BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for online learning. The goal of BigBlueButton is to enable instructors to engage remote student in a high-quality online learning experience.
BigBlueButton provides all the core capabilities you expect in a web conferencing system with real-time sharing of
- recording of sessions for later playback
BigBlueButton emphasizes engagement with your users with features such as
- chat (public and private)
- multi-user whiteboard
- shared notes
- breakout rooms
We care about accessibility. BigBlueButton is compatible with JAWS screen reader and supports live closed captioning (see our accessibility statement).
BigBlueButton is an open source project licensed under the LGPL license. If you are a developer you are free (and welcome) to build upon our project for your needs.
This documentation site is for administrators and developers who want to setup a BigBlueButton server, customize it, and integrate it with existing applications using our API. If you are an end-user (instructor or teacher) and interested in how to use BigBlueButton, visit bigbluebutton.org.
Two types of users
In a BigBlueButton session there are only two types of users: a viewer or moderator.
A viewer (typically the student) can chat, send/receive audio and video, respond to polls, and display an emoji (such as raise hand).
A moderator (typically the instructor) has all the capabilities of a viewer plus the ability to mute/unmute other viewers, lock down viewers (i.e. restrict them from doing private chat), and assign anyone (including themselves) the role of presenter.
The presenter controls the presentation area. This means they can upload slides, annotate the current slide with the whiteboard controls, enable/disable multi-user whiteboard, start a poll, and share their screen for all to see.
Getting Started Quickly with BigBlueButton
If you are new to BigBlueButton we recommend (in order):
- Watch the overview videos to better understand the capabilities of viewer, moderator, and presenter.
- Try out BigBlueButton using our Demo Server.
- Join the BigBlueButton community.
- Follow the project on social media: Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, or Google+.
Next, if you intend to setup your own BigBlueButton server, we recommend:
- Follow either the step-by-step install instructions or the use the bbb-install.sh installation script. The server comes with built-in API demos to quicly launch and join sessions.
- Setup a front-end for your users. You can use Green Light (which
bbb-install.shcan install for you as well), or use one of the existing integrations (such as Moodle or WordPress).
- Take a quick read through the FAQ.
If you are a developer, after setting up your own BigBlueButton server, we recommend
- Integrate BigBlueButton with your application using the BigBlueButton API.
- Setup a development environment a development environment to modify and extend BigBlueButton itself.
The BigBlueButton project is managed by a core group of committers who care about building the community. If you want to join the community, then join one of our mailing lists and participate in the discussion. Ask a question. Share your experience with BigBlueButton. Or even help us build a feature.
The BigBlueButton 2.0 release is also the basis for the first release of the HTML5 client.
The future is HTML5
We are working on BigBlueButton 2.2 which will enable you to use the HTML5 client for moderator, presenter, and viewer. It loads faster than the Flash client, has higher quality video and screen sharing (thanks to WebRTC), and works accross devices.
Helping the project
If you use BigBlueButton and find it worthwhile, spread the word about your experiences (blog about it, tweet about it, upload a video to YouTube, etc.) or, if you want to really contribute, help improve us improve the product. You’ll find the more you give, the more you get back.
YourKit is kindly supporting open source projects with its full-featured Java Profiler. YourKit, LLC is the creator of innovative and intelligent tools for profiling Java and .NET applications. Take a look at YourKit’s leading software products: YourKit Java Profiler and YourKit .NET Profiler.