Ever since Coronavirus hit, people have been forced to work from home. A lot of workers at home have been using Zoom, an accessible, closed source tool. Zoom works very well. However, it’s not open-source, and it has a lot of privacy issues.
If you’re a Linux user and you need an excellent Zoom alternative, try out Jitsi Meet. It’s a great program that respects your privacy and offers a lot of the same features Zoom does. Here’s how to set it up on Linux.
Method 1 – Online calls
The number one way you can enjoy Jitsi Meet on Linux is with their online service application. It does not require installation of any kind and is a great way to go if you’re new to Linux and not comfortable with installing programs.
To get started with the online version of Jitsi Meet, head over to the official Jitsi website. Once on the website, look for the “See it in action! Start a Meeting” button at the top of the page. Click on the button, and you’ll be taken to the online meeting setup page.
On this page, the Jitsi website shows you a brief paragraph of all of the benefits of Jitsi. Read it, as this information is important. When you’ve finished reading things, take the mouse and click on the text box below “Start a new meeting.” Type in the name of the new meeting you wish to start with Jitsi.
After typing out the name of your meeting, take a look at the “Connect your calendar” button below the text box. This button will allow you to connect your calendar system to Jitsi. Click on it if you wish to sync your schedule/calendar system with Jitsi.
When you’ve finished syncing your calendar, look for the gear icon at the top right-hand section of the page, and click on it. This button is the options area for Jitsi. Find “Profile,” and set up your display name/email for the call if you wish (it is not required.)
With your display name set up in “Profile,” click on the “Devices” tab in the options area. In the “Devices” tab, you can configure your microphone and web camera. Do so. When done, press “OK” to save.
Note: you will need to grant permissions to your browser after setting up your devices. Grant them access when a notification appears in the browser.
Once everything is configured for your Jitsi Online call, click the “GO” button to start. By clicking “GO,” Jitsi will bring up a window. In this window, you will see “Join meeting.” Click on it to go to the call.
Note: when you are inside of the call, share the Jitsi meeting URL with anyone who wishes to join your call. However, be sure to click on the “Security” button in the bottom right-hand corner to give your room a password.
To end the call, click the red hang-up button. When you click on the hang-up button, Jitsi will immediately end the call.
Method 2 – Linux desktop calls
While the Jitsi Meet website works well for most on Linux, some might want a native desktop application. Here’s how to set it up. First, download the latest Jitsi Meet Desktop app. You can do that by opening up a terminal window and using the wget command below.
Note: if you use Arch Linux, it is also possible to install Jitsi Meet Desktop directly from the Arch Linux AUR. Point your favorite AUR helper at this package here to get it working.
After downloading the AppImage file to your computer, make a new directory with the name of “AppImages.”
mkdir -p ~/AppImages
Next, update the permissions of the Jitsi Meet Desktop app with the chmod command. The permissions must be changed for the app to function correctly on Linux.
chmod +x jitsi-meet-x86_64.AppImage
Once the file’s permissions are changed, move it into the “AppImages” directory.
mv jitsi-meet-x86_64.AppImage ~/AppImages/
Next, launch the program with:
Or, by double-clicking on it via the Linux file manager in the “AppImages” folder.
With the app open, look for the “GO” box, and type out the name of your meeting. Then, click “GO.”
After writing out the name of your meeting in “GO,” you will see the join call page. Click the “Join meeting” button to enter your Jitsi Meet call. To exit your Jisti Meet call from the Jitsi Meet Desktop application, locate the red phone button and click it. By clicking it, the call should automatically end. Once the call ends, close the app.