Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Getting WebEx Audio Working on Ubuntu: A Complete Guide

Ubuntu 5

WebEx is a popular conferencing tool used by businesses and individuals worldwide. However, getting it to work with audio on Ubuntu can be a bit tricky. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to get WebEx audio working on Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To get WebEx audio working on Ubuntu, you need to remove the 64-bit version of Firefox and install a 32-bit version. Additionally, you need to configure Firefox and change the user agent to an earlier version. Install the 32-bit Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and link it to Firefox. If you encounter any issues, troubleshooting steps are provided to help resolve them.


Before we begin, ensure you have administrative access to your Ubuntu system. You will also need a stable internet connection to download necessary packages and updates.

Step 1: Removing 64-bit Firefox

Firstly, we need to remove any 64-bit Firefox installation from your system. This is because WebEx requires a 32-bit browser and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to function properly. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get remove firefox

This command uses the apt-get remove function, which is a command-line utility for handling packages. ‘Firefox’ is the package we want to remove.

Step 2: Installing 32-bit Firefox

Next, we need to install a 32-bit version of Firefox. You can download Firefox 52 (or an earlier version) from the Mozilla website. After downloading, extract the installer and disable auto-updates in the preferences to prevent it from updating.

Step 3: Configuring Firefox

Launch Firefox 52 and type about:config in the address bar. This will open a page with Firefox’s advanced settings. Right-click to create a new boolean key called plugin.load_flash_only and set it to false. This allows Firefox to load plugins other than Flash, which is necessary for WebEx to work.

Step 4: Changing User Agent

Next, install a Firefox extension like “User-Agent Switcher” or edit the general.useragent.override string property to set the user agent to an earlier version of Firefox on Linux. This makes the browser appear as an older version to websites, which can help with compatibility issues.

Step 5: Installing Java Runtime Environment (JRE)

WebEx requires Java to function, so we need to install a 32-bit JRE package. You can download this from the Java website. After downloading, extract the package and move the extracted folder to /opt/java/32 using the following commands:

sudo mkdir -p -v /opt/java/32
cd ~/Downloads
tar -zxvf jre-8u161-linux-i586.tar.gz
sudo mv -v jre1.8.0_* /opt/java/32

These commands create a new directory, navigate to your Downloads folder, extract the JRE package, and move the extracted folder to the new directory.

Step 6: Linking Java to Firefox

Finally, we need to link Java to Firefox. Run the following commands:

mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/plugins/
cd /opt/java/32/jre1.8.0_161
ln -sf $PWD/lib/i386/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/

These commands create a new directory for Mozilla plugins, navigate to the JRE folder, and create a symbolic link to the Java plugin in the Mozilla plugins directory.


If you encounter issues with the Java plugin, you can try removing any existing Java plugins and installing additional dependencies. Run the following commands:

sudo apt-get remove icedtea-plugin icedtea-8-plugin icedtea-netx icedtea-netx-common
sudo apt-get install libgtk-3-0:i386 libasound2:i386 libdbus-glib-1-2:i386 libxt6:i386 libxtst6:i386 libcanberra-gtk-module:i386 libcanberra-gtk3-module:i386 topmenu-gtk3:i386 libpangoxft-1.0-0:i386 libxft2:i386 libpangox-1.0-0:i386 libxmu6:i386 libxv1:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386

These commands remove existing Java plugins and install necessary dependencies for WebEx to work.


By following these steps, you should now have WebEx audio working on Ubuntu. If you’re still having trouble, consider using the Cisco Webex Extension from the Chrome Web Store, which should work on Ubuntu with Chrome, providing most features except screen sharing. Remember, the information provided is based on the context and may not work in all cases. Always refer to the original sources and documentation for the most up-to-date instructions and troubleshooting.

Can I use WebEx audio on Ubuntu without installing a 32-bit version of Firefox?

No, WebEx requires a 32-bit version of Firefox to function properly on Ubuntu. Installing the 32-bit version is necessary for compatibility.

What is the purpose of changing the user agent in Firefox?

Changing the user agent in Firefox allows the browser to appear as an older version to websites. This can help with compatibility issues and ensure that WebEx functions properly on Ubuntu.

Do I need to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to use WebEx on Ubuntu?

Yes, WebEx requires Java to function. Installing a 32-bit JRE package is necessary to ensure compatibility with WebEx on Ubuntu.

Can I use a different browser instead of Firefox to make WebEx audio work on Ubuntu?

While Firefox is recommended for WebEx on Ubuntu, you can try using other browsers. However, compatibility may vary, and it’s best to follow the steps outlined in this guide for optimal results.

What should I do if I encounter issues with the Java plugin?

If you encounter issues with the Java plugin, you can try removing any existing Java plugins and installing additional dependencies as outlined in the troubleshooting section of this guide.

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