X Related Java Problems | skybert.net

X Related Java Problems


Failed to retrieve atom name.

If you're getting this odd bugger when launching Java applications on your Linux machine:

Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException: Failed to retrieve atom name.
  at sun.awt.X11.XlibWrapper.XGetAtomName(Native Method)
  at sun.awt.X11.XAtom.getName(XAtom.java:169)
  at sun.awt.X11.XDataTransferer.getTargetNameForAtom(XDataTransferer.java:123)
  at sun.awt.X11.XDataTransferer.getNativeForFormat(XDataTransferer.java:112)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.DataTransferer.getFlavorsForFormatsAsSet(DataTransferer.java:845)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.SunClipboard.formatArrayAsDataFlavorSet(SunClipboard.java:333)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.SunClipboard.addFlavorListener(SunClipboard.java:361)

It's because of some buggy Sun/Oracle code in the way JRE makes assumptions regarding the window manager in which Java runs. More specifically, it's the clipboard which confuses JRE here.

I got around this error by first disabling my current clipboard manager and then start another one. This seemed to clean the clipboard slate and thereby kicked Java/Swing into working again.

$ killall clipit
$ xclipboard &

If you're an application developer, you might want to catch the NullPointer above where you call sun.awt.datatransfer.SunClipboard#addFlavorListener

For your interest, I bumped into this bugger when running Escenic Content Studio 5.3 on Debian Squeeze using the Linux kernel 3.2.0 and the X.org 7.7 display server and the Fluxbox 1.3.2 window manager. The full stack trace in my case was:

Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException: Failed to retrieve atom name.
  at sun.awt.X11.XlibWrapper.XGetAtomName(Native Method)
  at sun.awt.X11.XAtom.getName(XAtom.java:169)
  at sun.awt.X11.XDataTransferer.getTargetNameForAtom(XDataTransferer.java:123)
  at sun.awt.X11.XDataTransferer.getNativeForFormat(XDataTransferer.java:112)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.DataTransferer.getFlavorsForFormatsAsSet(DataTransferer.java:845)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.SunClipboard.formatArrayAsDataFlavorSet(SunClipboard.java:333)
  at sun.awt.datatransfer.SunClipboard.addFlavorListener(SunClipboard.java:361)
  at org.jdesktop.application.TextActions.<init>(TextActions.java:65)
  at org.jdesktop.application.ActionManager$KeyboardFocusPCL.<init>(ActionManager.java:184)
  at org.jdesktop.application.ActionManager.initProxyActionSupport(ActionManager.java:109)
  at org.jdesktop.application.ActionManager.getActionMap(ActionManager.java:102)
  at org.jdesktop.application.ActionManager.getActionMap(ActionManager.java:174)
  at org.jdesktop.application.ApplicationContext.getActionMap(ApplicationContext.java:303)
  at com.escenic.swing.application.DefaultUndoManager.<init>(DefaultUndoManager.java:52)

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