Using Cisco Transport Controller (CTC) in Mac OS X

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After upgrading my MBP to Snow Leopard and now to Lion I had issues using CTC on Mac OS X (10.6+). CTC is a complex java applet ran through a browser that requires access to the $HOME directory of the user. It creates a .ctc directory in the $HOME directory and stores various .jar files.

Since upgrading OS X the security features of the Java runtime environment prevented the automatic download and execution of the .jar files. This short tutorial goes through getting CTC to launch on Mac OS X, although the process is a little manual, it doesn’t take much time.

1) Create a CTC directory in your home directory

lap852:~ mpreath$ mkdir .ctc
lap852:~ mpreath$ cd .ctc

2) Download launcher.jar from ONS shelf

lap852:.ctc mpreath$ curl --O LAUNCHER.jar
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  691k  100  691k    0     0  47149      0  0:00:15  0:00:15 --:--:-- 48793
lap852:.ctc mpreath$ ls

3) Run LAUNCHER.jar

lap852:.ctc mpreath$ java -jar LAUNCHER.jar

This will start downloading the other needed jar files from the node into the .ctc directory in your $HOME directory. This can take awhile if not directly connected to the ONS device.

Once the necessary jar files are downloaded you’ll be presented with the typical CTC login screen.

After logging in, one more file, ELE, will be downloaded.

With new versions of CTC (9.6, 9.8) the software will hang here.  A solution is currently being researched and tested. From the Cisco 15454 9.8 Release Notes:

Apple Mac OS X, CTC must be installed using the CacheInstaller available at the Cisco Software Download page or the Cisco ONS CD.

Although the instruction in this blog post replace or duplicate the functionality of the Cache Installer and there is no visible Mac OS X Cache Installer application in the Cisco Software download section I am researching a solution. It does appear that you will be able to use Mac OS X directly with release 10.0 as well as Safari and Chrome. The above limitation is no longer noted in the release notes for 10.0.


You will then be presented with the CTC software and able to view your nodes as normal.

All of the files should now be downloaded. If you connect to a different network running a different software version you’ll see that you start downloading more files with different version numbers.

lap852:.ctc mpreath$ ls
ELE_092110.jar		NET_092110.jar		jIde_2_4_6.jar
IF_092110.jar		ORB_j5_0213_07.jar	jhall_2_0_0_1.jar
LAUNCHER.jar	cwitools_1_1.jar	jviews_8_1_1.jar

4) Whenever I want to run CTC I open Terminal, change to the .ctc directory, and run the launcher tool.

lap852:~ mpreath$ cd .ctc
lap852:.ctc mpreath$ java -jar LAUNCHER_092110.jar

This prevents you from having to load up a Windows VM or anything like that in order to use CTC. I hope this helps.

UPDATE 1: In the case above CTC will launch with a small 128M heap size. You have to manually specify the heap size in the java command. I go with 512M in most cases.

lap852:~ mpreath$ cd .ctc
lap852:.ctc mpreath$ java -Xmx512m -jar LAUNCHER_092110.jar

UPDATE 2: To make CTC a little easier to use I changed the default Java look and feel to standard metal. It also improved the look of CTP.

In the file located in /Library/Java/Home/lib I changed the following:



After these changes I was back in business with ONS configuration on my MBP.


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