Quiz Night Video Chat Server

Our turn to host quiz night this week, so rather than use Zoom, I thought I’d give Jitsi a spin.

Installation onto a Digital Ocean box is easy enough using the Jitsi server marketplace droplet, althugh it does require you to set up a domain name so the https routing works, which in turn seems to be required to grant Jitsi access via your browser to the camera and microphone.

As per guidance here, to add a domain to a Digital Ocean account simply means adding the domain name (eg ouseful.org) to your account and then from your domain control panel, adding the Digital Ocean nameservers (ns1.digitalocean.com, ns2.digitalocean.com, ns3.digitalocean.com).

It’s then trivial to create and map a subdomain to a Digital Ocean droplet:

The installation process requires creating the droplet from the marketplace, assigning the domain name, and then from the terminal running some set-up scripts:

  • install server: ./01_videoconf.sh
  • add LetsEncrypt https support: ./02_https.sh

Out of the can, anyone can gain access, although you can add a password to restrict access to a video room once you’ve created it.

To local access down when it comes to creating new meeting rooms, you can add simple auth to created user accounts. The Digital Ocean tutorial How To Install Jitsi Meet on Ubuntu 18.04 “Step 5 — Locking Conference Creation” provides step by step instructions. (It would be nice if a simple script were provided to automate that a little…)

The site is react powered, and I couldn’t spot an easy way to customise the landing page. The text all seems to be provided via language pack files (eg /usr/share/jitsi-meet/lang/main-enGB.json) but I couldn’t see how to actually put any changes into effect? (Again, another simple script in the marketplace droplet to help automate or walk you through that would be useful…)

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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