Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro with Firefox on Linux

I’m a PMI-certified Project Management Professional. As part of my PMI membership, I have access to Communities of Practice (CoP). Among these, I participate in the Innovation and New Product Development CoP.

We had a webinar today on Design for Innovation in Manufacturing that planned to use an uncommon package, Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro (vs. Go to Meeting or WebEx, etc.) for the meeting. So I tried the typical “test your system’s connection” page with my primary Linux desktop and I get the result that everything else is OK, but fail the “Acrobat Connect add-in test”. The suggested solution is to install the add-in. But of course, none is available for Linux.

So off to my Windows XP virtual machine which I keep for these sorts of situations, and I go through the gymnastics of installing the add-on in Windows and participate in the webinar.

Afterwards, I’m struggling with finding a way to download the presentation slides (which it turns out is impossible – they have to be viewed through another “Adobe Presents” thing and can’t be saved from there). As part of this process, I tried to see whether the slides link would perform differently under Linux.

It doesn’t — it opened the presentation slides right there in FF on Linux as if I was on Windows. OK, that’s interesting. So I try the original webinar URL in Linux, and darn if that doesn’t work the same as well.

So, bottom line:

  • No Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro add-in appears to be required — so why do they make you download it on Windows/Mac?
  • Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and Adobe Presents works fine on my relatively recent Linux box with Firefox – one less reason to head over to the virtual Windows world.

Update May 2011: Sadly, the above is no longer the case. It appears that Adobe changed something in their Connect Pro application which now makes it unworkable with Linux out of the box. It now requires a higher level of Flash than before, so neither my existing machine nor my new Ubuntu 11.04/Mint 11 release which has that Flash revision will work. The application loads but cannot connect to the meeting room server. They apparently also now have added a download for installing their add-in on Linux (reported to be for hosting meetings), which I have not tried, but others report having no success with that either on the Adobe forums. Note however, that the Adobe Presents application still works (for now, at least).

Update December 2011: I was again able to connect to a PMI webinar via Adobe Connect today on my Linux Mint 11 x64 box, using Firefox 8 and Flash (current Mint default installed versions). The connection process seemed to hang several times in the browser (a prolonged “Waiting for…” in the status bar). In parallel I had connected to the meeting using my Windows XP virtual machine, so I knew it was in process. So I stopped the page load in Mint and then reloaded it, which moved things along. I had to do this a couple of times but was then able to join successfully to get both the audio and meeting materials.

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5 Responses to Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro with Firefox on Linux

  1. Robert Wilson says:

    thanks for the post

  2. Casey says:

    I just test your link with Ubuntu 11.04 and was able to make it to step 4. There is an add-on provided for Ubuntu but only for 32bit systems. I don’t think they have a 64bit version.

    • Don says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m able to get successfully through step 3, which is all that they say is required to participate in (but not host) a meeting. As you mention, I don’t think they have a 64 bit version of the Linux version of their “Add-In” – they only have one download link so it is likely it’s just 32 bit. But that’s just for hosts…

      I wonder whether the actual application will work for attendees on a 32 bit system currently – maybe there is an incompatibility with the 64 bit flash version on Linux, which I’ve currently moved up to?

  3. Don says:

    I just tried connecting to another webinar using my up to date Linux Mint 11 x64 machine with Firefox 8 – and got in successfully!

    I consistently have trouble with the PMI component webinars getting connected, I don’t know whether this is capacity based or due to the Adobe package on Linux. I seem to have less trouble when I try to access the same meeting using FF on my Windows XP VirtualBox VM.

    Today, whenever I got a prolonged “waiting for…” message showing in the browser status bar under linux, I simply stopped the page loading and reloaded. With a couple of tries, I was able to successfully join the webinar.

    Will update the main post above.

  4. shrini says:

    I have used trial version of adobe connect pro and it is a good webinar tool. Another alternative is RHUB web conferencing appliances. It also works well.

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