FAQ: Big Blue Button Hosting

Find answers to questions about Big Blue Button Hosting.

What is BigBlueButton?

BigBlueButton is an open source software for web and video conferencing. With numerous functions such as a digital whiteboard, chat and video chat, screen sharing or the sharing of documents and notes, online business meetings and distance learning can be made interactive and easy.

What are features of BigBlueButton?

1. Audio and video transmission

2. Chat function (public and private)

3. Interactive whiteboard

4. Slide presentation

5. Screen sharing

6. Breakout rooms

7. Surveys

8. Shared Notes

What is Greenlight and what do I need it for?

Greenlight is an easy-to-use frontend for creating rooms, starting conferences and managing recordings. If you use an application with BigBlueButton integration, Greenlight can be uninstalled. A list of applications with BigBlueButton support can be found on the BigBlueButton website: https://bigbluebutton.org/integrations/

What do I need to join a session?

All PCs, smartphones, tablets and chromebooks that can run the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Chromium-based browsers are suitable for joining a conference. The bandwidth should be at least 1 Mbit / s in the download and 0.5 Mbit / s in the upload.

How many participants can join a session?

Up to 100 participants can join a conference. If there are more participants, technical problems may arise.

How many conferences can I start?

You can start as many conferences as your chosen tariff allows.

How many users can I create?

You can add as many users as you need.

What do I need a TURN server for?

Due to the WebRTC standard used by BigBlueButton, a large number of UDP ports must normally be available for communication. Users from networks that restrict outbound UDP connections may not be able to connect to your BigBlueButton server.

The TURN server enables such restrictions to be circumvented by the user establishing a connection to the TURN server and the TURN server then establishing a connection to your BigBlueButton server on his behalf.

How create a new room?

To create a new room, click on the same "create room". In the dialog box you can now name your room and set up options for accessing and starting the conference.

How do I start a conference?

If you need to start the room, click on “Start”. If the room is configured in such a way that participants can start the conference and this has already happened, click on “Participate”.

How do I join a conference?

To join a conference, you need the link and, if necessary, the access code for the room. If the conference is not yet running or you first need to be approved, this is indicated on the respective page. Once the conference has started and you have been approved, you will be transferred to the conference.

Can I use BBB on my smartphone?

Yes. Your smartphone must run on at least Android 6.0 or iOS 12.2. All functions, except for sharing the screen, are also available on the smartphone.

How do I generate a URL for my room?

You can find the URL under the menu item “Invite participants”. To copy the URL to your clipboard, click "Copy".

How do I activate my microphone?

To use your microphone, you will need to select "With microphone” from the join options. You then need to authorize the use of your microphone in the browser. You can check the function of your microphone in the following echo test. If you can't hear yourself, click the red thumb down button. You can now change the audio source and play a test tone to test the functionality of your speakers. If you want to activate your microphone after joining as a listener, click on the headphone icon to end the audio conference. Then click on the telephone icon to join the audio conference with microphone.

How do I activate my microphone in a conference?

To activate your microphone in the conference, click on the microphone at the bottom of the bar. When the microphone icon has a blue background, your microphone is activated.

How do I mute my microphone in a conference?

To mute your microphone in the conference, click on the microphone icon at the bottom of the bar. If the microphone icon has a gray background and is crossed out, your microphone is muted.

How do I share my webcam?

To share your webcam in a conference, select the webcam icon at the bottom of the bar. You then need to authorize the use of your webcam in the browser. In the webcam settings you can now select the camera and set the quality. Please note that streaming in high quality can cause problems for many participants in a conference.

How do I stop sharing my webcam?

To stop webcam sharing, click the webcam icon in the bar at the bottom.

Where can i upload my presentation?

To upload a presentation, you must be a presenter. As the presenter, you have a blue button with a plus in the lower left corner. The presenter actions can be called up using this button. To upload a presentation, click the "Upload presentation" option. The presentation can be uploaded via drag and drop or via your file explorer. OpenDocument, Microsoft Office and .pdf files are accepted. Uploading .pdf files is recommended. Errors may occur when converting other file formats.

How do I share my screen?

If you want to share your screen, you need to be presenter. Click on the screen icon and choose whether you want to split your entire screen or an application window. If you use Safari, your entire screen will be shared. To stop sharing, click the screen icon again.

How do I conduct a survey?

In order to conduct a survey, you must be a presenter. As the presenter, you have a blue button with a plus in the lower left corner. The presenter actions can be called up using this button. To conduct a survey, click on the "Start survey" option. You can now choose whether you want to carry out one of the given surveys or your own. The current status of the survey is displayed on the left. You can publish the survey at any time; this ends the survey. The result of the survey is inserted as a note on the current slide. To remove the survey results from the slide, click the garbage can on the right in the presentation options.

Can I share an external video in a conference?

If you want to share an external video, you must be a moderator. They have a blue button with a plus in the lower left corner that brings up presenter actions. To share an external video, go to the "Share external video" option. Now you can paste the url of the video. Among other things, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitch are supported. The moderator can pause and fast-forward / rewind the video for all conference participants. Since each participant accesses the stream individually, there may be small delays.

Can I remove participants from the conference?

To remove a participant, click on his icon in the participant list. Now click on "Remove participant”. Now you can decide whether you also want to block the participant. The participant will then not be able to participate in the conference again.

How do I make a participant a presenter?

To make a participant a presenter, click on his or her icon in the participant list. Now click on "Make a presenter".

How do I make a participant a moderator?

To make a participant a moderator, click on the participant's icon in the participant list. Now click on “Promote to moderator”. You can demote the participant back to a participant. During his time as moderator, he can also downgrade you to a participant.

How do I manage the participant rights?

If you want to manage participant rights, click on the gear icon "Manage participants". Then go to "Restrict participant rights". You can now manage the options

How do I split the conference?

To split up the conference, select the gear icon "Manage participants". Then click on “Create breakout rooms”. You can now specify the number of rooms and the duration of the division. You can assign participants to the rooms yourself or randomly; alternatively, you can allow participants to divide themselves up.

You join the breakout rooms like a normal conference. The breakout room is called up in a new browser tab. In the breakout rooms, every participant can become a presenter. To become a presenter, the participant has to click on the blue plus icon in the lower left corner and select “Become a presenter”.

Via the tab of the original conference, the participants can subsequently change rooms and view the participants using the “Breakout rooms” button.

The moderator can also end all breakout rooms early. The tabs with the breakout rooms are closed for all participants and all participants rejoin the original conference.

How do I invite participants to my conference?

To invite participants, send them the link for the room and the time at which you want to hold the conference.

How do I add subtitles for my conference?

There is currently no automatic function for creating subtitles. Moderators can add subtitles manually. To add subtitles, click on the gear icon "Manage participants" and then select "Write subtitles". Subtitles can be switched on or off by the participants by clicking on the CC icon.

How do I end a conference?

To end a conference, click on the icon with the three dots in the upper right corner and then select "End conference". This ends the conference for all participants.

What can i do if my microphone doesn't work?

As a participant in a conference, the first thing you should do is to ensure that your microphone is correctly heard on the device. Then you need to see if your browser has access to your microphone. If you already have a conference line, disconnect from the audio conference by clicking on the headset symbol and then click on the telephone icon over the audio conference with the microphone. Be careful that the browser is accessing your microphone too much. If you use multiple microphones (e.g. webcam and headset).

If you have been given access to your microphone in the browser, you have to reactivate your microphone in the browser settings. To solve problems with the WebRTC standard, you can use a diagnostic tool at test.webrtc.org. The tool is taken over by Google LLC.

What can I do if I don't hear the session?

As a participant in a conference, please check whether your output device is correctly connected to your end device and is selected as the output device under your audio options.

What can i do if my webcam does‘nt work?

As a participant in a conference, first check that your webcam is correctly connected to your device. Then check that you have given your browser access to your webcam. If you are already in a conference, disconnect your video conference by clicking the webcam icon and then clicking the webcam icon again to share your webcam again. Make sure the browser can access your webcam. If you are using multiple webcams (for example, a built-in webcam and an external webcam), make sure you select the correct device.

If you have blocked access to your webcam in the browser, you will need to reactivate your webcam in the browser settings. With a diagnostic tool at test.webrtc.org you can rule out possible problems with the WebRTC standard. The tool is provided by Google LLC.

If you see "Another application is using your webcam" or "NotReadableError: video source could not be started", check to see if another application is not using your webcam. Close the applications and share your webcam again.

What can I do if I hear an echo?

If attendees are having audio problems, make sure that the

Broadband requirements are met. The bandwidth should be at least 1 Mbit / s in the download and 0.5 Mbit / s in the upload.

Make sure attendees are using an appropriate audio output device. If the audio is output through speakers, an echo may occur. The best solution is to use a headset to prevent the transmission of background noise and echoes.

If a particular participant is causing an echo and disturbing the entire conference, you can mute the participant by clicking the microphone icon to the left of their name.

What do I do if my recordings don't appear on Greenlight?

If the problems described cannot be resolved or if other problems arise, we are at your side to solve the problems. Our technical support can be reached at any time via the ticket system in the customer area or by telephone on 0361 - 658 53 0.

How do I record a conference?

If you want record a conference, the recording of room must be allowed. Either the option for all rooms is active or you must activate every single room in the room settings yet. To record a conference, the moderator have to click the button „recording” after start a conference.

Where can i managed the recordings?

Once processed, the records appear on the side of the room that was recorded. Depending on the selected settings, you can publish the recordings for everyone with a link. You can rename and view the recordings in your name with just one click.

Admin settings

As soon as you have an account with the necessary permissions, you can access the organization settings by clicking on your account on the start page.

Admin setting: Manage user

Here you will first find the overview of all active user accounts that are created on your server. Depending on the selected registration method, you will find all users who are currently waiting for an administrator to approve their account under the "Waiting" tab. Under the tabs "Blocked" and "Deleted" you will find all users with blocked or deleted accounts. The accounts can be unlocked or restored.

Admin setting: Server rooms

Here you will find an overview of all server rooms and their status. You can participate in all ongoing conferences as a user with normal rights by clicking on "View" under the options. If the conference has not started yet, you will be transferred to the waiting room.

If you are participating in an ongoing conference as a moderator, click on "Take part". If the conference is not running yet, you can start it by clicking on “Start”. In this case, too, you participate as a moderator. In addition, you can adjust the room settings, upload presentations and assign / withdraw access rights.

Admin setting: Server recordings

Here you can find the recordings of conferences. You can rename and delete the recordings and send a link for access. Under Visibility, you can specify whether only people with a link can view the recording (not listed) or whether everyone with a link to the room (public) can access the recording.

Admin setting: Basic settings

Here you will first find the display options. You can customize the look of Greenlight with your logo and your own color scheme. Under "Administration" you will find the options to include your imprint and your privacy policy at the foot of the page. You can also display a banner to inform all users about maintenance work or other topics.

Under "Settings" you will find the options for registration, authentication, recordings, etc.
Please note that we do not recommend open registration.

Admin setting: room configuration

Here are the options for attending conferences. If you select the option "Optional", the room owner can decide whether he wants to activate the option in his room settings.

Admin settings: Roles

Here you can adapt the current roles, create new roles or delete roles that are not required. You can assign a different role to your users via "Manage users".