The Jitsi community offers a fully open source video conferencing solution, built using HTML5. There are other video conferencing solutions available, so why use this one? One reason is that Jitsi is fully free and open source. It relies on HTML 5 technologies, meaning it works out of the box with any modern web browser, without the need for Flash or any other plugins or extensions. This post helps you get started with it.

Create your meeting

To create a meeting, simply visit a named URL:

https://meet.jit.si/<yourname>

For example, the last Fedora Council meeting happened at:

https://meet.jit.si/FedoraCouncil

Set your name and avatar

By default, meet.jit.si is anonymous. Someone who joins shows up in the members list as “Fellow Jitser.” However, if you lead a meeting with multiple people it’s nice to know who’s present.

To set your username and avatar, click on the icon in the top left. Both are optional, of course:

meet.jit.si interface

Mute unless speaking

Being muted during video conferences is a good practice to follow. It helps keep the meeting quiet and manageable. It also avoids letting everyone know from your keyboard clicking that you’re checking email instead of following the meeting!

By default when you join a meeting you won’t be muted. Click on the “mute” icon in the top middle of the window to mute your own line. Then can use the space bar to toggle this status when you want to speak, as a “push to talk” control.

You also have a similar video on/off control, so you can show your webcam feed only when desired. If you turn off the video, your avatar represents you if you have one.

Link Jitsi with YouTube

If the audience of your meeting is too big to interact on Jitsi, you can link meet.jit.si with YouTube. You can then live stream the Jitsi meeting via YouTube. This also divides your audience into participants (or presenters) and audience, which may be helpful in many cases. Afterward, you can do some post-processing of the video if desired and share it via YouTube.