Taking a cue from websites like Buzzfeed, I decided to use an eye catching title for this post in order to get your attention.
Disclaimer: Now that I have it, I should come clean and explain this is a work around, as true hosting from Linux is still in the works.
Last year GoToMeeting released their new Web App, a WebRTC based client for attending GoToMeetings that loads directly in Chrome and Firefox. Since it’s release the team have been steadily adding new features in order to bring it in line with the existing desktop software. As I mentioned they are still working on starting/hosting GoToMeetings, but in the meantime if you have a smartphone or tablet you can get around this limitation.
By combining the mobile apps ability to start GoToMeetings and make an attendee the Presenter, and the Web Apps ability to be made Presenter and share your screen.
You can start a GoToMeeting on your smartphone, then join from your Linux PC.
Then make your Linux PC the Presenter for the rest of the meeting!
Click Ask to Switch and they will see the option to share their desktop or the window of any application window that is currently open.
GoToMeeting Free is a new service that ha just launched as an experiment by Citrix. All you need is a computer with the latest version of Google Chrome installed, which means it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s pretty basic at this time, there is no formal support but you can provide feedback via a feedback form (which I strongly recommend you do). So why not take it out for a “spin around the block”, it’s free and you might just like it!
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.
Once the Software Center opens enter Java in the search field, then select and install; OpenjDK Java 6 Runtime and Icedtea Java Plugin.
Launch Firefox, login to your GoToMyPC account and click Connect. (You may need tell Firefox to Allow all pop-ups for GoToMyPC.com 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.