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Version: 3.0

Install BigBlueButton

We have tools to make it easy for you, a system administrator, to install BigBlueButton on a dedicated linux server. This document shows you how to install.

Before you install

We recommend installing BigBlueButton with a 'clean' and dedicated Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit server with no prior software installed. If you want to upgrade from an earlier version of BigBlueButton like 2.7, we recommend setting up a clean server for BigBlueButton 3.0 on Ubuntu 22.04 and, after setup, migrate over your existing recordings.

A 'clean' server does not have any previous web servers installed (such as apache) or web applications (such as plesk or webadmin) that are binding to port 80/443. By 'dedicated' we mean that this server won't be used for anything else besides BigBlueButton (and possibly BigBlueButton-related applications such as Greenlight).

Minimum server requirements

For production, we recommend the following minimum requirements

  • Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit OS running Linux kernel 5.x
  • Latest version of docker installed
  • 16 GB of memory with swap enabled
  • 8 CPU cores, with high single-thread performance
  • 500 GB of free disk space (or more) for recordings, or 50GB if session recording is disabled on the server.
  • TCP ports 80 and 443 are accessible
  • UDP ports 16384 - 32768 are accessible
  • 250 Mbits/sec bandwidth (symmetrical) or more
  • TCP port 80 and 443 are not in use by another web server or reverse proxy
  • A hostname (such as bbb.example.com) for setup of a SSL certificate
  • IPV4 and IPV6 address

If you install BigBlueButton on a virtual machine in the cloud, we recommend you choose an instance type that has dedicated CPU. These are usually called "compute-intensive" instances. On Digital Ocean we recommend the c-8 compute intensive instances (or larger). On AWS we recommend c5a.2xlarge (or larger). On Hetzner we recommend the AX52 servers or CCX32 instances.

If you are setting up BigBlueButton for local development on your workstation, you can relax some of the above requirements as there will only be few users on the server. Starting with the above requirements, you can reduce them as follows

  • 4 CPU cores/8 GB of memory
  • Installation on a local VM container
  • 50G of disk space
  • IPV4 address only

Regardless of your environment, the setup steps will include configuring a SSL certificate on the nginx server. Why? All browsers now require a valid SSL certificate from the web server when a page requests access to the user's webcam or microphone via web real-time communications (WebRTC). If you try to access a BigBlueButton server with an IP address only, the browsers will block BigBlueButton client from accessing your webcam or microphone.

Pre-installation checks

Got a Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit server ready for installation? Great! But, before jumping into the installation section below, let's do a few quick configuration checks to make sure your server meets the minimum requirements.

Doing these checks will significantly reduce the chances you'll hit a problem during installation.

First, check that the locale of the server is en_US.UTF-8.

$ cat /etc/default/locale
LANG="en_US.UTF-8"

If you don't see LANG="en_US.UTF-8", enter the following commands to set the local to en_US.UTF-8.

sudo apt-get install -y language-pack-en
sudo update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

and then log out and log in again to your SSH session -- this will reload the locale configuration for your session. Run the above command cat /etc/default/locale again. Verify you see only the single line LANG="en_US.UTF-8".

Note: If you see an additional line LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8, then remove the entry for LC_ALL from /etc/default/locale and logout and then log back in once more.

Next, do sudo systemctl show-environment and ensure you see LANG=en_US.UTF-8 in the output.

$ sudo systemctl show-environment
LANG=en_US.UTF-8
PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin

If you don't see this, do sudo systemctl set-environment LANG=en_US.UTF-8 and run the above sudo systemctl show-environment again and confirm you see LANG=en_US.UTF-8 in the output.

Next, check that your server has (at lest) 16G of memory using the command free -h. Here's the output from one of our test servers.

$ free -h
total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem: 15G 3.1G 1.0G 305M 11G 12G
Swap: 0B 0B 0B

Here it shows 15G of memory (that's close enough as the server has 16 gigabytes of memory).

If you see a value for Mem: in the total column less than 15G, then your server has insufficient memory to run BigBlueButton in production. You need to increase the server's memory to (at least) 16G. (As stated above, if your running this in a development environment, 8G is fine.)

Next, check that the server has Ubuntu is 22.04 as its operating system.

$  cat /etc/lsb-release
DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=22.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=jammy
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS"

Next, check that your server is running the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 22.04.

$ uname -m
x86_64

Next, check that your server supports IPV6.

$ ip addr | grep inet6
inet6 ::1/128 scope host
...

If you do not see the line inet6 ::1/128 scope host then after you install BigBlueButton you will need to modify the configuration for FreeSWITCH to disable support for IPV6.

Next, check that your server is running Linux kernel 5.x.

$ uname -r
5.15.x-xx-generic

Next, check that your server has (at least) 8 CPU cores

$ grep -c ^processor /proc/cpuinfo
8

Next check that your server has the port 80 and 443 open

$ sudo ufw status
...
80 ALLOW Anywhere
443 ALLOW Anywhere
...
80 (v6) ALLOW Anywhere
443 (v6) ALLOW Anywhere
...

If you don't see these lines, you need to open them by

sudo ufw allow 80
sudo ufw allow 443

Sometimes we get asked "Why are you only supporting Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit?". The answer is based on choosing quality over quantity. Long ago we concluded that its better for the project to have solid, well-tested, well-documented installation for a specific version of Linux that works really, really well than to try and support may variants of Linux and have none of them work well.

At the moment, the requirement for docker may preclude running 3.0 within some virtualized environments; however, it ensures libreoffice runs within a restricted sandbox for document conversion. We are exploring if we can run libreoffice within systemd (such as systemd-nspawn).

Install

To install BigBlueButton, use bbb-install.sh script. Notice that this command is slightly different than what we recommended in previous versions of BigBlueButton. The script now resides on a branch specifying the version of BigBlueButton, but otherwise the name of the script is identical accross different branches. This makes it more maintainable as patches done to the script in one branch can be easily applied to other branches.

The above link gives detailed information on using the script. As an example, passing several arguments to the script you can easily have both BigBlueButton and Greenlight or LTI installed on the same server. You could specify if you would like a new certificate to be generated. A firewall could be enabled. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the instructions in the script. Notice that as of BigBlueButton 2.6 we have retired the API demos. We recommend using Greenlight or API MATE instead.

Note: You can uninstall Greenlight if you do not intend on using it on production.

After the bbb-install.sh script finishes, you can check the status of your server with bbb-conf --check. When you run this command, you should see output similar to the following:

$ sudo bbb-conf --check

root@test27:~# bbb-conf --check
BigBlueButton Server 3.0.0-alpha.1 (68)
Kernel version: 5.15.0-67-generic
Distribution: Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS (64-bit)
Memory: 8140 MB
CPU cores: 4

/etc/bigbluebutton/bbb-web.properties (override for bbb-web)
/usr/share/bbb-web/WEB-INF/classes/bigbluebutton.properties (bbb-web)
bigbluebutton.web.serverURL: https://test30.bigbluebutton.org
defaultGuestPolicy: ALWAYS_ACCEPT
defaultMeetingLayout: CUSTOM_LAYOUT

/etc/nginx/sites-available/bigbluebutton (nginx)
server_name: dev30.bigbluebutton.org
port: 80, [::]:80127.0.0.1:82 http2 proxy_protocol, [::1]:82 http2127.0.0.1:81 proxy_protocol, [::1]:81

/opt/freeswitch/etc/freeswitch/vars.xml (FreeSWITCH)
local_ip_v4: 143.198.37.212
external_rtp_ip: 143.198.37.212
external_sip_ip: 143.198.37.212

/opt/freeswitch/etc/freeswitch/sip_profiles/external.xml (FreeSWITCH)
ext-rtp-ip: $${local_ip_v4}
ext-sip-ip: $${local_ip_v4}
ws-binding: 143.198.37.212:5066
wss-binding: 143.198.37.212:7443

UDP port ranges

FreeSWITCH: 16384-24576
bbb-webrtc-sfu: null-null
bbb-webrtc-recorder: null-null

/usr/local/bigbluebutton/core/scripts/bigbluebutton.yml (record and playback)
playback_host: dev30.bigbluebutton.org
playback_protocol: https
ffmpeg: 4.4.2-0ubuntu0.22.04.1

/usr/share/bigbluebutton/nginx/sip.nginx (sip.nginx)
proxy_pass: 143.198.37.212
protocol: http

/usr/local/bigbluebutton/bbb-webrtc-sfu/config/default.yml (bbb-webrtc-sfu)
/etc/bigbluebutton/bbb-webrtc-sfu/production.yml (bbb-webrtc-sfu - override)
mediasoup.webrtc.*.announcedIp: 143.198.37.212
mediasoup.plainRtp.*.announcedIp: 143.198.37.212
freeswitch.sip_ip: 143.198.37.212
recordingAdapter: Kurento
recordScreenSharing: true
recordWebcams: true
codec_video_main: VP8
codec_video_content: VP8

/etc/bbb-webrtc-recorder/bbb-webrtc-recorder.yml (bbb-webrtc-recorder)
/etc/bigbluebutton/bbb-webrtc-recorder.yml (bbb-webrtc-recorder - override)
debug: false
recorder.directory: /var/lib/bbb-webrtc-recorder

/usr/share/meteor/bundle/programs/server/assets/app/config/settings.yml (HTML5 client)
/etc/bigbluebutton/bbb-html5.yml (HTML5 client config override)
build: 13
kurentoUrl: wss://test30.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-webrtc-sfu
defaultFullAudioBridge: fullaudio
defaultListenOnlyBridge: fullaudio
sipjsHackViaWs: true


# Potential problems described below

Any output that followed Potential problems may indicate configuration errors or installation errors. In many cases, the messages will give you recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

You can also use sudo bbb-conf --status to check that all the BigBlueButton processes have started and are running.

$ sudo bbb-conf --status
nginx ————————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
freeswitch ———————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
redis-server —————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-apps-akka ————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-fsesl-akka ———————————————————————► [✔ - active]
mongod ———————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-html5 ————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-html5-backend@1 ——————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-html5-backend@2 ——————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-html5-frontend@1 —————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-html5-frontend@2 —————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-graphql-actions ——————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-graphql-middleware ———————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-graphql-server ———————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-webrtc-sfu ———————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-webrtc-recorder ——————————————————► [✔ - active]
etherpad —————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-web ——————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-pads —————————————————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-export-annotations ———————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-rap-caption-inbox ————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-rap-resque-worker ————————————————► [✔ - active]
bbb-rap-starter ——————————————————————► [✔ - active]


You can also use dpkg -l | grep bbb- to list all the core BigBlueButton packages (your version numbers may be slightly different).

# dpkg -l | grep bbb-
ii bbb-apps-akka 1:3.0-7 all BigBlueButton Apps (Akka)
ii bbb-config 1:3.0-8 amd64 BigBlueButton configuration utilities
ii bbb-etherpad 1:3.0-1 amd64 The EtherPad Lite components for BigBlueButton
ii bbb-export-annotations 1:3.0-2 amd64 BigBlueButton Export Annotations
ii bbb-freeswitch-core 2:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton build of FreeSWITCH
ii bbb-freeswitch-sounds 1:3.0-1 amd64 FreeSWITCH Sounds
ii bbb-fsesl-akka 1:3.0-5 all BigBlueButton FS-ESL (Akka)
ii bbb-graphql-actions 1:3.0-5 amd64 BigBlueButton GraphQL Actions
ii bbb-graphql-middleware 1:3.0-6 amd64 GraphQL middleware component for BigBlueButton
ii bbb-graphql-server 1:3.0-5 amd64 GraphQL server component for BigBlueButton
ii bbb-html5 1:3.0-10 amd64 The HTML5 components for BigBlueButton
ii bbb-html5-nodejs 1:3.0-1 amd64 Include a specific NodeJS version for bbb-html5
ii bbb-learning-dashboard 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton bbb-learning-dashboard
ii bbb-libreoffice-docker 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton setup for LibreOffice running in docker
ii bbb-mkclean 1:3.0-1 amd64 Clean and optimize Matroska and WebM files
ii bbb-pads 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton Pads
ii bbb-playback 1:3.0-1 amd64 Player for BigBlueButton presentation format recordings
ii bbb-playback-presentation 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton presentation recording format
ii bbb-record-core 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton record and playback
ii bbb-web 1:3.0-6 amd64 BigBlueButton API
ii bbb-webrtc-recorder 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton WebRTC Recorder
ii bbb-webrtc-sfu 1:3.0-1 amd64 BigBlueButton WebRTC SFU



With Greenlight installed (that was the -g option), you can open https://<hostname>/b in a browser (where <hostname> is the hostname you specified in the bbb-install.sh command), create a local account, create a room and join it.

BigBlueButton&#39;s Greenlight Interface

You can integrate BigBlueButton with one of the 3rd party integrations by providing the integration of the server's address and shared secret. You can use bbb-conf to display this information using bbb-conf --secret.

$ sudo bbb-conf --secret

URL: https://bbb.example.com/bigbluebutton/
Secret: 330a8b08c3b4c61533e1d0c334

Link to the API-Mate:
https://mconf.github.io/api-mate/#server=https://bbb.example.com/bigbluebutton/&sharedSecret=330a8b08c3b4c61533e1d0c334

The link to API-Mate will open a page at https://mconf.github.io/api-mate/ and let you send valid API calls to your server. This makes it easy for testing wihthout any frontend like Greenlight.

Configure the firewall (if required)

Do you have a firewall between you and your users? If so, see configuring your firewall.

Upgrading BigBlueButton 3.0

You can upgrade by re-running the bbb-install.sh script again -- it will download and install the latest release of BigBlueButton 3.0.

Upgrading from BigBlueButton 2.6 or 2.7

If you are upgrading BigBlueButton 2.6 or 2.7 we recommend you set up a new Ubuntu 22.04 server with BigBlueButton 3.0 and then copy over your existing recordings from the old server.

Make sure you read through the "what's new in 3.0" document and specifically the section covering notable changes

Restart your server

You can restart and check your BigBlueButton server at any time using the commands

sudo bbb-conf --restart
sudo bbb-conf --check

The bbb-conf --check scans some of the log files for error messages. Again, any output that followed Potential problems may indicate configuration errors or installation errors. In many cases, the messages will give you recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

If you see other warning messages check out the troubleshooting installation.

Post installation steps

If this server is intended for production, you should also

We provide publically accessible servers that you can use for testing:

To learn more about integrating BigBlueButton with your application, check out the BigBlueButton API documentation. To see videos of BigBlueButton HTML5 client, see https://bigbluebutton.org/html5.

Other installation options

There are members of the community that provide other installation options for BigBlueButton.

Ansible

If you're looking to deploy a large-scale installation of BBB using Scalelite then your servers are best managed using tools like Ansible. A few reasons you might go with this setup are:

  • easily customizable: your custom configurations will get replaced every time you upgrade automatically
  • parity across machines: ensure that you deploy the exact same version of BBB on every server
  • eliminate human error in setup: using bbb-install.sh or step-by-step methods are highly prone to human error as you can easily forget if you enabled a setting, chose to do X over Y, etc
  • automate to the fullest: by automating the process, you inherently save time on nasty troubleshooting and hours lost in manual configuration
  • easily scale at large: spin up an identical replica of your BBB server in less than 15 mins with no user input -- preconfigured and ready to go

Choose this method if you are already comfortable with a lot of the technical knowledge behind BigBlueButton, Scalelite and Greenlight/other front-ends. Refer to the following examples to create your installation.

Note: These examples are not maintained or developed by the official BigBlueButton developers. These are entirely community-sourced, use at your own discretion.

These first two install BigBlueButton on your server in a consistent fashion. You can specify variables, such as whether to install Greenlight too, what ports to use for TURN, and others. Functionally quite similar to bbb-install.sh but highly automated.

Large scale deployments must include several other components in addition to the core BigBlueButton packages. These include Scalelite, Greenlight, a database, backups, nginx configurations, and more.

Customizations

See the Server customization page for things you can do to adapt BigBlueButton to your environment or enable optional features after installation. For example

Troubleshooting

Package locales-all is not available

The package bbb-libreoffice needs to build a docker image for libreoffice. If you receive the following error when installing on a network behind a firewall

Package locales-all is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'locales-all' has no installation candidate
E: Unable to locate package libxt6
E: Unable to locate package libxrender1
The command '/bin/sh -c apt -y install locales-all fontconfig libxt6 libxrender1' returned a non-zero code: 100
dpkg: error processing package bbb-libreoffice-docker (--configure):
installed bbb-libreoffice-docker package post-installation script subprocess returned error exit status 100

Ubuntu 22.04 uses systemd-resolved, which presents a local caching resolver and registers this at /etc/resolv.conf. If you get they above error and have a local name server, such as 10.11.12.13, then try adding it with the hosts resolv.conf.

echo "nameserver 10.11.12.13" > /etc/resolv.conf

For more details see this issue.

Feedback and reporting bugs

If you found a reproducible bug, please report it in the GitHub Issues section with steps to reproduce (this will make it easier for the developers to fix the bug). Indicate in the body of the bug report that this applies to BigBlueButton 3.0 and give us the client build number, which you can find either with dpkg -l | grep bbb-html5 or within the client in the Settings -> About menu..