Workday Studio on Pixelbooks - Michael Domingo -->

Friday, April 5, 2019

Workday Studio on Pixelbooks

I recently decided to retire my aging MacBookPro. It was time. Buddy (my machines are named after my dogs) had lasted me 7 long years, had been dropped more than once (thanks to my 5 year old), and lived with a power cord so frayed, my next trip to an Apple store meant I had to drop another $90 on yet another new power adapter.

As a geek, my knee-jerk reaction was to rustle up the ~ $3000 for another new top-of-the-line MBP.  But then I hesitated. I've (mostly) left the Apple walled garden behind for Google. I have a Pixel 3 as my phone, my music is on Google Play Music, photos on Google Photos and edited with Snapseed. I hardly ever game anymore, and I don't really have a need for such a powerful machine. I knew I wasn't going to buy a Windows machine. Win 10 was a step in the right direction, but I didn't want to go back to crapware and virus scanners. Plus, I've been buying Chromebooks for the more mature members in my family. Why not one for me?

What made me make the jump finally was Crostini - the ability to run a Linux VM inside Chrome OS. It was released into the stable stream with ChromeOS 69. However, Crostini is limited to a few machines, and like the Pixel, the pixelbook gets you first dibs on the goods. Want to run a containered modified Debian Stretch distro by clicking a button? Sold. I put an i7 Pixelbook on my birthday list and waited for my birthday.

Mostly, I use my home machine for web surfing, email, etc. When I travel, I try to leave the work laptop at home - but something always comes up. I had Workday Studio installed on my MBP for just that reason. My last vacation I had to spend 15 minutes fixing a BIRT statement. So I spent the better part of a few evenings turning my brand new Pixelbook into a Workday dev machine. Here's what I learned:

Crostini has an amazing subreddit ( to help guide you.  Use it, it's a lifesaver. Pretty much all of this content is from this subreddit. Make sure you've downloaded the latest Workday Studio JAR file from community.

NOTE:  Not all Chromebooks are compatible with Crostini. Check here for a current list of compatible machines.

Eclipse (the engine under Workday Studio) requires a Java JDK.To install:

Install the Java JDK

Next you'll have to install at least a core window toolkit and a browser.  Eclipse is based off of the GTK platform.  You'll also need to have a web browser installed.  You can take this one of two ways.  You can either install GTK and Firefox ESR, or just go whole-hog and install the Gnome IDE.  EDIT: I've been noticing error messages in my home directory. Installing GTK made it go away because Workday Studio was looking for some of the dependent libraries. I will test removing Gnome to see what happens, but my gut tells me that I may lose some of the web features on the application.

Install GTK

Now it's time to install Workday Studio. Do not create a desktop icon at the end. I'll explain why in the next step. NOTE: You'll still get a "penguin" icon, unless you change the icon to a .png file, as the icon is of an .XPM type and Crostini doesn't support .XPM icons (yet). I haven't tested a .PNG yet.

Install Workday Studio

I learned on the Crostini wiki that Eclipse's implementation of the Wayland UI rendering is at best "janky". I experienced it the first time I tried to install. You get flickering, odd window resizing, things not showing up. It's unusable. You have to force XWindows using a command sommelier. This also allows you to resize the windows to deal with the funky aspect ratio of the Pixelbook. If you created a desktop icon in the previous step, you'll have to find it and modify it. My suggestion is to just create one from scratch.

Here's my .desktop file:

Once you've completed this step, restart your Linux container, and click on your Workday Studio icon (HOUSEKEEPING NOTE:  Crostini only supports .png icons, so it will look like a penguin, unless you save the .xpm as a .png) to launch Workday Studio, set your workspace, and proceed as usual. Happy Developing, and thanks to the Crostini subreddit for all your help!


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