How To Easily Self-hosted Jitsi Meet With Docker

Our world is changing, both in our living habits and in our work habits. Today, a new tendency has been created called “work from home”, “home office” or “remote work”. This new tendency has been facilitated by web conferencing tools that allow people to perform business meetings, presentations, customer support, recruitment through interviews, and so on.

Many web conferencing tools have been developed over the past few decades. The major actors everybody knows are Zoom, Google meets, and Microsoft teams. These tools are very powerful but In some cases, people and organizations want to use web conferencing tools hosted on their servers under their control.

Fortunately, there are many open-source web conferencing tools developed and maintained by the community. Some of them that you can self-hosted on your server are BigBlueButton and Jitsi Meet. Today, we’ll guide you through a step-by-step guide to deploying Jitsi on your server.

What is Jitsi Meet?

Jitsi meet

Jitsi Meet is a free and open-source video-conference tool. The main features Jitsi offers are:

  • Support for all current browsers
  • Mobile applications
  • HD audio and video
  • Content sharing
  • End-to-End Encryption
  • Raise hand and reactions
  • Chats
  • Polls
  • Virtual background

If you are in a situation you don’t want to self-hosted your Jitsi and worry about maintenance and other stuff, we can use Jitsi as a Service (JaaS).

Prerequisites

In this tutorial, we are going to deploy Jitsi in production on our server using docker. So there are some prerequisites before starting.

  • A Linux Server with SSH and root access
  • Docker and docker-compose installed on that server
  • A domain name pointed to that server

You can check this tutorial if you use Ubuntu and don’t have Docker and docker-compose installed on it.

I-Deployment of Jitsi without reverse proxy server

Step 1: Download and unzip Jitsi

The first step is to download Jitsi from his GitHub repository to our server. We’ll use the following command to do that:

LATEST_VERSION=$(curl --silent https://api.github.com/repos/jitsi/docker-jitsi-meet/releases/latest | grep -Po '"tag_name": "\K.*\d')

wget https://github.com/jitsi/docker-jitsi-meet/archive/refs/tags/${LATEST_VERSION}.zip

Then, we’ll extract it using unzip command. Unzip is not available by default in a new installation of Ubuntu 22.04. We’ll use the following command to install it and unzip by the way Jitsi.

apt install unzip
unzip ${LATEST_VERSION}.zip
unzip folder

Let’s rename that folder with a simple name.

mv docker-jitsi-meet-${LATEST_VERSION} jitsi
Rename to Jitsi folder

Step 2: Configure Jitsi for deployment

Let’s enter into the project folder and create the environment file.

cd jitsi && cp env.example .env

Let’s set strong passwords in the security section options of the .env file using the scripts provided by the Jisti team.

./gen-passwords.sh
Generation of a strong password

After generating a strong password, open the .env file and adjust those entries:

HTTP_PORT=80
HTTPS_PORT=443
PUBLIC_URL=https://meet.temfack.com # <== Your domaine name here
ENABLE_LETSENCRYPT=1
LETSENCRYPT_DOMAIN=meet.temfack.com # <== Your domaine name here
LETSENCRYPT_EMAIL=mail@temfack.com

Then, run the following command to start everything.

docker-compose up -d
Running instance of Jitisi

Navigate now to your domain name and voila, you have the result.

Home page of Jitsi meet

For further customization, feel free to explore the .env file to activate other options. For example, you can protect the usage of your Jitsi server with a password.

II-Deployment of Jitsi meet behind a reverse proxy server

With the way we have deployed Jitsi previously with docker, we cannot deploy any other application on port 80. If we have multiple web applications to be deployed on our server, we need to have a reverse proxy server that will be responsible to receive all traffic and routing everyone to the right target. There are multiple docker-based reverse proxy servers out there. We have for example Nginx-proxy-manager and Nginx-proxy. In this tutorial, we’ll use Nginx-proxy.

Installation of Nginx-proxy and acme-compagnon

Nginx proxy is a container running Nginx and docker-gen which is a service that generates reverse proxy configs for Nginx and reloads Nginx when containers are started or stopped.

This container is mounted on a docker socket to capture all events created by docker to be able to proxied any container with an env variable VIRTUAL_HOST define. All containers that want to be proxied by Nginx-proxy must be connected to the same network. To know more about Nginx-proxy, visit the GitHub of the project.

ACME-compagnon is a compagnon for Nginx-proxy responsible to automate the creation, renewal, and use of SSL certificates for proxied Docker containers through ACME protocol. For more information about acme-compagnon, visit the GitHub of the project.

I have a ready-to-use template for Nginx-proxy in my Gitlab repository. You need to clone and run it. This configuration is well-suited for a production environment. Just type the following command in your terminal to make it run in less than a minute.

cd ~
git clone https://gitlab.com/tderick/nginx-proxy-conf.git 
docker network create nginx-proxy
cd nginx-proxy-conf
docker-compose up --build -d

Modification of .env and docker-compose file

The last thing to do is to make some changes in the .env file and the docker-compose.yml file.

Mofidy theses lines in .env file

#HTTP_PORT=80
#HTTPS_PORT=443
PUBLIC_URL=https://meet.temfack.com # <== Your domaine name here
#ENABLE_LETSENCRYPT=1
#LETSENCRYPT_DOMAIN=meet.temfack.com # <== Your domaine name here
DISABLE_HTTPS=1
VIRTUAL_HOST=meet.temfack.com    
LETSENCRYPT_HOST=meet.temfack.com   
LETSENCRYPT_EMAIL=mail@temfack.com 

Modify the docker-compose file in this way:

Comment out the port binding
Add VIRTUAL_HOST and LETSENCRYPT_HOST
Connect Jitsi to an external network

Then, run the whole with the following command:

docker-compose up -d

III- Turn on the Jibri component (Optional)

If you plan to make the videos recording or live streaming with your Jitsi instance, you need to run the Jibri module. Jibri is responsible to provide recording and streaming services to a Jitsi Meet conference. As Jibri is resource-intensive, only run it if you need it. For both cases, use the following command to run Jibri with the other component of Jitsi.

docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml -f jibri.yml up --build -d

Conclusion

In this post, you have learned how to deploy Jitsi meet in production in two ways: First time as the only application on the server and second time behind a reverse proxy server.

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