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Cisco Webex Ubuntu

Introduction to Webex

By Cisco, Webex is an American company that integrates and sells Unified communications, video conferencing, web conferencing as a service, and the contact center as many service applications. In 1995, it was detected as WebEx and taken over in 2007 via Cisco Systems. The headquarters of Webex are in San Jose, California.

Some of its software products are Webex devices, WebEx Contact Centre, WebEx calling, WebEx messaging, WebEx meetings, WebEx suite, and WebEx app. Every WebEx product is a part of the Cisco Systems association portfolio.

The products of Cisco WebEx offer capabilities including file sharing, team messaging, and online meetings. The suite is examined as a leading collaboration environment in the place of unified communications and is geared toward both large group meetings for organization-wide deployments and small group associations for SMBs.

Users can connect to a video conference from a mobile or desktop application. A web release of WebEx is also available. However, other features are present on other releases. Also, users can share files and engage in the features of team messaging. This service is supported by WebEx Teams and Cisco WebEx Meetings applications.

History of WebEx

In 1995, it was founded by Min Zhu and Subrah Iyar. In July 2000, it had the initial public offering. WebEx was recorded on the NASDAQ National Market, and after that NASDAQ Global Select Market, when that was published in 2006.

Services of WebEx

Every WebEx application was created on the MediaTone environment and supported by WebEx MediaTone Network (also known as the WebEx interactive network), a universal network intended for using with on-demand programs during the acquisition. The network was developed by Shaun Bryant (the Chief Network Architect of WebEx) and Network Architect Zaid Ali Sr to be one of the initial environments on the internet.

WebEx and AOL published a business release of the instant messaging software of AOL in July 2006. AIM Pro along with extra features for helping workers collaborate with conferencing tools provided by WebEx. The company announced some plans to provide a web collaboration "mashup" environment which is known as "WebEx Connect" on 26 September 2006.

  • Cisco published a WebEx evolution which is known as Project Squared on 17 November 2014. This effort was retitled Cisco Spark on 17 March 2015.
  • Cisco disclosed that Cisco Spark will be merged into the Cisco WebEx environment on 18 April 2018. Cisco re-titled every rest of their products of Spark to WebEx on this similar date including the Spark Room Kit (WebEx Room Kit now) and Spark Board (WebEx Board now).
  • Kelly Kramer (Cisco CFO) reported in April month 2020 that they had 500M meeting participants, and that balanced the 25B meeting minutes with WebEx on 15 May 2020 at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Cisco published a new environment WebEx Classrooms for many virtual homeroom encounters in September 2020.
  • Cisco published an update focused on enhancing hybrid and virtual in-person events and meetings with AI-powered Technology for the WebEx portfolio on 26 October 2021.

Acquisition of WebEx

In 2005, the company inherited, giving entrance into the mid and small-size business market from the business customer base of the company with less than a hundred employees. It inherited the ability for offering online collaboration tools like discussion forums, calendaring, and document sharing while gave access to the WebEx communication platform for its users.

On 15 March 2007, Cisco Systems disclosed it would inherit Webex for 3.2 billion dollars. Cisco has announced that the long-term plan is for absorbing WebEx at both the sales and technology levels.

Cisco inherited BabbleLabs in October 2020. Cisco inherited imimobile which is a communication platform as a service (or CPaaS) solution provider for imimobile (Webex collaboration portfolio) in February 2021.

Legal Inquiries and Proceedings

Goldman Sachs securities scam investigation

Some charges of issuing improper research were faced by Goldman Sachs including WebEx coverage and IPO violations between 1999 to 2001 as an outcome of a security scam investigation started by the SEC and by many state Attorney General offices.

Webex management dictated to the analysts of Goldman Sachs what the research should and shouldn't include. Webex maintains the information of the management was correct. Another charge blames Goldman Sachs for offending securities law in share allocation and initial public offering of WebEx.

Raindance lawsuit for patent infringement

On 27 September 2005, Webex charged Raindance Communications, Inc., a rival for patent infringement. On 14 October 2005, Raindance reported a countersuit as opposed to WebEx for patent violation. Both parties hunted for damages and an injunction charges further acts that they claim to be violating on patents.

On 31 March 2006, both parties granted the discharge of both actions, claim releases for past violations, payments related to those releases, and cross-licenses to the patents of each other. This agreement ended in Webex receiving 1M dollars from Raindance.

What does WebEx provide?

Cisco Webex Ubuntu

WebEx Teams

It is an application of cloud-based team collaboration that offers whiteboarding, file sharing, messaging, and video meetings. The software provides a constant virtual meeting room for remote and in-office teams to associate. While WebEx Teams is mainly a cloud-based service, it supports on-promises and hybrid systems as well.

WebEx Teams provides third-party application integrations ranging from many project management services, like Pivotal and Asana tracker, to customer relationship management, like Zendesk and Salesforce. Also, WebEx Teams provides integrations by APIs for developer programs from its Cisco WebEx. The platform permits developers for building custom applications that increase the Teams capabilities in regular workflows.

WebEx Meetings

WebEx Meetings is a cloud-based video conferencing and web service that enables virtual and global teams for collaborating on standards-based video systems and mobile devices in real-time. It includes several features like meeting broadcasting, customizable layouts, meeting recording, and screen sharing.

Webex Meetings develops with Microsoft Teams and Slack which permits users to join or start the WebEx video meetings from either platform directly. WebEx Meetings features calendar integrations including Google Calendar, Office 365, and Outlook, and also develops with Microsoft OneDrive and IBM connections for file sharing.

  • It offers personal rooms that customers can schedule, customize meetings or leave open for many ad hoc meetings.
  • Also, users can schedule meetings with WebEx Meetings, connect to a WebEx Meetings with Teams, or continue conversations after a meeting completes in Teams.
  • WebEx Meetings supports extensive events like virtual training and webinars.
  • It supports interactive events and webinars for up to 3000 users.
  • Webex training supports on-demand or live training sessions along with capabilities like automated and testing grading for 1000+ attendees.
  • WebEx Webcasting supports extensive virtual events for 40,000+ attendees.
  • Also, Webex Meetings contains a customer service offering which is known as Webex Support.
  • This service includes several capabilities like automatic routing and queuing, remote desktop control, video conferencing, and live chat.

WebEx Devices

Webex includes many meeting room devices with its Webex Board and Webex Room Series. The Webex Room Series contains device kits with a microphone, speaker, codec, and camera for midsize and small meeting rooms. The kits develop with flat-panel displays and include on-premises and cloud deployments. WebEx Room Kit supports many meeting rooms that seat up to 7 people and the Room Kit Plus supports several rooms that seat up to 14 users.

The Webex Room 55 offers small to medium meeting rooms that seat 6 to 8 users. It contains a 55-inch 4K display, speakers, microphones, a codec, and a camera. The WebEx Room 70 supports bigger meeting rooms that seat up to 14 users and contains dual or single 70-inch 4K displays, speakers, microphones, and an integrated camera. Both WebEx Room 70 and WebEx Room 55 are designed for on-premises and cloud deployments and feature advanced capabilities like automatic wake-up and framing and speaker tracking.

The WebEx Board offers a 70-inch or 55-inch interactive whiteboard that features wireless presentation, content annotations, and video and audio conferencing. Content made on the Webex Board is saved in the cloud and could be used from its collaborated virtual workspace in the Webex Teams app.

Working of Webex

The backbone network of WebEx powers every meeting, despite whether the user is connected from the Webex Teams or Meetings applications. Also, the software suite supports hybrid and on-premises deployments with the Webex Hybrid Service. This hybrid service connects the cloud-based capabilities of Webex Teams to Cisco communication systems. Also, Cisco WebEx features a Video Mesh, which is a hybrid media service that carries local users and pushes overflow and remote users to the cloud.

  • WebEx Meeting Center permits users for starting scheduling and conducting meetings. Users can also prepare an invitation to the meeting with the help of Microsoft Outlook. A user only has to keep their email address to invite attendees. Then, the user can join with the help of their smartphone and computer. Also, the device being used can be interchanged mid-conference.
  • Training Center permits users to automatically set screen views based on file type. Hence, if any user wishes to show a PowerPoint presentation, then the view will show the slides automatically. Also, the attendees can edit files when given permission.
  • 3000 attendees could be supported by Event Center. The large meetings could be interactive along with the support of polling and chat features.
  • Webex contains a cloud-based phone system which is known as WebEx Calling. Webex Calling permits users for calling anyone with Cisco IP phones or WebEx Teams directly.
  • Users can connect Teams to Cisco phone systems with the Hybrid Service as well. Although, PSTN services should be bought from a third-party provider.
  • Also, Webex Teams provides 911 calling with the capability for setting a service address/PSTN telephone number.

Advantages and limitations of Webex

There are several famous video conferencing tools like Zoom available in the market, so Webex has to offer a collection of aspects that can draw customers away through competition. Some of the advantages of Webex are as follows:

  • Voice options from a computer or phone audio, HD video.
  • Annotation tools are present.
  • Users can connect to calls on more than one device and switch mid-call of devices.
  • Users can distribute several files between attendees and content sharing extensions are present for web use
  • Calls could be recorded.
  • Screen and chat share aspects are available.
  • Included security features.
  • Screens can be remotely controlled.
  • Develops with applications like Microsoft Teams and Cisco.
  • Cisco Webex offers the Cloud Connected Audio feature. It expands our reach with the global voice offering and profits from flexible and competitive audio plans.
  • It offers interoperability for ensuring we leverage our investments in previous assets.
  • Webex offers workflow integration in which WebEx solutions seamlessly connect with many third-party applications and ensure total collaboration around every team.

However, limitations of Webex are also included which are mentioned below:

  • Prices are higher as compared to Zoomand Microsoft Teams.
  • A few users may see the UX and menu system hard to intuitively navigate.
  • A few users found it hard to migrate through legacy Webex systems.
  • With audio, glitches have been faced for non-Webex participants if connecting to audio.

Security of WebEx

Webex Meetings encrypts conscious data and encrypts every media stream at the time of the sessions. However, end-to-end encryption is elective for users. Also, Webex Meetings has SOC 2, SSAE 16, and ISO 27001 Type 2 certifications. It is also certified with the FedRAMP or Federal Risk and Authorization Program for government enterprises.

Webex Teams provides end-to-end messaging encryption along with user-held keys which gives an extra security layer by enabling users for controlling authorization to message stores. Also, Webex Teams has ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 1 certifications.

Cisco Webex price and plans

Cisco Webex contains five different releases at different costs. These are listed and discussed below:

  • The first one is the free version in which users can host up to 100 attendees on calls, 1GB cloud storage, and all calls are limited to 50 minutes.
  • The second one is the starter version which is the non-free and cheapest variant. It costs 13.50 dollars per user per month. The storage capacity is extended to 5 GB and all calls are limited to 24 hours. Also, this version contains more aspects like development with other applications (like PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook) and call recording.
  • The third one is the plus version which costs 17.95 dollars per user per month. In this version, the participant capacity upgraded from 52 to 100. In inclusion, 24*7 support is available as well.
  • The fourth one is the business version which is priced at 26.95 dollars. The storage capacity is increased to 10 GB and participants/meeting are increased up to 200 as well.
  • The fifth one is the enterprise plan which is customizable for businesses. It provides up to 1,000,00 participants/meeting and infinite cloud storage.

Cisco Webex Ubuntu

The Webex tool is available for Ubuntu. Ubuntu community and users can use the Webex tool to bring us one-to-one calling, meeting, and messaging in educational and work settings. WebEx is used by organizations to schedule meetings between members and teams. Its popularity has been influenced by the rise of Microsoft Teams and Slack, but it's still a famous choice for several businesses.

Every core Webex capability is supported in an individual application for helping us to collaborate seamlessly. We are continuing to operate towards supporting the similar aspects that are present on the Webex tool for Windows with what is available on the Webex tool for Ubuntu.

With Webex, the problem is that it's not available on every device. Users require to have a suitable Windows, Android, and iOS device nearby to use WebEx Meetings. Both Slack and Microsoft Teams provide applications that implement on every platform such as Linux.

The Webex tool for Ubuntu will soon support the below aspects:

  • Screen share (the 22.04 version of Ubuntu with Wayland display protocol)
  • Application share (or Wayland)
  • Optimization for text/image or video when sharing our screen
  • Device connections
  • Remote desktop control
  • Virtual background
  • Background noise deletion
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Third-party headset call control
  • EPOS headset is supported
  • Contact Center support
  • Voicemail
  • Webex for all Service Providers
  • Webex Calling

Known issues

  • Window managers (tile-based) aren't supported by the Webex tool. We can experience odd behavior with the edit or reply message with the i3 window manager or some other window managers. Windows is not correctly positioned on the screen and windows might occur floating on the top of the app like Windows occasionally disappearing. We can use a few workarounds for preventing the windows disappearing:
    • In the i3-msg config file set, the "focus_follows_mouse no" can be applied to focus on every app for the i3 window manager.
    • In the KDE 3.5 Control Center, we need to choose Desktop > Window Behavior, press the Advanced tab, and then un-check the Hide utility windows for inactive applications for KDE.
  • For Ubuntu, the Webex tool isn't supported by Webex for Government. 16-bit depth audio input is currently supported. With 24-bit sampling, microphones are not supposed to be compatible.
  • Using KDE System Settings, configuring proxies is not supported currently.
  • On tiling window managers like i3, users may experience concentration issues if trying to find. It may need various mouse clicks in the search box for regaining concentration after tying.
  • Ubuntu clients are not compatible with end-to-end encryption.
  • Using fractional scaling, modifying scaling is not supported in the system settings.
  • RedHat users should do the below for using EPOS headset with the Webex tool for Ubuntu:
    • Download the current webex.rpm release of Webex app
    • Remove the old release
    • Apply administration privileges to reinstall the new app version

X11 drawbacks when sharing our application or screen

  • We can find a share control bar but we can't preview our share from there.
  • The red border shows a shadow effect across the application window when we share any application like Google Chrome.
  • We can't change our system display settings when we are sharing our application or screen.
  • The area resolution we are sharing should be less than or equal to 4096*4096 p, despite what we are sharing.

Installing Webex Client in Ubuntu

For installing the WebEx client in Ubuntu, we need to download a DEB installer from the website, then execute the below command in the terminal window:

Note: We need to replace the ./Webex.deb file with the original DEB file path that we have just downloaded.

If we encounter any bug message related to cryptographic signatures, we need to import a public key offered by Cisco into our system. We can do that on Ubuntu by sequentially executing the below commands:


Cisco Webex Ubuntu

Installing Webex Client in CentOS/RHEL

Also, Cisco offers WebEx RPM package for CentOS/RHEL on the website. When we had the file, Webex.rpm downloaded to our system, we can install the application by executing the following command in the terminal window:

Similarly, we can solve any cryptographic signatures bug by importing webex_public.key offered by Cisco.

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