How to download, install, and run Remote Coral

John Shott shott at
Fri Feb 16 14:29:32 PST 2001

SNF Lab Members:

Your Coral development team is pleased to announce the release of our first
version of Remote Coral.  We believe this will provide fully functional Coral
access from areas outside the lab including: desktop machines on campus,
machines at your home institution/organization for non-Stanford lab members,
from your home, or from your laptop.  Moreover, we believe that this will run
on a wide variety of platforms including Windows (95/98/NT/2000), Solaris
(SPARC and x86), and Linux (RedHat 6.1 or higher).  At this point it is not
yet clear that this will run on Macintosh platforms as they appear to be
lagging in their support of Java ... but that may change.

Deployment of the remote version of Coral relies on a product from Sun
Microsystems called Java Web Start (Version 1.0).  Java Web Start will
allow you to download and run an application from our web site (in fact, on
Windows machines it will optionally place a shortcut to Remote Coral on your
desktop and a Remote Coral entry on your start menu).  Java Web Start will
also make sure that you have an appropriate Java Runtime Environment (JRE). 
Finally, when there is an new version of Remote Coral, Java Web Start will
download it automatically for you.

How to download and run Remote Coral: Follow these three easy (we hope) steps

1. The first thing that you have to do is run the on-site version of Coral,
pull down the "Window" menu and select "Remote Password".  This will give you
the opportunity to set (or change) the password that you will use for remote
access.  A window will pop up that asks you to type in (and confirm) the
password that you intend to use for your remote coral password.  You may
choose to use the same password that you use for on-site Coral ... or you may
choose to use a different password.  Remote Coral will not work, however,
unless you have first set a Remote Password! (Demo Only users ... I've done
this for you!)

Why do we make you set your remote password for Coral using the on-site
system? 1. This will help to insure that only legitimate SNF users can run
Coral remotely. 2. Remote Coral uses a different form of password encryption
than the standard Unix/Solaris password encryption that you use when you log
into on-site Coral ... there is no way to "copy" your on-site password so that
Remote Coral can use it as well. 

2. Go to the SNF web site (, click on the "Labmembers"
link on the left of the page, and then click on the "Remote Coral Access" link
found on that page.  This will take you to the page where you will ultimately
download and launch Coral Remote.  However, you first need to click the link
that says: "Download Java Web Start". This will take you to a Sun page where
you will be able to ... well, download Java Web Start.

If you will be downloading to a Windows machine, life should be easy:
downloading Java Webstart also downloads and installs the appropriate JRE
(Java Runtime Environment) at the same time.  If you are downloading for
Solaris or Linux, you will have to
download an appropriate JRE (at least version 1.2.2 ...) first, install that,
and then download the appropriate platform-specific version of Java Web Start. 
The instructions for doing any and all of these things are available on this
page.  Note: If you are downloading Java Web Start and the JRE (the package
that you get included with the Widnows download of Java Web Start) the total
download is about 6 MB of data which will take on the order of 20 minutes of
download time should you be using a 56 kb modem.

3. Once you have installed Java Web Start, go back to the SNF web site and
click on the Remote Coral Access page listed above.  You should see a link
that says "Launch Remote Coral".  (Note: there will also be a link that says
Launch Development Version of Remote Coral ... don't click this link, it is
virtually guaranteed to fail.)  If you only see a link that says something
like: "You have to install Java Web Start first", this is an indication that
Java Web Start is not properly installed on your machine and that will need to
be addressed.  Clicking "Launch Remote Coral" should begin to download the
Remote Coral application onto your machine.  It will then pop up a window
asking if you wish to launch Remote Coral at that time ... if you do, click
"Launch".  (Note: it will also warn you that this application has asked for
privileges on your machine ... and recommend that you not launch the
application).  We need to be able to open CORBA connections from your machine
(and a log file is also written) for the application to run ... you have to
trust that we aren't doing anything sneaky or malicious. The next thing that
you should see is a window asking for your
username and password.  These should be your Coral login name and your REMOTE
password, respectively.  If you type these in successfully, Coral should start
shortly.  Well, it actually takes about 15 seconds for RSA encryption of your
login name and password, transmision to use, decryption at our end, and then
sending you a "ticket" identifying you as an authorized lab member.  Once
installed on your machine, you won't have to go to our Website
to launch Remote Coral.  In particualar, you can start Java Webstart, click
the Remote Coral icon and then click "Launch".  Alternatively, on Windows
machines, the second time that you launch Remote Coral, it will ask you if you
would like a desktop shortcut and/or Start Menu item added for Remote Coral.
(Note: if you are connected via a 56 kb modem, download of Remote Coral either
the first time or if there has been an update may take up to 2 minutes.  Once
it is downloaded, it should only take a few seconds to start up.  Higher
bandwidth network connections will, of course, experience proportionally
shorter download times.)

Best of luck ... we hope that downloading and launching Remote Coral goes
smoothly for you.  If you have comments or suggestions related to Remote
Coral, please send them to coral at  While we are certainly
hopeful that most of you will find the downloading and launching of Remote
Coral a painless process, there are so many different platforms, OS versions,
network configurations, etc. that we fear that some of you will encounter
difficulties.  We will do our best to help you to resolve these problems ...
but we stop short of doing major debugging or system configuration on your

Thanks for your continued support,

The Coral Development Team

p.s. Please don't leave Remote Coral running for extended periods of time when
not in use.  Everyone (including on-site users) should get in the habit of
cleanly terminating Coral by clicking "Exit" on the "Window" pulldown menu
when they are done with their Coral session. Why?  Each time ANYONE makes a
reservation, deletes a reservation, enables equipment, shutsdown equipment,
etc. an appropriate event is posted that must be communicated to each and
every Coral client that is running at that time.  In other words, when you
reserve karlsuss, for example, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesday not only is
this recorded in the database, but all running clients are explicitly notified
of that fact by the reservation server ... well, in truth, there is something
called the event server that handles this communication.  In fact, even if you
are the person who made the reservation, you are treated no differently than
anyone else ... your confirmation of that reservation (when you name shows up
in the time block) is coming from the event server.  If there are a bunch of
idle versions of Remote Coral ... everyone's response time will go down.  Also
(and this is true in the lab as well) please try to get in the habit of using
the proper Exit pulldown menu item  .... that way, the computer won't waste
resources trying to notify Coral clients that are no longer there.

One other note: even though you originally went to a Web page to download
Remote Coral ... this is not a Java Applet and doesn't have to be run from the
web page.  In fact, you have downloaded a fully-functional client application
onto your machine.  As a result, we believe that you will find that screen
re-painting, for example, will happen quite quickly.  Moreover, since the
communciation between each client and our server is rather terse and limited,
we believe that you will find that the response of Remote Coral is adequate
even over a 56 kb modem connection.

One final note: while we have done our best to test the functionality of
Remote Coral before releasing it, there may be some bugs and/or improvements
to the code over the coming few weeks.  Each time there is a new version of
the client software, Java Web Start will download this for you.  However,
particularly if you are using a low-bandwidth network connection, this will
increase the startup time of Remote Coral.  We apologize in advance for any
inconvenience this may cause ... but felt that it was important to get Remote
Coral in broad use as quickly as possible.

Good luck with Remote Coral ... comments, feedback, and suggestions should be
sent to coral at

SNF Coral Development Team

More information about the coral mailing list