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 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.

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