Troubleshooting Java on your Mac

Troubleshooting Java on your Mac

If you’re trying to join a GoToWebinar or GoToMeeting session from your Mac but nothing happens after you click the link, you’re most likely having a Java issue.  Both GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting utilize Java to automate the download and launch of their software but sometimes the Java integration with your web browser can stop working, when this happens you may need to reinstall Java to fix it.

Out of the 3 most popular web browsers for the Mac, only Safari and Firefox have full Java support, so if you were trying to join from Chrome you will need to switch to Safari or Firefox.

First check and make sure you don’t have any Java updates available:

  1. Click the  icon in the top left corner of your screen and click Software Update in the menu.
  2. Once the search for available updates has finished, click Show Details to review the list for any Java updates. If none are found, you already have the most recent update and simply need to reinstall Java.

If there is no Java update available you will need to reinstall the most recent Java update again:

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen to open Spotlight.
  2. Type Terminal and press Return. You can also open the Applications folder, then open the Utilities folder and double-click Terminal.
  1. In the Terminal window, type java -version and press Return. You will then see your Java version number, which may look like “1.6.0_20.” Take note of the version number for later.
  2. Now, click the  icon in the top left corner of your screen and click About This Mac in the menu.
  3. In the new window, you will see a version number for Mac OS X, such as 10.6.4 or something similar. Take note of the version number for later.
  4. Now, open your web browser (such as Safari or Firefox) and go to
  5. In the Search Downloads field, type Java, the version number that was displayed in your Terminal window and press Return. For example, you might search for Java 1.6.0_20.
  6. In the search results, look for the latest Java update for your version of Mac OS X. For example, you might look for search results like “Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 2.”
  7. After you find the necessary update, click Download. Then install the update by double-clicking the file in the Downloads window.
  8. Finally, reboot your Mac computer if prompted to do so.
GoToMyPC and Linux ~ Now even easier!

GoToMyPC and Linux ~ Now even easier!

I had my first experience with Linux back in 2005 after picking up a PC magazine that included an Ubuntu live CD on the cover.  Since then I have tried many Linux distributions but Ubuntu has always drawn me back, in fact I’ve even switched my Mother in law and Aunt from Windows to Ubuntu because it is so easy to use.

Now to get to the point of this post!

Although GoToMyPC does not yet have a native viewer for Linux, it has always had the Java based Universal Viewer.  This viewer runs inside the web browser itself, so it can be used not only on Linux PCs and Macs but in situations where the computer is locked down and does not allow the down load of the native Windows and Mac GoToMyPC Viewers.  In order to use the Universal Viewer in Ubuntu you only need to make sure you have installed Java and enabled it in Firefox.

You can do this by clicking Applications and selecting the Software Center.

Ubuntu Applications Menu

Once the Software Center opens enter Java in the search field, then select and install; OpenjDK Java 6 Runtime and Icedtea Java Plugin.

Ubuntu Software Center

Launch Firefox, login to your GoToMyPC account and click Connect.  (You may need tell Firefox to Allow all pop-ups for and reload the page the first time.)

Now for the more adventurous Linux users out there (aren’t we all),  you can actually run the native Windows GoToMyPC Viewer on Linux if you install WINE.  I’m not going to go into an long explanation of what WINE is and how it works (check out their website), basically it allows you to run a wide selection of native Windows applications on Linux.

You can install WINE through Ubuntu’s Software Center just like you did Java, once you have done this launch the Linux native version of Firefox and install the User Agent Switcher extension.   This Firefox extension allows you to trick websites into thinking you are running a different operating system than you really are, in this case you would select Windows XP. Login to your GoToMyPC account and click Connect, you will be asked to download gotomypc-start.exe, click Save File.  Once the gotomypc-start.exe file has finished downloading you can open it either from the Firefox Download Manager dialog box or from your Ubuntu Downloads directory.  It should open via WINE automatically and once it connects to your Host you can enter your Access Code.  Not everything works as it would on a Windows PC but do get full 24 bit color, scale to fit, file transfer, and if you configure audio in WINE, you can even stream audio from your Host PC (Mac Host currently do not support file transfer or streaming audio).

I personally recommend using the WINE method as it gives you the features you want most and is pretty painless to set up these days.  If you have any questions or feedback to share please leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.