Thursday, January 30, 2014

PEAKS 7 Viewer on Mac OS X Mavericks

I wrote a post in early 2013 here to help users to run PEAKS as a Viewer on Mac OS or Linux. Similar procedure applies to PEAKS 7 as well. Many thanks to user ceinwyn that brought the issue to me that PEAKS DB search results cannot be opened.

I spent some spare time looking into this issue and luckily found a workaround. Just want to re-state my disclaimer here.

Disclaimer: PEAKS does not officially support any OS other than Windows as of the time I am writing the post. The software may not be fully functional. Activating the software on OS X or Linux will consume the license, which means the same license can not be used again. I strongly recommend only following the steps to configure PEAKS Viewer (the unlicensed Studio) on OS X or Linux for PEAKS result sharing and presentation purposes.

Basically what happened here is that PEAKS 7 has some sizing issue with the Auqa look and feel from Apple Mac OS X. The workaround is to change the look and feel to a cross-platform one that Apple also support. To make things easier, I have put a modified version of the jar file here. And here are the steps:
  1. Check the version of PEAKS. Go to Help -> About PEAKS. In the dialog, you should see the build number, e.g. build 20131119. This build number must match the number in the downloaded jar file in the above link.
  2. Close PEAKS.
  3. Download the jar file and replace the peaksstudio.jar in the PEAKS directory with this one.
  4. Start PEAKS and now the PEAKS DB search results can be opened. 

Enjoy PEAKS and happy sharing!


  1. Thanks for the fix, it works perfectly now!

  2. I have now encountered another problem when trying to open Peaks as a viewer. Having had it work successfully before I now try to open Peaks and although it opens the first dialogue window and I select "Use PEAKS as a viewer" it then tries to load but it never opens, and I have the following error in terminal:

    Fatal Exception is catched. Either slave didn't start correctly, or the server is not on. Exit the peaksStudio
    Mar 11, 2014 4:23:47 PM com.bsi.peaks.StartPeaksStudio$CheckFatalException$CheckingThread run
    SEVERE: Fatal Exception is catched. Either slave didn't start correctly, or the server is not on. Exit the peaksStudio
    Shutdown JDBC Pool.

    Why has it suddenly stopped working? I have the latest version of java installed.
    Any help would be very much appreaciated!

    1. Anything have changed in the computer? The amount of RAM? Updated Java? Do you mind checking the Java version by typing java -version ?

    2. Nothing has changed (that I am aware of)
      Java version:
      java version "1.7.0_51"
      Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_51-b13)
      Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.51-b03, mixed mode)

    3. Oh, this is the latest Java 7 update. We noticed that in this update, Java has a stricter security policy that prevent PEAKS listening on a port it always does. To solve this, look for the file in your JRE folder, jre/lib/security/java.policy and add a line

      permission "localhost:15270", "listen,resolve";

      This should make it work.

      Another solution is to modify file, change all 15270 to 55270. This will change the port PEAKS internally use.

    4. Thank you for your reply. I couldn't find the jre/lib/security/java.policy file (in my jre folder there is only the bin folder I created when following the tutorial to substitute java for Mac).
      However I changed the port numbers as you suggested and PEAKS is now working fine.
      Thanks again for all your help!

  3. Hi Mingjie, it works well on my Mac, thanks for the option to view the files here. I cannot see any images on the summary pages however. Is there some simple setting that I need to change for this. Paul.

    1. Hi Paul, the reason that the images not showing up in the summary page is because the image path is invalid under Mac OSX. I don't think it is possible to fix this in the UI without changing the code. But if you export that summary view using the 'Export' button, you should be able to see everything in a HTML file. I hope this helps.

  4. It works perfectly! Hooray for Mac versions! I can understand the reluctance to make them, though, since Macs still aren't that prevalent (compared to PCs) and trying to force quit Mac apps is so difficult.