How to Install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu

Wondering how to install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04? We’ve got you covered!

BigBlueButton is a virtual classroom that was created based on WebRTC, which is a popular open-sourced project. It can turn any device into a station for online communication. 

BigBlueButton comes equipped with many features, such as screen sharing, push-to-talk voice chat, shared whiteboards, and support for multiple users.

In this guide, you will learn how to install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04.

With that being said, let’s start!

Why Use BigBlueButton?

BigBlueButton is a global teaching platform available in 55 languages, and teachers worldwide have contributed to its design. 

BigBlueButton is continuously evolving to meet the new real-world needs of teachers everywhere. The basic features of BigBlueButton are listed below:

  1. Video Conferencing occurs in real time.
  2. Ability to incorporate an interactive whiteboard.
  3. Sharing different types of audio and video content on the desktop with others.
  4. Tools and built-in quiz-making options for Instructors.
install bigbluebutton on ubuntu

Requirements for Installing BigBlueButton.

Before you install BigBlueButton, you must ensure that you meet the requirements of the server. If you don’t know the number of your server’s cores, you may check it by the command below. 

$ sudo grep -c ^processor /proc/cpuinfo

That being said, make sure that the following requirements are met for installing BigBlueButton on your system:

  • Any version of Ubuntu over 19.04.
  • Docker – no restriction on the version, although the latest is preferred
  • At least 16 GB swap-enabled memory.
  • Octacore Central Processing Unit, with high-performance metrics for singular threads.
  • TCP ports 80 and 443 are accessible all the time.
  • UDP ports 16384 – 32768 are accessible.
  • Half a Terabyte of free disk space for recording OR 50 GigaBytes if you’re not using session recording.
  • A hostname with a valid SSL certificate.
  • Network with Internet Protocol Versions 4 and 6 enabled.

If you’re not meeting the recommended requirements, then no worries, as you can still opt for a reduced set of requirements. Bear in mind that this is applicable only for cases where you have a demand for minimal users. 

Minimum Server Requirements for BigBlueButton are:

  1. 4 Cores CPU
  2. 8 GigaBytes of RAM
  3. Installation on a local VM Container
  4. 50 GigaBytes of available disk space
  5. A valid Internet Protocol Version 4 address.

Cloud-Based Requirements for Installing BigBlueButton.

If you’re looking to install BigBlueButton on Cloud Server using an Ubuntu 20.04 Virtual Machine, do not forget to keep track of the server recommendations to get better results. Below are the BigBlueButton installation recommendations for Cloud Hosting:

  1. Amazon Web Services(AWS).
  2. Digital Ocean.
  3. Hetzner.

You must have an SSL Certificate to ensure seamless installation of BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, regardless of the environment.

Install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

At this point, your Ubuntu server should be up and ready for the process of installation. You can proceed to install BigBlueButton on your device once you’re able to fulfill the requirements for the server. All you need to do is provide a domain to your server and set up the SSL.

While having several methods to install BigBlueButton. This method will show you the simplest and most reliable way, i.e., “Installation from Script.”

Follow these steps for installing BigBlueButton on your system.

  1. Start by opening the Command Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.
  2. Once that’s done, type the following:
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
install bigbluebutton on ubuntu

This will update all packages and repositories to their latest available versions.

  1. To install BigBlueButton, use script. You need to download this script from GitHub BBB (BigBlueButton) repository. You can get the installation script by executing the following in the Terminal.
$ wget -qO- | bash -s -- -v focal- 250 -s <domain or subdomain name> -e <email address> -a –w

Your output should resemble the following block of text:

$ Restarting BigBlueButton 2.5.0-rc.4 ...
Stopping BigBlueButton
Starting BigBlueButton

** Potential problems described below **

The used options correspond to the following actions:
“-v” describes OS Version
“-e” describes the email
“-a” describes API demos
“-w” describes the firewall
“-g” describes Greenlight

Greenlight is also installed on the same server by also passing the (-g) option.

If you followed the steps correctly, then congratulations! You have learned how to install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Checking Server Status.

Getting finished with the installation of the script, you can now check the status of your server to make sure with installation. 

To check the server status, you can follow these steps:

  1. First, open the Command Terminal.
  2. Next, run the following command to check the server status:
$ sudo bbb-conf --check

When you run this command, you should see an output similar to the following.

To ensure that all the processes for BigBlueButton have been initiated correctly, run the following command.

$ sudo bbb-conf --status

If everything is working right, you will see a list of configurations with a Tick (✔) marked as active.

Lastly, to find the necessary keys and details for logging in BigBlueButton, run the following in the Command Terminal

$ sudo bbb-conf --secret

If you followed the steps correctly, then congratulations! You have now successfully installed BigBlueButton on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Aside from using BigBlueButton, you might want to check out similar available options. If you’re coming from a windows background, perhaps you’re looking for the comfort that Windows GUI-based applications have to offer.

While you can’t directly run these programs on Windows, you can most certainly emulate them. Wine is the perfect tool for emulating windows programs such that they’re able to run on Linux. Learning how to install Wine on your system will help you in the long run.

install bigbluebutton on ubuntu

In this article, we showed you how to install BigBlueButton on Ubuntu 20.04. We went over the application’s basics, the reasons to use it, and the steps needed for installation. That being said, if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comment section down below.

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