Friday, January 23, 2015

Building and running the Alljoyn 'About' sample application

I got some nifty color-changing networked light bulbs via a Kickstarter campaign recently.  Hopefully I'll have more to say about those later when I have a bit more time (as I took some unboxing shots and poked around in the router they shipped with it and found some curious things).  But in the meantime, I've been poking around at the Allseen Alliance's Alljoyn framework.

Alljoyn is a framework that allows all sorts of nifty communication and collaboration between devices.  Imagine getting a new window-mounted air conditioner and having it and your thermostat immediately start talking to each other and getting your house to the right temperature, or your lights dimming in response to you starting a movie on your television.  There are all sorts of cool things this sort of communication could allow.

But for now I'm just trying to get it built and working with my light bulbs.  Tonight I spent a little bit of time getting it built and running the simple 'About' sample application that ships with it.  I thought the notes I took might be useful if anyone else starts playing with it. And unfortunately some of the docs about running the 'About' samples are a bit wrong, so maybe this will help someone out.

And if you do play with Alljoyn, please let me know!  Double bonus points if you can point me at some tutorials that don't start with the assumption that you've read the whole codebase and every document ever produced.  I just want to make some light bulbs blink!

Set up the environment

I used the following:

  • Virtual machine (VirtualBox) with 2x x86_64 CPUs, 1GB RAM, 16 GB disk, bridged network
  • Ubuntu 14.04 Server
  • Default packageset plus OpenSSH server
  • Applied full updates (apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade) as of 23 Jan 2015 and reboot

I initially started with libvirt but after a few minutes of trying to convince it to bridge the network device, I decided to just go with VirtualBox rather than spend all night tinkering with that.

Install prerequisites


sudo apt-get install git
git config --global "email@server.tld"
git config --global "User Name"



mkdir ~/bin
curl > ~/bin/repo
chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Build tools:

[NB: ia32-libs was not available in the package archives but didn't seem to be necessary]

sudo apt-get install build-essential libgtk2.0-dev libssl-dev xsltproc libxml2-dev scons libssl-dev #ia32-libs

Grab sources


mkdir -p src/alljoyn
cd src/alljoyn

# Uncomment other versions below if you want something other than 14.06
#repo init -u
#repo init -u -b refs/tags/v14.06 -m versioned.xml
repo init -u -b RB14.06
repo sync

Build samples

export AJ_ROOT=`pwd`
cd core/alljoyn
scons BINDINGS=cpp WS=off BT=off ICE=off SERVICES="about,notification,controlpanel,config,onboarding,sample_apps"

Run 'about' sample


export TARGET_CPU=x86_64

# NB: The following are in the docs but are wrong.  Corrections below.
#export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$AJ_ROOT/core/alljoyn/build/linux/$TARGET_CPU/debug/dist/cpp/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$AJ_ROOT/core/alljoyn/build/linux/$TARGET_CPU/debug/dist/cpp/lib:$AJ_ROOT/core/alljoyn/build/linux/$TARGET_CPU/debug/dist/about/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH


  1. Thanks! This helped me so much today!

    1. Hi Chris! Glad to help out!

      I'm actually putting together a forum for people to discuss Internet of Things development/hacking and ask questions. There's not much there yet but is where it is if you're interested in hopping on. (If you want to go describe what your experiences are with AllJoyn or ask any questions you have, I'd really appreciate it!)