Using Cisco WebEx with Opera 26 on Your Mac

January 21st, 2015 by

After Opera has become a Chrome offspring, one might think that all Chrome tricks would work out of the box. Well, most of them do. But as Murphy’s law predicts, those that don’t have a contender or two among those you need most. Recently, Cisco WebEx meetings stopped working in Opera. I got it working again, and here’s how.

WebEx requires two things to work: a browser extension to catch any links to meetings being clicked, and a Java app that is started from that browser extension. The Java app is the Meeting Center you interact with during a meeting. Having a separate entity handle the meting has the advantage that it is independent of the browser. Even if you inadvertently close the browser window, the meeting will persist.

  1. Get the Opera extension that allows you to download Chrome extensions from the Google Chrome Web Store directly in your Opera browser. Install and enable it.
  2. Obtain the WebEx Chrome Extension Installation Guide document from Cisco WebEx support. Skip to the last page, and follow the instructions under “Option D” to install the extension from the Chrome store. Now you have the browser extension mentioned above. Choose View > Show Extensions from the menu bar to verify that it is installed and enabled.
  3. Log into your WebEx account, and start a meeting. You will get to a “step 2 of 2” screen. With this you should also automatically get a Cisco_WebEx_Add-On.dmg disk image downloaded. It’s an installer for the Java app. Run it, and install the Meeting Center Java app. Now you have both needed elements to start and join WebEx meetings. Well, in principle.

UPDATE: I have just rechecked with Opera 30 and it seems Opera have already implemented the announced change. So as of Opera 30 you are already done now, and do not need to perform the remaining steps 4 through 6.

Unfortunately Opera’s incarnation of Chrome doesn’t look for registrations of external components where Chrome does (and where Cisco’s installer hence puts it), so we will have to copy the registration file into a location where Opera is looking for it. Warning: if you do not have administrator rights on your computer, you will not be able to complete the remaining steps.

  1. Create a new directory at /Library/Google/Chrome/NativeMessagingHosts/
  2. Copy the file com.webex.meeting.json from ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/NativeMessagingHosts
    to the new directory created in step 4.
  3. Enjoy WebEx meetings on your Mac using Opera.

I have been in touch with Opera’s support, and they have been most helpful in resolving this. They acknowledged the inconvenience, and concede:

“Currently Opera is looking for the .json file in the system-wide settings or in the Opera user’s profile. We will change it too look in the Chrome profile directory rather than the Opera one in future versions for more convenience.”

Thank you very much Opera!