FreeBSD/LibreOffice/Firefox/Zotero java error

Hello. I know I'm weird for using BSD on my desktop, but I'm an old sysadmin and BSD bigot, so that colors my system. I still use twm for my window manager, because I don't have any use for the heavy stuff that slows the system down.

I am getting a java exception error when trying to use Zotero after a large system update. Therefore, it is very possible that the problem is purely on my end (i.e., I get to keep both halves).

However, just in case you have any pointers... Here are the relevant versions:

FreeBSD: 11.0-RELEASE-p2
Firefox: 51.0.1 (64 bit)
LibreOffice: 5.2.4.2.0+
Java: OpenJDK8-8.121.13
Zotero: 4.0.29.16
LO integration: 3.5.12 (according to firefox) 3.5.9 (according to libreoffice)

I start libreoffice, create a new text file, click on the zotero configuration button, and get the following in a popup:

An error occurred communicating with Zotero:
java.net.SocketException: Connection reset by peer
at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.socketSetOption(Native Method)
at java.net.AbstractPlainSocketImpl.setOption(AbstractPlainSocketImpl.java:269)
at java.net.Socket.setTcpNoDelay(Socket.java:952)
at org.zotero.integration.ooo.comp.CommServer.run(CommServer.java:23)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:745)

Any clues?

(Standalone zotero is not an option at the moment, as you're only distributing binary. I'd be happy to try to get it working on FreeBSD myself if you released the source.)
  • All Zotero code is free&open https://github.com/zotero/ including both actual code and the Standalone build scripts, but I wouldn't expect Standalone to behave differently here. (Also, the Linux file that's distributed for Standalone isn't a binary. It's a tarball that you can unpack and tinker with in its entirety).


    There used to be a problem with Word integration using 64-bit Firefox -- that's fixed, but its possible something similar is going on and in that case Standalone might help.

    Beyond that, from the error it's looking like something is preventing Zotero/LO communication so maybe looking at any proxies, firewalls, or other security stuff you have running could be an option.
  • Thank you for the github info. I will download it and see if the 5.0 version works. In doing some other debugging this evening, I discovered that some of my many privacy plugins invisibly cause websites to fail now... which may account for the issue here as well. I'll probably play with shutting those down and see if that affects zotero as well.

    I will also look into what is required to get it added to the freebsd ports tree.

    Just for the record, the list of privacy/security plugins I use are: privacy badger, umatrix, ublock, flashblock, beeftaco, right to click, https everywhere, lightbeam, disconnect, and google untracker. If I find that one or more of those is in fact the culprit, I'll update this message.
  • There was something about ublock, I think, though that related to 127.0.0.1 communication between browser connector and Standalone, so may not apply here. Still, may may be worth looking at to what degree any of them block local ports
  • Note that Zotero for Firefox will be discontinued shortly, so a switch to Standalone will be mandatory (there is nothing we can do about this - Firefox is discontinuing XUL based extensions) with the upcoming version 5.0. We don't have resources to provide FreeBSD builds, but we're happy to accept a PR that would ease the process.

    As for the plugin, the extension uses a HTTP server to interface between LibreOffice and Zotero. The LibreOffice extension tries to start a server on 127.0.0.1:23116 (and Standalone uses 127.0.0.1:23119, which will be relevant to you once/if you switch, to talk to Zotero Connectors - extensions for Chrome, Safari and now available for Firefox too). So you probably want to look into your firewall settings and/or Java permissions.
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