For video conference or video chat, Skype is probably the most popular service, although Jitsi, the open source closest alternative is gaining exposure.
But wouldn’t be the best to have a free service with no installation or plugin required?
But these 2 solutions required to install a desktop (Or smartphone) based application, that could be difficult to do for some (Yeah my grandparents aren’t so High Tech).., and impossible in some cases if you don’t have admin rights or require specific proxy configurations.
This is where the WebRTC technology gets in. “WebRTC is a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs.”
Basically, an application being based on WebRTC can provide communication features within your web browser without needing to install anything.
And several services are now using this technology to deliver a great video chat experience. And so is Hublin (Or Jisti Meet, that I will treat in another article).
Hublin, is a free and opensource (Under GPL v3 and hosted on Hublin Github) video conference based on WebRTC and thus don’t require additional plugin.
Simple yet complete, Hublin supports most of modern web broswers and allows to temporarily disable microphone or camera,easily invite guests, etc…
The project seems to be quite young but yet fully effective. You can have a look using their official Hublin instance and/or directly install Hublin on your server.
The Hublin installation is quite straightforward (Thanks to the Node package manager NPM) but will need few dependencies. I assume you are running on Debian or Ubuntu styles of distributions.
1) Install NodeJS and NPM
– If you use Ubuntu, simple run (as root)
apt-get install nodejs npm
– For Debian users (Still on Wheezy?) like me, you can install nodejs from wheezy-backports. If you don’t have them in your source.list, you will need to add the line
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
to your /etc/apt/source.list file, then run
to update the packages list and then install nodejs with the following command:
apt-get install nodejs nodejs-legacy curl
and for npm, you can use the installer (still in root)
curl https://www.npmjs.com/install.sh | sh
2) Install MongoDB
MongoDB’s wiki is well detailed on how to install it on most of Linux distributions. The best is to add their own repo to your sources.list.
– If you are on Ubuntu, run the followings:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv 7F0CEB10 echo "deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/ubuntu "$(lsb_release -sc)"/mongodb-org/3.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-3.0.list sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mongodb-org mongodb-org-server mongodb-org-shell mongodb-org-mongos mongodb-org-tools
– If you are on Debian, run the followings:
Still in root, or with sudo:
apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 7F0CEB10 echo "deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/debian "$(lsb_release -sc)"/mongodb-org/3.0 main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-3.0.list apt-get update apt-get install mongodb-org mongodb-org-server mongodb-org-shell mongodb-org-mongos mongodb-org-tools
And make sure to start the database:
service mongod start
3) Clone their git repository
Make sure you have git or git-core installed first
apt-get install git-core
and clone their repository into your /var/www
cd /var/www git clone https://github.com/linagora/hublin
4) Install the npm dependencies
Still in root or with sudo:
npm install -g mocha grunt-cli bower karma-cli
5) Install Hublin
cd hublin npm install bower install
If you are still in root, bower will require to be run as following:
bower --allow-root install
6) Start Hublin
And you should now have a working instance of Hublin at http://YourIP:8080