HELIOS Base UB64 User manual (Version 4.0.0)  

20 Technical support

20.1 Support options

HELIOS offers a variety of support options to help you get the most from HELIOS products. This section summarizes those options.

If you have any questions about your HELIOS product, first read the user manual. Also consult the README files, which have been provided with the product to describe late news which is not covered by the main manual. Last but not least, you may check our website regularly:

Get help from authorized HELIOS dealer

If you still cannot find the answer to your question, your first line of support is your authorized HELIOS product supplier or dealer. Please have the following information at hand:

Depending on the severity of the problem it may be necessary to stop and start HELIOS services completely (see 4.5 “Start/stop HELIOS services manually”).

HELIOS distributors

If the dealer cannot solve the problem, they can contact the official HELIOS distributor in your country. HELIOS has appointed distributors in about 20 countries – you can find their addresses on the HELIOS website.

20.2 Keys and updates

Demo keys

All HELIOS products require an activation key (or password) to be entered during (or after) the installation. Without the activation key, the software works in a 3-hour demo mode. End-user activation keys are generated from the machine ID of the server host and serial number. The installation program will let you know your machine ID automatically.


If we generate a key twice for the same combination of machine ID and HELIOS serial number, the second key may be different from the first one. This is normal.

At their discretion, HELIOS distributors can provide their dealers with demo versions of our products, which are fully working copies of our software but carry a special activation key which expires after a given period of time.


If you do not enter any activation key the HELIOS product you have installed will run in a 3 hour demo mode only.

Activation key transfers

If you are transferring your HELIOS software from one host to another, then we call this an “Activation Key Transfer”. When you apply for a new key, you will need to state that you will no longer use the HELIOS software on the original host.


Log on to HELIOS Symphony (symphony.helios.de).


Open the “License Information” window and click the Key Transfer Request link.


On page 1/4 enter the machine ID of the new host.


On page 2/4 enter the platform of both the old and the new host, and select a reason for the host change from the pop-up list. In addition, you can leave a comment for the HELIOS key department.


On page 3/4 confirm that your statements are correct by entering your signature (your name) into the text field.

If your request has been successful, you will get a summary of all data you entered for the key request on page 4/4. You may print this information and keep it for your records.

20.3 Error messages

The following section lists and describes the most important error messages for all UNIX or Windows program modules.

All error messages are constructed the same way. They start with the name of the issuing program followed by the UNIX process ID in brackets. This is then followed by a verbose error message which may include variable strings and numbers, for example:

desksrv[12345]: nested desktop [/data/opi/OPI1] in [/data/opi/.Desktop]

In the following, strings are abbreviated by “%s”, numbers by “%d” and UNIX system error messages by “%m”. Refer to your UNIX documentation for more information on UNIX system error messages.

20.3.1 Generic error messages

Most programs issue a generic error message when anything goes wrong for a simple system call.

syscall: %m

Various error messages from system calls are logged in this form. “syscall” is one of the common system calls (fork, malloc, …) and “%m” gives the reason why the call failed. Common reasons like “No more processes” or “Not enough core” point to resource shortages, such as “not enough swap space” or “process table too small”. Refer to your UNIX documentation for more details.

MPPOpen: %s

The AppleTalk toolkit could not be initialized. This happens if “atalkd” is not running or not a single known interface could be activated. This situation is usually preceded by messages from “atalkd”. The message can also start with “ATPLoad” or “OpenXPP” rather than “MPPOpen”.

PRegisterName: %s

The server in question could not register its name on the network. If “%s” = “Duplicate name exists already”, this indicates that the AppleTalk name of the specified HELIOS server is already in use. HELIOS servers by default use the host name, but you can stop EtherShare on the server in question and rename it using the name preference (see “AFP Server preference keys” in the HELIOS EtherShare manual).

20.3.2 “license” error messages

All HELIOS servers verify the integrity of the executable image by performing a checksum and verify the license by reading the license file “HELIOSDIR/​var/​conf/​license”.

program file corrupted, please reinstall

The program checksum did not match. A common reason is that you have transferred your HELIOS installation via FTP and you have forgotten to set FTP to image (binary) mode.

/usr/local/helios/bin/license: %m

The license file could not be opened.

the demo license is expired

HELIOS demo versions run for a limited time, and the license has now expired. See Demo keys in 20.2 “Keys and updates”.

the license checksum is invalid

The “Checksum” field in the license does not match the data in the other fields. This should not happen as the installation procedure verifies that a license is valid before entering it into the license file. However, this error message may appear, e.g. if you have upgraded from an older product version to a newer one but still use the old key or when you installed another version of the product to another directory and the data mixes up.

the license is not valid on this machine

The “MachID” field of the license does not match the host’s machine ID. This might happen if you transfer a complete installation to a new host or if you get a new machine due to a hardware replacement. Contact our license department for a license transfer (see Activation key transfers in 20.2 “Keys and updates”).

missing required base license %08lx

The user expansion license did not find the proper base serial number. Verify that you have specified the proper base serial number when requesting the user expansion license from our license department.

20.3.3 “desksrv” error and status messages

Although there is a large number of possible messages from “desksrv”, we will only describe a few of the more common messages here because the majority of them are non-fatal and simply result in an automatic desktop rebuild. Fatal errors result in “desksrv” stopping, in which case you will see the message “desksrv: stopped”.

All messages are written to the system messages file (which can be accessed via the Lists menu of HELIOS Admin) and are preceded by the host name, time and date, and the string “desksrv[…]:”. If the desktop server triggers a desktop rebuild, or if you call the rebuild program manually, the message will include the string “rebuild:” instead.

missing DB shutdown

A message like desksrv[]: missing DB shutdown:[/data/opi/.Desktop] at Thu Nov 24 18:22:48 2009, recommend rebuild to re-create desktop file indicates that either the “desksrv” process on the host, or the host itself has exited with a failure. In order to ensure that desktop database and the volume content are in sync, a regular rebuild (rebuild -f <path> command or Rebuild Desktop in HELIOS Admin) should be done.

setId dupl.

desksrv[]: setId dupl. [/data/opi/.Desktop] parent=3, name=image.tif While adding new objects to the desktop database during a rebuild, a file/folder is encountered that has the same ID as an already existing object in the desktop database. As a result, the new object will be assigned a new and unique ID.

incompatible DB format

desksrv[]: incompatible DB format [/data/opi/.Desktop]: force rebuild. This message usually occurs only once, when starting HELIOS for the first time after upgrading from a pre-UB+ installation. Here exists an old desktop database format and a new SQL based desktop database will be generated automatically. See also 4.2.4 “Upgrade from UB generation products to UB+.

nested desktops

A message like desksrv[]: nested desktop [/data/opi/OPI1] in [/data/opi/.Desktop] indicates that there are overlapping volumes. The message pops up when you try to mount a volume that has a “.Desktop” file in its parent directory.

20.3.4 “rebuild” error messages

The following error messages can be issued by the “rebuild” program:

charset %s for volume %s not found (%s)

This error message leads to a fatal error; the “rebuild” program is stopped.

volume is already using the selected charset, nothing to convert

The current character set was selected anew.

volume %s is read-only

You cannot apply any changes because there is no write access to the volume, e.g. a CD-ROM volume.

%s: parent ID conflict: %s

An object was found in a folder with a different parent ID than the object should have according to the desktop database. This indicates that its data and resource was copied/moved with plain UNIX tools instead of HELIOS tools. This message is only reported in -s scan mode. During a regular rebuild, you would see a “setId dupl” message (see above) from “desksrv”.

%s: zero ID

This is a follow-up message indicating that an object, for which a previous error message was logged, has no valid ID and will be assigned a new and unique ID.

warning: unmappable character used in filename %s

This message is issued in case a file/folder name has a different character representation in the volume than it has in the desktop database, when it contains the HELIOS escape character “^”.

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HELIOS Manuals February 6, 2019