Software to Watch: Big Blue Button

I happened across some Open Source software called Big Blue Button.  It looks like it might be an alternative to WebEx, but you have to setup and host the server piece yourself.

I liked the page talking about the open source software that they build upon.  There were several projects I was familiar with and several that I hadn’t heard of.  I am always looking for new tools for the toolbox!

Why would I be looking for an alternative for WebEx?  Well, because of answers like this: no support for productivity tools.  Also because of no support for Ubuntu 64bit.  I can’t blame WebEx though — they only develop for where the market is.  And, to their credit, they have increased support for Linux.  I have it working now, and that is what counts.

More Resources

WebEx working again in Ubuntu 9.10-64bit!

It seems like this is the pattern with me and WebEx.  I tinker to get it working, I upgrade, it breaks, repeat.  Well, my most recent fling through this cycle started with a broken hard drive.  Actually, several things started it.  First, I originally thought my laptop had a 32-bit processor.  When I found out the new version of PeopleSoft requires a 64-bit OS, I did some research and found that it was actually a 64-bit processor.  Then, when I sent the laptop off to have the hard drive replaced, I figured that was the time to put 64-bit Ubuntu on it.

So, that is how it started, and then, I couldn’t get WebEx to work.  I got Eclipse to work on 64-bit Java, Java worked in the browser, and everything was fine.  I didn’t want to try to pull it all out and reinstall the 32-bit Java just to get WebEx working.  So, I decided to attempt to try to install the 64-bit and 32-bit versions side by side.  With some help, I got it to work:

Ubuntu Forums: 32-bit and 64-bit Firefox at the same time

The first step was installing Java.  It was pretty simple and straight forward.  I downloaded it from Sun’s website.  Essentially, you just extract it and set your environment variables to use it.  The path I chose was $HOME/bin/java.

Next, I found that you cannot use the 32-bit version of Java with the 64-bit version of Firefox.  Firefox throws out all of the 32-bit plugins with this message: “wrong ELF class”.    So, I installed Firefox by downloading it from Firefox’s website.  I extracted it to $HOME/bin/java/firefox.

The next key was linking the Java plugin in the path where Firefox would see it.  First, I linked the plugin into plugins directory:

ln -s $JAVA_HOME/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so libnpgp2.so

Once in the Firefox plugins directory, you have to make sure Firefox knows where the plugins directory is with the MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH variable.

So, to recap, I have:

  • Java installed at $HOME/bin/java
  • Firefox installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox
  • Java pluing installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox/plugins from $HOME/bin/java/jdk…/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so

Then, I created an environment script that sets all of the paths and variables to make it work:

#!/bin/sh
export PATH=~/bin/java/firefox:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre/bin/:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/bin/:$PATH
export JAVA_HOME=~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre
export MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH=~/bin/java/firefox/plugins

Finally, I created a script to launch firefox:

#!/bin/bash

cd ~/bin/java
. ./env.sh
firefox --no-remote -P WebEx

And, it worked!

WebEx Works Again in Ubuntu 9.04

I was having trouble getting WebEx to work after I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04.  After opening a support ticket with WebEx, I finally figured out the problem was with my Java configuration directory.  When I removed that, it started working!

mv ~/.java ~/java_backedup

Here are some more details for troubleshooting:

Read the rest of this entry »

WebEx Error

I have been struggling to get WebEx to work now that I have upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04.  I get the error below, and it failes to continue loading.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.  I did just upgrade to Firefox 3.5, but that didn’t fix the problem.  I also did a search on Google, and that didn’t turn up anything.

java.io.EOFException
at java.io.DataInputStream.readInt(DataInputStream.java:375)
at sun.security.provider.JavaKeyStore.engineLoad(JavaKeyStore.java:628)
at sun.security.provider.JavaKeyStore$JKS.engineLoad(JavaKeyStore.java:38)
at java.security.KeyStore.load(KeyStore.java:1185)
at com.sun.deploy.security.DeploySigningCertStore$1.run(DeploySigningCertStore.java:154)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at com.sun.deploy.security.DeploySigningCertStore.loadCertStore(DeploySigningCertStore.java:137)
at com.sun.deploy.security.DeploySigningCertStore.load(DeploySigningCertStore.java:107)
at com.sun.deploy.security.DeploySigningCertStore.load(DeploySigningCertStore.java:92)
at com.sun.deploy.security.ImmutableCertStore.load(ImmutableCertStore.java:43)
at com.sun.deploy.security.TrustDecider.isAllPermissionGranted(TrustDecider.java:245)
at com.sun.deploy.security.TrustDecider.isAllPermissionGranted(TrustDecider.java:218)
at com.sun.deploy.security.TrustDecider.isAllPermissionGranted(TrustDecider.java:208)
at sun.plugin.security.PluginClassLoader.getPermissions(PluginClassLoader.java:150)
at java.security.SecureClassLoader.getProtectionDomain(SecureClassLoader.java:192)
at java.security.SecureClassLoader.defineClass(SecureClassLoader.java:124)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.defineClass(URLClassLoader.java:260)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.access$000(URLClassLoader.java:56)
at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:195)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:188)
at sun.applet.AppletClassLoader.findClass(AppletClassLoader.java:171)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:307)
at sun.applet.AppletClassLoader.loadClass(AppletClassLoader.java:143)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:252)
at sun.applet.AppletClassLoader.loadCode(AppletClassLoader.java:682)
at sun.applet.AppletPanel.createApplet(AppletPanel.java:785)
at sun.plugin.AppletViewer.createApplet(AppletViewer.java:2315)
at sun.applet.AppletPanel.runLoader(AppletPanel.java:714)
at sun.applet.AppletPanel.run(AppletPanel.java:368)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:619)

I did check to make sure I had the ubuntu-restricted-extras and the libstdc++5 installed from this earlier post.

Webex in Ubuntu 8.10

This page has moved.  Please update your links:
http://linuxsagas.digitaleagle.net/2009/02/20/webex-in-ubuntu-810/

I can’t get WebEx to work with my new Ubuntu 8.10 installation.  It just gets stuck at this screen and does nothing:

WebExBroken

If you get it to work, please comment any tips.  You can try with this link:

http://developers.webex.com/api/jointest/index.php

Webex in Linux

This page has moved.  Please update your links:
http://linuxsagas.digitaleagle.net/2008/08/19/webex-in-linux/

I finally got Webex to work in the lastest version of Ubuntu (Hardy Heron – 8.04).  It was as simple as setting the JAVA_HOME variable.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=841801

At least this allowed the client to load.  I have yet to test it in a meeting.

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