Installing Webex on 64 bits Linux (with sound)

This has only been tested on a vanilla Debian Sid. It was proven to work on 1 Ubuntu machine.

You’ll need a 32-bit Firefox, 32-bit JVM and dependencies. This guide will be command line only so that you can copy/paste. On a Debian remember that you don’t have sudo by default; you can either install and configure sudo or make sure you run commands as root.

If you have Skype running there’s a good chance you have everything and just need to jump the JVM part (as Skype is 32-bit only).

Step 1: Enable Multi-Arch

On AMD64 Debian supports Multiarch

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Step 2: Modify your sources to include i386

This step was different in older Ubuntus

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list with your favorite editor (as root) and make sure you have i386 along amd64; this shouldn’t be required. For reference here’s mine:

deb sid main non-free contrib
deb experimental main non-free contrib
deb sid main non-free
deb-src sid main non-free contrib

Step 3: Install 32-bit dependencies

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk

Step 4: Installing 32-bit JVM: the Debian way

Creating a JVM package the Debian is pretty easy

  1. First step is to download a 32-bit JVM from Oracle and make sure you know where it is downloaded too; I’ll refer this as $DOWNLOADED_JVM_32BITS
  2. Install java-package:

    sudo apt-get install java-package fakeroot
  3. Now use java-package to build a .deb package from the binary you downloaded. Since make-jpkg does ARCH checks, you need to make it think you’re on a i386 and not on a amd64:

    DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE=i486-linux-gnu DEB_BUILD_ARCH=i386 fakeroot make-jpkg $DOWNLOADED_JVM_32BITS
  4. This should generate a .deb package. The package name has the _amd64 suffix since it think you’re building for a amd64 machine. Install the package:

    sudo dpkg -i <some_jre_version>_amd64.deb
  5. Use update-alternatives to select the new JRE. It will be somewhere in /usr/lib/jvm.

    sudo update-alternatives --config java

In my case, it was installed in *java-7-sun-32*

Step 5: Install a 32-bit Firefox

  1. Download Firefox 32-Bit version
  2. Extract it with

    tar -xvjf firefox.tar.bz2
  3. Make sure you exit ever other Firefox, Iceweasle and other Firefox-based browsers
  4. You’ll need to symlink the 32-Bit Java plugin into the Firefox plugin folder ($HOME/.mozilla/plugins)

    mkdir -p $HOME/.mozilla/plugins
    ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-sun-32/lib/i386/ $HOME/.mozilla/plugins
  5. Start the downloaded Firefox from the command line and test your meeting !

Known Issues

  • Under Unity you cannot share a single application you may only share the whole screen

Leave a comment