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jitas - Jitsi Assistant

Table of contents

1. About

Jitas is a cloud-based virtual desktop environment that assists the presenter to share high quality materials in the Jitsi session.

Technically it's very similar to Jibri (Jitsi Broadcasting Infrastructure).

  • Jitas has a virtual desktop environment like Jibri
  • Jitas has virtual audio devices like Jibri
  • Jitas has virtual video devices like Jibri
  • Jitas connects to the meeting room using a customized Chromium instance like Jibri

But Jitas does completely the opposite task.

  • Jibri pulls audio and video from the Jitsi meeting room.
  • Jitas pushes audio and video to the Jitsi meeting room.

See developer guide for more details.

This project started developing on April 26th, 2021 at Winning over the classroom with Jitsi Hackathon and won the 4th prize.

2. Prerequisites

Check the following steps before starting installation.

2.1 Machine Features

At least 4 cores and 8 GB RAM are recommended.

2.2 Distribution

Jitas is officially supported on Debian 11 Bullseye. Please create or install a Debian 11 Bullseye server and don't install the desktop environment, only the standard packages...

2.3 Standard Linux Kernel

Some cloud computers use a customized kernel which has no support for some kernel modules. If this is the case then install the standart Linux kernel and reboot with it.

Run the following command to check the module support

modprobe snd-aloop

If there is a warning then you need to install the standard kernel. Probably the following commands will work but be careful!

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-image-amd64
apt-get purge "linux-image*cloud*"
# say 'no' to abort request
reboot
2.4 Public Ports

If the server is behind a firewall, open the following ports:

  • TCP/80
  • TCP/443
  • TCP/6080
  • TCP/6090

3. Installation

Run the following commands as root

wget -O debian-bullseye-mate https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jitsi-contrib/jitas/main/installer/debian-bullseye-mate
bash debian-bullseye-mate

4. Let's Encrypt Support

Run the following command as root to set the Let's Encrypt certificate:

set-letsencrypt-cert "your-host-fqdn"

5. Usage

5.1 Connect to the meeting room

Connect to a meeting room as usual. For example click this: https://meet.jit.si/jitas

5.2 Connect to Jitas desktop

Open a second tab in your browser and connect to Jitas desktop. Each server has its own password created during the installation. Check the README-JITAS.txt file in your /root folder to learn the Jitas URL.

The format of URL:

https://HOST-ADDRESS/novnc/?host=HOST-ADDRESS&port=6090&encrypt=1&resize=scale&password=VNC-PASSWD

Jitas noVNC connect

5.3 Connect Jitas to the meeting

Click Connect Meeting, write the meeting URL or select one from the pre-configured list and click connect.

Jitas meeting connect

5.4 Play any media

Play any media using any player:

  • local audio file (mp3, wav etc)
  • local video file (mp4, avi etc)
  • livestream
  • media from any site (Youtube. Peertube, Vimeo, Netflix etc)
  • media using any player (VLC, smplayer, mpv etc)

Jitas play

5.5 Watch from the meeting

Watch it while talking with friends.

Jitas watch

6. Use cases

Some of the possible use cases

6.1 Private courses

Let's say you have a yoga or dance class and want to share high quality music during the lesson.

Video

6.2 Watching movies together

When you want to watch movies with your distant friends while talking.

6.3 Team work

When you want to work in a remote team using the same desktop at the same time. Jitas desktop is shareable and it can be used by multiple users at the same time.

6.4 Lecturing to a large number of remote students

Let's say you have hundreds of students and you want to teach all of them at the same time. Then connect Jitas to multiple meeting rooms and start sharing the same lesson with all classes at the same time.

Video

6.5 Two teachers in the same classroom

Let's say a lesson is taught by two teachers at the same time, alternately. Then the teachers can connect to the same Jitas desktop and can use it alternately.

6.6 No need to stay connected

Let's say there is a long movie you want to stream. You don't need to stay connected. Connect to Jitas desktop, start playing the movie and disconnect from the desktop.