Kemp’s Blog

A technical blog about technical things

Using ssconvert remotely

If you’ve ever used ssconvert (part of the gnumeric package) via an SSH session then you’re likely to have seen the horde of warnings that are displayed:

GConf Error: Failed to contact configuration server; the most common cause is a missing or misconfigured D-Bus session bus daemon. See for information. (Details – 1: Not running within active session)

… [repeated many times] …

(ssconvert:11925): GConf-WARNING **: Directory `/apps/gnumeric’ was not being monitored by GConfClient 0x87cf220

There is a simple workaround for this that may be helpful if you are calling ssconvert multiple times within a makefile or similar and don’t want to add additional huge amounts of useless output. Simply prepend DISPLAY=:0 onto the command and it will be happy (i.e. DISPLAY=:0 ssconvert [args]).

As a bonus, here’s a simple command line to turn an Excel worksheet into a csv file, something I have to do fairly often when setting up processing of data from other people:

ssconvert --export-type=Gnumeric_stf:stf_assistant -O 'sheet="sheet_name"
    separator=, quoting-mode="auto" eol="unix"' input_file output_file

Replace sheet_name, input_file, and output_file with your own values.