Install Jitsi-Meet alongside ejabberd

Image of an office conference room with empty chairs

Since the corona virus is forcing many of us into home office there is a high demand for video conference solutions. A popular free and open source tool for creating video conferences similar to Google’s hangouts is Jitsi Meet. It enables you to create a conference room from within your browser for which you can then share a link to your coworkers. No client software is needed at all (except mobile devices).

The installation of Jitsi Meet is super straight forward – if you have a dedicated server sitting around. Simply add the jitsi repository to your package manager and (in case of debian based systems) type

sudo apt-get install jitsi-meet

The installer will guide you through most of the process (setting up nginx / apache, installing dependencies, even do the letsencrypt setup) and in the end you can start video calling! The quick start guide does a better job explaining this than I do.

Jitsi Meet is a suite of different components that all play together (see Jitsi Meet manual). Part of the mix is a prosody XMPP server that is used for signalling. That means if you want to have the simple easy setup experience, your server must not already run another XMPP server. Otherwise you’ll have to do some manual configuration ahead of you.

I did that.

Since I already run a personal ejabberd XMPP server and don’t have any virtualization tools at hands, I wanted to make jitsi-meet use ejabberd instead of prosody. In the end both should be equally suited for the job.

Looking at the prosody configuration file that comes with Jitsi’s bundled prosody we can see that Jitsi Meet requires the XMPP server to serve two different virtual hosts.
The file is located under /etc/prosody/conf.d/meet.example.org.cfg.lua

VirtualHost "meet.example.org"
        authentication = "anonymous"
        ssl = {
                ...
        }
        modules_enabled = {
            "bosh";
            "pubsub";
            "ping";
        }
        c2s_require_encryption = false

Component "conference.meet.example.org" "muc"
    storage = "memory"
admins = { "focus@auth.meet.example.org" }

Component "jitsi-videobridge.meet.example.org"
    component_secret = "SECRET1"

VirtualHost "auth.meet.example.org"
    ssl = {
        ...
    }
    authentication = "internal_plain"

Component "focus.meet.example.org"
    component_secret = "SECRET2"

Remember to replace SECRET1 and SECRET2 with secure secrets! There are also some external components that need to be configured. This is where Jitsi Meet plugs into the XMPP server.

In my case I don’t want to server 3 virtual hosts with my ejabberd, so I decided to replace auth.meet.jabberhead.tk with my already existing main domain jabberhead.tk which already uses internal authentication. So all I had to do is to add the virtual host meet.jabberhead.tk to my ejabberd.yml.
The ejabberd config file is located under /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.yml or /opt/ejabberd/conf/ejabberd.yml depending on your ejabberd distribution.

hosts:
    ## serves as main host, as well as auth.meet.jabberhead.tk for focus user
  - "jabberhead.tk"
    ## serves as anonymous authentication host for meet.jabberhead.tk
  - "meet.jabberhead.tk"

The syntax for external components is quite different for ejabberd than it is for prosody, so it took me some time to get it working.

listen:
  -
    port: 5275
    ip: "::"
    module: ejabberd_service
    access: all
    shaper: fast
    hosts:
      "jitsi-videobridge.jabberhead.tk":
        password: "SECRET1"
 -
    port: 5280
    ip: "::"
    module: ejabberd_http
    request_handlers:
      "/http-bind": mod_bosh
    tls: true
    protocol_options: 'TLS_OPTIONS'
  -
    port: 5347
    module: ejabberd_service
    hosts:
      "focus.jabberhead.tk":
        password: "SECRET2"

By re-reading the config files now, I wonder why I ended up placing the focus component under the host focus.jabberhead.tk and not focus.meet.jabberhead.tk, but hey – it works and I’m too scared to touch it again 😛

The configuration of the modules was a bit trickier on ejabberd, as the ejabberd config syntax seems to disallow duplicate entries. I ended up moving everything from the existing main modules: block into a separate host_config: for my existing domain. That way I could separate the configuration of my main domain from the config of the meet subdomain.

host_config:
  ## Already existing vhost.
  jabberhead.tk:
    s2s_access: s2s
    ## former main modules block, now further indented
    modules:
      mod_adhoc: {}
      mod_admin_extra: {}
      ...

  ## New meeting host with anonymous authentication and no s2s
  meet.jabberhead.tk:
    ## Disable s2s to prevent spam
    s2s_access: none
    auth_method: anonymous
    allow_multiple_connections: true
    anonymous_protocol: both
    modules:
      mod_bosh: {}
      mod_disco: {}
      mod_muc:
        host: "conference.@HOST@"
        access: all
        access_create: local
        access_persistent: local
        access_admin: admin
      mod_muc_admin: {}
      mod_ping: {}
      mod_pubsub:
        access_createnode: local

As you can see I only enabled required modules for the meet.jabberhead.tk service and even disabled s2s to prevent the anonymous Jitsi Meet users from contacting users on other servers.

Last but not least we have to add the focus user as an admin and also generate (not discussed here) and add certificates for the meet.jabberhead.tk subdomain. This step is not necessary if the meet domain is already covered by the certificate in use.

certfiles:
  - ...
  - "/etc/ssl/meet.jabberhead.tk/cert.pem"
  - "/etc/ssl/meet.jabberhead.tk/fullchain.pem"
  - "/etc/ssl/meet.jabberhead.tk/privkey.pem"
...
acl:
  admin:
    user:
      - "focus@jabberhead.tk"
      ...

That’s it for the ejabberd configuration. Now we have to configure the other Jitsi Meet components. Lets start with jicofo, the Jitsi Conference Focus component.

My /etc/jitsi/jicofo/config file looks as follows.

JICOFO_HOST=jabberhead.tk
JICOFO_HOSTNAME=jabberhead.tk
JICOFO_SECRET=SECRET2
JICOFO_PORT=5347
JICOFO_AUTH_DOMAIN=jabberhead.tk
JICOFO_AUTH_USER=focus
JICOFO_AUTH_PASSWORD=SECRET3
JICOFO_OPTS=""
# Below can be left as is.
JAVA_SYS_PROPS=...

Respectively the videobridge configuration (/etc/jitsi/videobridge/config) looks like this:

JVB_HOSTNAME=jabberhead.tk
JVB_HOST=localhost
JVB_PORT=5275
JVB_SECRET=SECRET1
## Leave below as originally was
JAVA_SYS_PROPS=...

Some changes had to be made to /etc/jitsi/videobridge/sip-communicator.properties:

org.jitsi.videobridge.AUTHORIZED_SOURCE_REGEXP=focus@jabberhead.tk/.*
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_LOCAL_ADDRESS=<LOCAL-IP-OF-YOUR-SERVER>
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_PUBLIC_ADDRESS=<PUBLIC-IP-OF-YOUR-SERVER>
org.jitsi.videobridge.TCP_HARVESTER_PORT=4443

Now we can wire it all together by modifying the Jitsi Meet config file found under /etc/jitsi/meet/meet.example.org-config.js:

var config = {
    hosts: {
        domain: 'jabberhead.tk',
        anonymousdomain: 'meet.jabberhead.tk',
        authdomain: 'jabberhead.tk',
        bridge: 'jitsi-videobridge.meet.jabberhead.tk',
        focus: 'focus.jabberhead.tk',
        muc: 'conference.meet.jabberhead.tk'
    },
    bosh: '//meet.jabberhead.tk/http-bind',
    clientNode: 'http://jitsi.org/jitsimeet',
    focusUserJid: 'focus@jabberhead.tk',

    testing: {
    ...
    }
...
}

Finally of course, I also had to register the focus user as an XMPP account:

ejabberdctl register focus jabberhead.tk SECRET3

Remember to use a safe password instead of SECRET3 and also stop and disable the bundled prosody! That’s it!

I hope this lowers the bar for some to deploy Jitsi Meet next to their already existing ejabberd. Lastly please do not ask me for support, as I barely managed to get this working for myself 😛

Update (11.04.2020)

With feedback from Holger I reworked my ejabberd config and disabled s2s for the meet vhost, see above.

Someone also pointed out that it may be a good idea to substitute prosody with a dummy package to save disk space and possible attack surface.