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Ask HN: Is anybody internet hosting their very own Jitsi server?

Ask HN: Is anybody internet hosting their very own Jitsi server?

2023-05-22 09:54:32

Hey there, Saul from the Jitsi team 🙂

Self-hosting is one of the use cases we spend a lot of time on, recently venturing into a hybrid model with JaaS components.

If there is any pain point with self-hosting, please let us know!

Since December I’ve been running a jitsi instance just for family and friends. It’s been working well for me, and I like that I can just send a link to anyone and they can click it and join the call in a browser without messing around.

Edit: since this in HN, I’ll mention too that I don’t even bother with passwords. I set up basic auth on the endpoint for management and room creation, and just leave the room(s) open. For a low key chat-with-friends-and-family setup, it’s great and I haven’t had to touch it since I set it up.

It’s about $40/month, but it’s my personal server for everything else too. Hosts some web radio projects with liquidsoap and icecast, some generative audio experiments, and so on. It’s still probably more server than I need.

Edit: remembered that wrong. It’s $66/month. But I’m using an instance much larger than you’d need to just run jitsi.

You can get so much mileage from a $40 hetzner instance. Mine is doing all forms of useful things. My only critique is that latency to storage boxes is awful (and storage is otherwise really pricey).

I’m running Jitsi in Docker on a VPS. I use it for voice + video chat while playing online games with friends. For this use case, I had to do almost no tweaking from defaults, so I have not become a Jitsi expert at all. It’s been running for about a year with no issues I can remember.

One annoyance was that I couldn’t figure out how to set up a persistent room protected by a code. My goal was to have no usernames or passwords, but without allowing completely open access – I just wanted to distribute a room name and single known password/passcode my friends could use to get into the room.

Since this didn’t seem to be possible at the time, I settled for requiring rooms to have a “host,” which is just me. That way I deal with a username and password, but nobody else has to. It does make it impossible for the rest of the group to play without me, but this isn’t an issue for our situation.

No but my networking group does, which I thought was an interesting choice. It was because the whole ‘zoom is insecure’ thing was going around when the pandemic hit. It’s worked out OK ish, they’re still using it after 3+ years.

I run a matrix server deployed using their annsible script [1] which comes with jitsi, etherpad, etc.

The setup was a bit of a hassle (need to get the domain configured for federation, updating the config files etc) but after a weekend of configuration it has been rock solid since (in operation for a year now). I use it primarily as a centralized chat client (using bridges to the various propriatary chat services) but it is nice to be able to throw up a quick jitsi call and/or etherpad document.

The jitsi web client works great on desktop, but I would recomend using the dedicated mobile apps because I have heard reports the web client struggling on mobile.

See Also

edit: forgot link
[1] https://github.com/spantaleev/matrix-docker-ansible-deploy

Using the Jitsi website has worked well enough for me for years, and the calls are P2P as far as I’m aware. What’s the advantage of hosting your own? Just preventing jitsi.org from seeing call metadata?

I wonder if you could get more reliable performance by planning a more centralized location. My book club uses the main jitsi site and it works well all things considered, but it’s not perfect by any means. We’ve got people in several US and EU time zones showing up with varying internet connection qualities, so it’s a difficult case.

But hey, it’s free. And it hits the most important consideration: it could not be easier to use. That’s pretty critical since my club mates don’t have much capacity for troubleshooting.

This is so wrong it hurts. Can’t think of a better gap between theory and reality.

(I.e., there is no universe in which Jitsi’s possible/likely abuse of this data is remotely close to Zoom’s)

I’ve been hosting it for about 2 years, running in a container on a Proxmox host (a DL380G7 with 128GB RAM and a DS4243 JBOD in a tailor-made enclosure under the stairs here at the farm) together with a bunch of other services. It is not used all that often but when I need it it is there and works as intended. After configuring it I have not had to do anything else than run apt update && apt dist-upgrade every now and then. It is a bit of a memory hog just like most other jvm-based services but it is reliable and dependable.

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