How to Install Jitsi Meet on Debian and Ubuntu

How to Install Jitsi Meet on Debian and Ubuntu

In this article, you will learn how to install the Jitsi Meet Video Conferencing platform on a Debian-based GNU/Linux system such as Ubuntu.

Jitsi is a set of open-source, completely free, secure, easy-to-use and cross-platform video conferencing applications for web and mobile. It is stable and reliable and works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS; Android, and iOS mobile operating systems. The two central applications to Jtisi are Jitsi Videobridge and Jitsi Meet.

Jitsi Videobridge is a WebRTC compatible server designed to route video streams amongst participants in a conference and Jitsi Meet, a WebRTC compatible JavaScript application that uses Jitsi Videobridge to provide high quality, scalable video conferences. Jitsi Meet is a simple, elegant, and secure alternative to ZoomSkype, and Google Meet, which supports all common browsers and also mobile devices.

The other applications such as Jitsi Conference FocusJitsi Gateway to SIP, and Jibri Manage manages media sessions between each of the participants and the videobridge, allow regular SIP clients to join Jitsi Meet conferences, and enable recording and/or streaming a Jitsi Meet conference respectively. Another important tool external to Jitsi is Prosody, an XMPP server used for signaling.

There are many aspects of Jitsi that you need to understand. First of all, if you simply want to have a video conference without setting up any infrastructure, you can just navigate to meet.jit.si and have free video conferencing.

Secondly, you can self-host your own Jitsi server on your own infrastructure, meaning you get to implement extra security and have more control over your online communications. Thirdly, for developers, it supports integration into existing products to add video conferencing capabilities.

One of the key features of Jitsi is that you can connect it to your calendar such as Google Calendar and launch conferences directly from your calendar.

In this article, you will learn how to install the Jitsi Meet Video Conferencing platform on a Debian-based GNU/Linux system such as:

  • Debian 10 (Buster) or later
  • Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) or later
Setup Environment

For this guide, we are using the following testing environment.

  • Domain Nametestprojects.me – a registered domain name.
  • Server IP45.77.30.208 – a freshly installed VPS running Ubuntu 20.04 with 2GB RAM.
  • Web ServerNginx with free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

Step 1: Creating a Domain DNS A Record for Accessing Jitsi Meet

1. To start with, we will create a DNS A record for accessing the Jitsi Meet application. Our test domain is testprojects.me, so we need to create a subdomain, for example, meet.testprojects.me to enable team members to access Jitsi Meet to have conferences.

Let’s go to the domain name registration service provider’s web console and access the domain’s advanced settings, click Add New Record of type A and point the record to your server public IP address as shown in the following screenshot.

Create A Record for Domain in DNS

Create A Record for Domain in DNS

Step 2: Installing Jitsi in Ubuntu Server

2. Next, we need to install the Jitsi package from the official project repository. Let’s add the Jitsi repository to the package sources to make the Jitsi Meet packages available to install by running the following commands.

The curl command downloads and installs the Jitsi GPG package signing key and imports it into apt package manager configuration.

The echo command adds the official Jitsi package repository to the apt package management system and tells apt to utilize it to install the package.

$ curl https://download.jitsi.org/jitsi-key.gpg.key | sudo sh -c 'gpg --dearmor > /usr/share/keyrings/jitsi-keyring.gpg' 
$ echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/jitsi-keyring.gpg] https://download.jitsi.org stable/' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jitsi-stable.list > /dev/null 

3. Next, update the APT package manager’s package listings from its known repositories, and install the Jitsi Meet package as follows.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install jitsi-meet

Note: Jitsi Meet requires an HTTP server to serve it. So, during the installation process, the installer will check if NGINX or Apache HTTP server is present, (in that order) and configure a server block (or virtual host) within the configuration of the webserver it finds installed on your system, to serve Jitsi Meet. If none of the above is found it then it installs NGINX by default.

4. During the package installation, the installer prompts to configure the Jitsi Meet package, the first configuration window will prompt us to enter the hostname, set this to the subdomain for accessing Jitsi Meet, for example, meet.testprojects.me.

It also prompts about SSL/TLS certificate generation, so, select the first option to generate a self-signed certificate so that later on, we can get a chance to obtain a Let’s Encrypt free certificate recognized by all modern web browsers.

Set Hostname for Jitsi Meet

Set Hostname for Jitsi Meet

Generate New SSL for Jitsi Meet

Generate New SSL for Jitsi Meet

Once the installation is complete, we are ready to start using Jitsi Meet, however, the self-signed certificate that was generated will result in warnings being shown in our users’ browsers because they cannot verify the server’s identity. So we need to generate a Let’s Encrypt certificate as described next.

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