JRE : To run the client application you need to have JRE (Java Runtime Environment) installed on your system. If you don't have it installed then please do that first. Links to download the JRE are available at Oracle website http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp. The application will work with JRE 1.2 and above.
Ports required : 5794 is the port that must be free on your local system for the application to run or otherwise it won't load. Some other ports are also required but their availability is not mandatory. Unavailability of those ports will simply disable specific modules/services of the application, unless otherwise configured. Rarely do you need to bother about this as the port most probably would be free on your system.
Running the application
The executable jar file is contained inside the client folder that gets created on unzipping the version you have downloaded. On Windows OS use launch_WIN.bat to run the application. To run application on linux systems you can use launch_UNIX.sh file. For all other operating systems you can launch the application in the same way as you launch any other java program from its jar file. Generally java -jar bracket.jar should launch the application.
Setting connection parameters
Connection settings dialog can be invoked by clicking on the Connection settings tool element available inside the Login Screen (you will get the Login Screen on running the application as explained above). Using the dialog you can configure:
Proxy Settings: For those behind a proxy can use http proxy to connect to the server. Fields to set proxy settings are self-explanatory.
Auto reconnection settings : Before logging in you may want to set the behavior of the application in case of disconnection. The auto reconnection fields are self-explanatory.
Skin settings : The Connection settings dialog can also be used to change the skin color to be used during client session. To change the skin color click on the color box against the label Skin theme color for session. A component decorator window will pop up and there you can select the color you would like to use during your session. However please be sure that inside the component decorator window you have Background selected as the value of the radio button which toggles between Foreground and Background. By default this is automatically selected for you and you don't have to bother about it unless you explicitly toggle between Foreground and Background.
Login & Signup
Login : If you have already registered with Bracket then you can login with your username and password using the Login Screen.
Signup : If you have not yet registered with Bracket then first you need to signup for an account. To signup for a new account click on Signup now button inside the Login Screen of the application. The signup interface will show up. All the fields inside the signup interface are self-explanatory. After you have filled in the details hit the Create Account button. If the signup is successful then a welcome message will be displayed containing your privilege level and the account destruction key (note it down and keep it safe). However if signup fails then an error message will be displayed at the top. Rectify the error and try again.
Note : If you try to issue more than 2 signup or login requests to the server in less than 1 minute then the excess requests will simply be ignored by the server and an error message will be displayed saying Could not connect to server. In this case it doesn't mean that the server is down. This simply means that you issued excess requests and the server is simply ignoring them. If this happens try to connect to the server after sometime (to be precise after 1 minute).
Monitoring the requests and responses
Network messages display area : On successful login you will notice that two interfaces are activated. One is your session Control Panel and the other is the Network messages window. Network messages window keeps track of all the requests/responses that you receive during your session. The window will display messages in plain English so that it's easy for you to understand what exactly is going on during your Bracket session.
Tip : If you close Network messages window then you can invoke it again anytime. The path to reopen network messages window is
Control Panel > Miscellaneous > Settings > Display network messages
Also please note that Control Panel refers to the control panel of your session and not the control panel on some operating systems (like windows). The above path shows the hierarchy of tabs inside the session Control Panel.
Getting started with Desktop Sharing
Path to invoke Desktop Sharing : The window for Desktop Sharing can be invoked from inside the session Control Panel by clicking on Desktop Sharing icon (near the bottom left). In addition you can initiate desktop sharing with other Bracket users directly from places like Public Room(s) and Private Chat Window(s).
Starting a new desktop sharing session : To start monitoring/controlling a remote desktop you can click on Start new session tool element available inside Desktop Sharing window. You can open a direct ipaddress:port based connection to a remote desktop (subject to your account privileges) or you can also open username based connection with another Bracket user (please note that the username based connection may take from a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the connectivity between you and the remote user). In case of ipaddress:port based connectivity the ipaddress should be the ip of the machine to be monitored/controlled and port should be 5795 which is the default port reserved for desktop sharing. This port however is configurable and can be changed to some other number. Details of how to do this will be made available when the exhaustive help is released for the software. For now you can simply use port 5795.
Managing/Creating desktop sharing accounts : Desktop sharing always requires authentication. Before you can monitor/control a remote desktop you need to authenticate yourself with the remote machine (you will be asked to authenticate yourself when the connection gets established with the remote machine). The username/password to be used for authentication should have been communicated to you in advanced by the owner of the remote machine. You can also create desktop sharing accounts that control access to your own machine. In order to create desktop sharing accounts click on Manage RS authorities tool element inside the Desktop Sharing window. The fields inside the dialog that shows up are self-explanatory.
Note : Bracket's remote sharing (or desktop sharing) module is powerful enough to use a Custom Authenticator for creating/authenticating the accounts used for Desktop Sharing. This feature however is an advanced one and is basically meant for Corporate Networks. The details on how to develop and set a Custom Authenticator will be made available when the exhaustive help is released.
( The help provided above is a very basic one. It talks nothing about features like hotlinks, direct file system access, process control, serving your personal web pages, e-publishing/distribution of classifieds, file transfers, setting authorities explicitly etc. Help files that exhaustively cover these features (and others as well) will be released shortly. Till then enjoy the software and keep exploring. You are welcome to send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We would be happy to help)