminal, type:

% svn co
% cd gnoetry/gnoetics
% ./ build
% cd ../tools
% ./


First, before you apply these patches, skip to step 4 and see if Gnoetry works out of the box. Otherwise, follow these directions as closely as you can. The fixes to the second script may also be unnecessary for your system, so try to run it before editing the second file, too.

NOTE: A user recently installing Gnoetry has sent in this correction / word of caution:

When correcting the scripts in step #3, I copied and pasted directly from your instructions. However, the quotation marks you use (or rather, used by your font) aren’t straight up and down, which apparently is enough to throw the whole thing into a conniption fit. A quick Googling taught me as much …, but in any case, you might want to change that in the instructions so other people don’t make the same mistake.

First Script (filename: gnoetry/interface/gnoetry):

Apply the following changes to lines in gnoetry/interface/gnoetry:

Line 1:


should be

#!/usr/bin/env python

Line 11:

sys.path.append(“..”) # add path for gnoetics library

should be

sys.path.append(“../gnoetics”) # add path for gnoetics library

Line 14:


should be


Lines 60-62:

# No splash screen, just go straight to the callback.
#splash.splash(4, post_splash_cb)

should just be one line,

splash.splash(4, post_splash_cb)

Save the changes to gnoetry/interface/gnoetry. Overwrite the file that is there.

Second Script (filename: gnoetry/gnoetics/

The fix for this file has to do with your system architecture and the path to the build directory that contains If you have a 32-bit system, replace line 4 (underneath “build”) with:


if you have a 64-bit system, replace the same line with:


** Note: make sure you include the ” ” and the ).

Now save the above script as in the gnoetry/gnoetics directory. Overwrite the file that is already there.

If neither of those worked, and Gnoetry crashes when you try to run it, then navigate in a file browser to the gnoetry/gnoetics/build directory and copy and paste the name of the directory there (the one without “temp” in front of it) inside of the quotation marks in line 4 of That is the information it’s looking for.

Final Note on Step 3: File Permissions

Proceed to step four. If step four fails, you may have to change the permissions of the gnoetry and files. Go into the File Browser again, right click on the files, choose “Properties,” go to the “Permissions” tab and check the box that says “Allow to execute as program”). Let me know if you have any trouble with this step.


Go back to the terminal. From your home directory, you will cd into the gnoetry/interface directory and run the program:

% cd gnoetry/interface
% ./gnoetry

Have fun!


2 Responses

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  1. Tom Hughes said, on June 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the information, I have a question. I have downloaded both. I have tried to move them into each other, that will not happen.

    How do I make sure that the Ubuntu installation image you downloaded above is in the same directory as the Wubi installer (wubi.exe)

    Do I install the newest installation image for Ubuntu? Do I burn it to disc?

    • escovel said, on July 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm


      The Wubi installer will install an Ubuntu image for you. What you should do first is just download the wubi.exe installer and run it without doing anything else. For many, this works perfectly.

      If you get an error during the installation and it doesn’t install anything, then you may have to download the correct image for you system and put it in the same folder. Basically, if you have downloaded the wubi.exe file to, say, your Desktop, then just make sure that you download the Ubuntu installation image onto the Desktop too before you run wubi.exe. If you download it to c:\, then make sure both files are in c:\ before you run wubi.exe. The reason for this is that wubi.exe was downloaded the wrong image on one of my computers, and thus it would not install correctly. As I said above, for most users this does not happen.

      Also, you won’t need to burn the image to disc unless you want a LiveCD of Ubuntu or want to install Ubuntu OVER your Windows installation, which is probably not what you would like.

      Best of luck!

      Let me know of any other problems.

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