Remote Launcher


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About

Remote Launcher is an easy to use tool that enables you to launch applications remotely on your PC via your Android device. It consists of an Android app and a small server program for your PC.

You can configure Remote Launcher to start any application on your PC with a single click on your Android device, e.g. start your mediacenter, shutdown/restart the computer or run a custom script.

The Remote Launcher server is written in Java so it should work on any pc with the Java Runtime Enviromnment installed (version 1.6 or later), be it Linux, Windows or Mac OS. It has been tested on Ubuntu and Windows 7.

Getting started

To start using Remote Launcher just following the installation instructions below for both the server and app parts.

Then continue with configuring the Remote Launcher app and server.

Installing Remote Launcher

Remote Launcher app

Remote Launcher is only available via Android Market. There is a paid version and free, limited version.

Remote Launcher on Android Market

You can install the paid version by visiting the Remote Launcher on Market in your web browser and clicking the "BUY" button or directly through your Android device by scanning the QR-code above with the Barcode Scanner app or similar tool.

Remote Launcher Free on Android Market

You can install the free version by visiting the Remote Launcher Free on Market in your web browser and clicking the "INSTALL" button or directly through your Android device by scanning the QR-code above with the Barcode Scanner app or similar tool.

You can also just open Market on your device and search for "Remote Launcher" or "Remote Launcher Free".




Remote Launcher server

Prerequisites

The server is written in Java so you'll need a working Java installation on your PC. Java can be downloaded from http://java.com.

Windows

Start by downloading the latest version of the Remote Launcher server installer for Windows:

Doubleclick the downloaded file to start the setup process.

If Windows asks about permissions, click "Allow".

Follow the instructions in the installer.

After the installation finishes, there should be a "Remote Launcher Server" group available under "All programs" in the windows start menu.

Click the "Remote Launcher Server" shortcut from the start menu to start the server. Then continue by configuring the server.

Linux

Start by downloading the latest release of the Remote Launcher server for Linux:

Extract the content of the downloaded tar ball:

tar -xvzf remotelauncherserver-0.2.16.tar.gz
cd remotelauncherserver-0.2.16

Install the Remote Launcher server:

sudo ./install.sh

The install command will install the Remote Launcher server in /usr/share/remotelauncherserver/ and create a symlink in /usr/bin.

After the installation you can start the server with the following command:

remote-launcher-server

To start in text mode only:

remote-launcher-server -d

Please note that you don't have to install the Remote Launcher server with the install.sh script. You can run the server directly from the extracted directory with the command "./remote-launcher-server".

Source code

The Remote Launcher Server is open source. If none of the above options suite you, you can download the source and build Remote Launcher Server yourself. Instructions are available in the source package.

Configuring Remote Launcher

Remote Launcher app

The first time you start the Remote Launcher app you will be presented with the connection settings.

Click the "Add" button to add a new server entry.

Enter the hostname or ip address of the computer running the Remote Launcher server in the "Server address" field, e.g:

mypc.athome.com

or

192.168.1.100

The server port can't be configured. It will be 4444 as of now.

Enter the password for the server in the "Password" field. This has to match the password set in Remote Launcher Server on the PC.

Now click on the "Connect" button and the app will try to connect to the server. If it fails, the connection settings will be presented again. If successful, you will be presented with the configured launchers and you can start any of them simply be clicking the respective button.

If you get a message saying that no launchers are configured you need to configure the Remote Launcher server.

Wake On Lan

To use the Wake On Lan feature you must enter the mac address of the network card in your PC. Click the "Edit" button (or "Add" if you have not yet configured a server) and add the mac address in the "Mac Address" field.

Click "Save".

Now you can just click the "WOL" button on the main settings page to send a Wake On Lan package to your PC.

For the Wake On Lan feature to work you have to be connected to the same subnet as your PC, or have your router configured to correctly forward the Wake On Lan packages.

Remote Launcher server

When you start the Remote Launcher server, Windows may ask about unblocking it in the Windows Firewall. That is because the server will start listening for incoming connections from the Remote Launcher app. Make sure to select "Unblock", otherwise no connections to the server can be made.

When the Remote Launcher server is started the first time, an empty configuration will be created. A password dialog will also be presented. Set a server password. You'll need to enter this in the Remote Launcher app when connecting to the server.

To edit the configuration click on Edit -> Configure launchers in the Remote Launcher server GUI. Alternatively use the keyboard shortcut Alt + L.

Configuring launchers

Launcher configuration dialog

When selecting Edit -> Configure launchers a configuration dialog will open. From there it is possible to add, edit and delete launchers.

To add a new launcher, simply click the Add launcher button. A dialog will open where you can enter the name, description and path for the new launcher. Use the browse button to locate the application that you want to launch. In the path field it is possible to add arbitrary arguments to be passed to the selected application.

Add new launcher dialog

A few templates to help get started are available. Select a template from the Template drop down menu and the name, description and path fields will be filled in automatically. Then adjust them if necessary to fit your needs.

It is also possible to edit the configuration file manually. Click the Advanced mode button to open the configuration file in a text editor.

Configuring launchers (advanced mode)

If clicking the Advanced mode button in the launcher configuration, the configuration file will open in a plain text editor and now it's time to add launchers. The configuration file has a specific format that needs to be followed. All entries should have three lines; name, description and path e.g:

Name
Description
Path

where Name is the name that will show in the Remote Launcher app, Description is a short description of the launcher and Path is the path to the executable to launch. The Path line can also contain any arguments that should be passed to the executable.

A sample launcher can look like this:

Notepad
Start the Notepad text editor
c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe

And a launcher with arguments can look like this:

Shutdown PC
Turn the PC off
shutdown /s

Any blank lines or lines starting with # will be ignored.

To find the name of the application you are looking for, locate the application in the start menu, right-click it and select properties. Then check the "Target:" field under the "Shortcut" tab and that will reveal the path and name of the application.

When you're done editing the configuration, click the Save button. The server will re-read the config and if the Remote Launcher app is running on your Android device, it will reflect the updated config within a few seconds.

For full configuration file examples see Configuration examples.

Configuration examples

Windows

Linux

Howtos

Getting help / Contact

If you run into any problems or have questions, please send an e-mail to the Remote Launcher mailing list (remotelauncher-devel@lists.sf.net) or directly to the developer (contact@owtroid.com).

You can subscribe to the mailing list here.

You can also follow us on Twitter.


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