Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 has forced a lot of businesses to adopt remote working and as a result they are increasingly relying upon video conferencing platforms such as Zoom.

Makes sense, no big deal. Until you start digging a little deeper. Then you realize that, Zoom in particular, has some worrying flaws…

…privacy issues…

… and business practices.

Enter Jitsi

Jitsi logo
Jitsi logo

As with most things these days, there are good Open Source alternatives for those who want more control over their video conferencing setup.

And when it comes to alternatives that can match the feature set of platforms such as Zoom, Meet or Skype, we recommend you try Jitsi.

It has a rich feature set, allowing you to do things such as:

  • Share your desktop, presentations, and more
  • Invite users to a conference via a simple, custom URL
  • Edit documents together using Etherpad
  • Pick fun meeting URLs for every meeting
  • Trade messages and emojis while you video conference, with integrated chat.

At °41North, we decided to give it a try, and we have to say that so far we are quite pleased with the results.

Along the way we put together some resources to make it easier for anyone to get up and running with their own Jitsi deployment.

Terraform + DigitalOcean = Jitsi on the go

Installing Jitsi is relatively straightforward.

According to their documentation, you need a fairly decent machine that can act as a server, execute a few commands to install the required software and voila: you’re up and running!

However, in our particular use-case, we wanted to run the server on-demand, creating or destroying an instance at will. That way, whenever we have finished with our calls, we can dispose of it quickly, saving some money, maintenance costs and reducing the surface area for security issues.

This is where DigitalOcean and Terraform come in handy. By combining the two, we can easily spin-up and tear-down our Jitsi server as needed, and now so can you!

You can find the code on this Github repository!

Get in touch

You can reach out to us via our contact form or by sending an email to [email protected]. We try to respond within 48 hours and look forward to hearing from you.