Install BigBlueButton 2.0 in about 15 minutes.
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README.md

bbb-install.sh

bbb-install

bbb-install.sh is a BASH shell script that lets you install BigBlueButton 2.0 with a single command in about 15 minutes.

For example, to install BigBlueButton 2.0 on an Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit server, login to the server and run the following command as root:

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 

This will download the bbb-install.sh script and execute it with the parameter -v xenial-200.

If the server is behind firewall -- such as behind a corporate firewall or behind an AWS Security Group -- you will need to configure the firewall to forward specific internet connections to the BigBlueButton server before users can access it.

When the script finishes, you should see a message that gives you a URL to login and test BigBlueButton.

# Warning: The API demos are installed and accessible from:
#
#    http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/demo/demo1.jsp
#
# These API demos allow anyone to access your server without authentication
# to create/manage meetings and recordings. They are for testing purposes only.
# If you are running a production system, remove them by running:
#
#    sudo apt-get purge bbb-demo

To test the server, open the URL using FireFox. Why FireFox? In this basic setup the server does not have a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate. Fortunately, FireFox allows you to use web real-time connection (WebRTC) without an SSL certificate.

bbb-install.sh

You should see the default welcome page. Enter your name and click Join. BigBlueButton 2.0 should then load and prompt you to join the audio.

bbb-install.sh

At this point you have a full BigBlueButton server ready to use. While this basic setup is good for testing and development, you'll really want to configure the server with a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and a SSL certificate for better security. If you have users who may be behind a firewall, you may also want to setup a separate TURN server to help them connect to your BigBlueButton server.

The sections below show how to do this using bbb-install.sh and a few additional parameters.

Overview

bbb-install.sh is a BASH shell script that automates the step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring BigBlueButton 2.0.

Going through the step-by-step instructions is recommended if you want to understand what bbb-install.sh is doing. However, if you want to quicly setup a production ready server with SSL certificate, bbb-install.sh can save you a lot of time.

Before running the script, we strongly recommend that you

  • ensure the server meets the minimal server requirements, and
  • setup a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), such as bbb.example.com, that resolves to the external IP address of your server.

To setup the domain name use a domain name registry (DNS), such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions, to create an A Record that points to the external IP address of your server. Check the documentation of your DNS provider for details on how to do this.

With a FQDN and a DNS entry in place, you can then use bbb-install.sh to install

  • a 4096 bit secure socket layers (SSL) certificate from Let's Encrypt (we love Let's Encrypt),
  • the latest build of the HTML5 client, and
  • the Green Light front-end to enable users to create accounts and manage rooms.

Most importanly, when your server is configured with an SSL certificate, the browsers Chrome and Safari will let users share their audio and video using WebRTC.

The full source code for bbb-install.sh is here. To make it easy for anyone to run the script with a single command, we host the latest version of the script at https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh.

Server choices

There are many hosting companies that will provide you both virtual and dedicated servers. We list a few popular choices below. Note: we are not making any recommendations here, just listing some of the popular choices.

For quick setup, Digital Ocean offers both virtual servers with Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit and a single public IP address (no firewall). Hetzner offers dedicated servers with single IP addres.

Other companies, such as ScaleWay (choose either Bare Metal or Pro servers) and Google Compute Engine offer servers that are setup behind network address translation (NAT). That is, they have both an internal and external IP address. When installing on these servers, the bbb-install.sh will detect the internal/external addresses and configures BigBlueButton accordingly.

Another populare choice is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. We recommend a c5.xlarge (or larger) instance. All EC2 servers are, by default, is behind a firewall (which Amazon calls a security group). You will need to manually configure the firewall (we provide steps in the next section).

Finally, if bbb-install.sh is unable to configure your server behind NAT, we recommend going through the step-by-step for installing BigBlueButton. (Going through the steps is also a good way to understand more about how BigBlueButton works).

Configuring the firewall

If you want to install BigBlueButton 2.0 on a server behind a firewall, such an Amazon's EC2 instance, you first need to configure the firewall to forward incoming traffic on the following ports:

  • TCP/IP port 22 (for SSH)
  • TCP/IP ports 80/443 (for HTTP/HTTPS)
  • TCP/IP port 1935 (for RTMP)
  • UDP ports in the range 16384 - 32768 (for FreeSWITCH/HTML5 client RTP streams)

Amazon calls the firewall for EC2 a 'security group'. Here's a screen shot how the EC2 security group configuration should look after configuring it to forward incoming traffic on the above ports:

Security Group

If you are using EC2, you need to assign your server an Elastic IP address to prevent it from getting a new IP address on reboot.

Installation Videos

Using Digital Ocean as an example, put together this video to get you going quickly: Using bbb-install.sh to setup BigBlueButton 2.0 on Digital Ocean.

Using Amazon EC2, see Install using bbb-install.sh on EC2.

Command options

You can get help by passing the -h option.

$ wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -h
Installer script for setting up a BigBlueButton 2.0 server.  Also supports installation of
coturn (TURN) on a separate server and configuring BigBlueButton to use the TURN server.

USAGE:
    bbb-install.sh [OPTIONS]

OPTIONS (install BigBlueButton):

  -v <version>           Install given version of BigBlueButton (e.g. 'xenial-200') (required)

  -s <hostname>          Configure server with <hostname>
  -e <email>             E-mail for Let's Encrypt certbot
  -c <hostname>:<secret> Configure with coturn server at <hostname> using <secret>

  -t                     Install HTML5 client (currently under development)
  -g                     Install GreenLight

  -p <host>              Use apt-get proxy at <host>

  -h                     Print help

OPTIONS (install coturn):

  -c <hostname>:<secret> Configure coturn with <hostname> and <secret> (required)
  -e <email>             E-mail for Let's Encrypt certbot (required)

EXAMPLES

Setup a BigBlueButton server

    ./bbb-install.sh -v xenial-200
    ./bbb-install.sh -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com
    ./bbb-install.sh -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com -t -g

Setup a coturn server

    ./bbb-install.sh -c turn.example.com:1234324 -e info@example.com

SUPPORT:
     Source: https://github.com/bigbluebutton/bbb-install
   Commnity: https://bigbluebutton.org/support

Install and configure with an IP address (no SSL)

To install BigBlueButton on a Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit server, login as root and run the following command:

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 

That's it. The installation should finish in about 15 minutes (depending on the server's internet connection) with the following message:

** Potential problems described below **

......
# Warning: The API demos are installed and accessible from:
#
#    http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/demo/demo1.jsp
#
# These API demos allow anyone to access your server without authentication
# to create/manage meetings and recordings. They are for testing purposes only.
# If you are running a production system, remove them by running:
#
#    sudo apt-get purge bbb-demo

The script also installs the bbb-demo package so you can immediately test out the install. If you want to remove the API demos, use the command

sudo apt-get purge bbb-demo

If you want to use this server with an third-party integration, such as Moodle, you can get the BigBlueButton server's hostname and shared secret with the command sudo bbb-conf --secret.

# bbb-conf --secret

       URL: http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/bigbluebutton/
    Secret: yyy

      Link to the API-Mate:
      http://mconf.github.io/api-mate/#server=http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/bigbluebutton/&sharedSecret=yyy

Since this use of bbb-install.sh does not configure a SSL certificate, use must FireFox for sharing audio (at the time of this writing, FireFox does not require SSL to use WebRTC audio). However, Chrome does require a SSL certificate, so users will get an error when sharing their audio with WebRTC.

We recommend installing an SSL certificate (see next section).

Install with SSL

Before bbb-install.sh can install a SSL certificate, you first need to configure a domain name, such as bbb.example.com, that resolves to the public IP address of your server. If you have setup a domain name, you can check that it correctly resolves to the external IP address of the server using the dig command.

dig bbb.example.com @8.8.8.8

Note: we're using bbb.example.com as an example hostname, you would substitute your real hostname in commands below.

To receive updates from Let's Encrypt, you need to provide a valid e-mail address.

With just these two pieces of information -- FQDN and e-mail address -- you can use bbb-install.sh to automate the configuration of BigBlueButton server with an SSL certificate. For example, using the sample hostname and e-mail in the command, to install BigBlueButton 2.0 with a SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt, use the following command (again, you would substitute bbb.example.com and info@example.com with your servers FQDN and your e-mail address):

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com

The bbb-install.sh script will also install a cron job that automatically news the Let's Encrypt certificate so it doesn't expire. Cool.

Install latest build of HTML5 client

To try out the latest of the latest build of the HTML5 client, add the -t option.

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com -t

After a few minutes, you'll have the HTML5 client installed. Use an Android (6.0+) or iOS (iOS 11+) mobile phone or tablet to access your BigBlueButton server. BigBlueButton detects when you are connecting from a mobile browser and automatically load the HTML5 client.

BigBlueButton will automatically launch the HTML5 client if the browser does not support Flash, such as when accessing the server using an iOS (iOS 11+) or Android (version 6.0+) phone or tablet. Since bbb-install.sh installs the API demos, you can force the loading of the HTML5 client by opening the URL https://<hostname>/demo/demoHTML5.jsp, entering your name, and clicking Join.

bbb-install.sh

Enter your name and click Join. The HTML5 client will then load and join you into Demo Meeting.

bbb-install.sh

Install Green Light

Green Light is front-end for BigBlueButton written in Ruby on Rails. It lets users create accounts, have permanent rooms, and manage their recordings.

You can install GreenLight by adding the -g option.

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com -g

Once GreenLight is installed, opening the hostname for the server, such as https://bbb.example.com/, automatically opens Green Light. You can also configure GreenLight to use OAuth2 authentication.

To launch GreenLight, simply the URL of your server, such as https://bbb.example.com/. You should see the GreenLight landing page.

bbb-install.sh

Do everything with a single command

If you want to setup BigBlueButton 2.0 with a SSL certificate, HTML5 client, and GreenLight, you can do this with a single command.

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com -t -g

For all the commands given above, you can re-run the same command later to update your version of BigBlueButton 2.0 to the latest release. We announce updates to BigBlueButton to the bigbluebutton-dev mailing list.

Install a TURN server

You can use bbb-install.sh to automate the steps to setup a TURN server for BigBlueButton.

Note: This step is optional, but recommended if your BigBlueButton server is publically available on the internet and will be accessed by users who may be behind restrictive firewalls.

BigBlueButton normally requires a wide range of UDP ports to be available for WebRTC communication. In some network restricted sites or development environments, such as those behind NAT or a firewall that restricts outgoing UDP connections, users may be unable to make outgoing UDP connections to your BigBlueButton server.

The TURN protocol is designed to allow UDP-based communication flows like WebRTC to bypass NAT or firewalls by having the client connect to the TURN server, and then have the TURN server connect to the destination on their behalf.

You need a separate server (not the BigBlueButton server) to setup as a TURN server, specifically you need

  • a Ubuntu 18.04 server with a public IP address

We recommend Ubuntu 18.04 as it has a later version of coturn than Ubuntu 16.04. Also, this TURN server does not need to be very powerful as it will only relay communications from the BigBlueButton client to the BigBlueButton server when necessary. A dual core server on Digital Ocean, for example, which offers servers with public IP addresses, is a good choce.

Next, to configure the TURN server you need:

  • a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) with a DNS entry that resolves to the external public IP address of the TURN server,
  • a e-mail addres for Let's Encrypt, and
  • a secret key (it can be 8 to 16 character random string that you create).

With the above information, you can setup a TURN server for BigBlueButton using bbb-install.sh as follows

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -c <FQDN>:<SECRET> -e <EMAIL>

Note, we've omitted the -v xenial-200 option, which causes bbb-install.sh to just install and cofigure coturn. For example, using turn.example.com as the FQDN, 1234abcd as the shared secret, and info@example.com as the email addres, you can setup a TURN server for BigBlueButton using the command

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -c turn.example.com:1234abcd -e info@example.com

bbb-install.sh uses Let's Encrypt to configure coturn to use a SSL certificate. With a SSL certificate in place, coturn can relay access to your BigBlueButton server via TCP/IP on port 443. This means if a user is behind a restrictive firewall that blocks all outgoing UDP connections, the TURN server can accept connections from the user via TCP/IP on port 443 and relay the data to your BigBlueButton server via UDP.

With the TURN server in place, you can configure your BigBlueButton server to use the TURN server by running the bbb-install.sh command again and adding the same -c <FQDN>:<SECRET>. For example,

wget -qO- https://ubuntu.bigbluebutton.org/bbb-install.sh | bash -s -- -v xenial-200 -s bbb.example.com -e info@example.com -t -g -c turn.example.com:1234abcd

You can re-use a single TURN server for multiple BigBlueButton installations.

Next Steps

If you intend to use this server for production you should uninstall the API demos using the command

apt-get purge bbb-demo

Troubleshooting

Green Light not running

If on first install Green Light gives you a 500 error when accessing it, you can restart Green Light.

Getting Help

If you have feedback on the script, or need help using it, please post to the BigBlueButton Setup mailing list with details of the issue (and include related information such as steps to reproduce the error).

If you encounter an error with the script (such as it not completing or throwing an error), please open GitHub issue and provide steps to reproduce the issue.

Limitations

If you are running your BigBlueButton behind a firewall, such as on EC2, this script will not configure your firewall. You'll need to configure the firewall manually.