Steps to Install BigBlueButton on Debian/Ubuntu

Install BigBlueButton
BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for online learning. This article will help you to install BigBlueButton on Debian/Ubuntu servers.

BigBlueButton is something the same as Webex, and it’s open-source! I got a chance to install BBB for one of our clients. Even though BBB has a lot of tutorials available, It took hours for me to correct the installation errors and fix them. I have gone through all possible errors and manage to fix it. So I’m adding all those steps in detail and hope that will help you.


1) Know your OS type

I have installed the BBB in one of our VPS with 64bit, Debian Lenny as OS. ( It is important to know about your OS before the installation because if your OS is a 32bit one, then installing a 64bit package won’t work. ) And all the available tutorials are for 32 bit. I have added the changes you have to make if your OS is 64bit. ( I’ll mention if there is a difference in steps for 32 bit and 64 bit. )

To check the OS type and code name, you can execute the following command.

lsb_release -a


To know the OS bit, please execute the following command.

uname -m


x86_64 when it is a kernel 64 bits

i686 for 32 bits kernel


Or else execute the following command.

getconf LONG_BIT



2) Set your Locals

dpkg-reconfigure locales
set to en_US.UTF-8


3) Know your OS

If your OS is Debian Squeeze, then you don’t have to follow this step.

To check the OS type and code name, you can execute the following command.

lsb_release -a



4 ) Setup OS

BBB recommends installing the software in Debian Squeeze. So if you are using a Lenny, you have to upgrade it first. ( If your OS is squeeze, then you don’t have to follow this step. )

Add the squeeze repository in the /etc/apt/source.list

vim /etc/apt/sources.list
deb squeeze main non-free
deb-src squeeze main non-free
deb squeeze/updates main contrib
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade


( When you get the following prompt, I recommend choosing to install the package maintainers version if it is a new server. )

What would you like to do about it? Your options are:

Y or I: install the package maintainer's version
N or O: keep your currently installed version
D: show the differences between the versions
Z: background this process to examine the situation


5) Install MySQL server and set a password

apt-get install mysql-server



6) Change Apache port 80 to something else ( Do not use 8080, because BBB requires tomcat6 and that uses 8080 port ) by editing /etc/apache2/ ports.conf and sites-enabled. Because BBB using 80port by default.

E.g., If you want to change the Apache port to 4444, follow the below steps.

vim /etc/apache2/ports.conf
NameVirtualHost *:4444
Listen 4444
vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default


Then restart Apache.

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart



7) BBB Repository settings

# bigbluebutton repository key

wget -O- | apt-key add -


# Freeswitch PPA key

apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 451AE93C
echo -e "deb bigbluebutton-lucid mainndeb lucid main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bigbluebutton.list


# Add the BigBlueButton repository URL and ensure the multiverse is enabled.

echo "deb bigbluebutton-lucid main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bigbluebutton.list
echo "deb lucid multiverse" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list


Update repository.

apt-get update
aptitude apdate


If you get the error – NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 type the below command.

apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 40976EAF437D05B5


Then update apt-get and aptitude again.


8) Install libmpfr

apt-get install libgmp3c2


If your OS is 64 bit, please follow the below steps.

dpkg -i libmpfr1ldbl_2.4.2-3ubuntu1_amd64.deb


If your OS is 32 bit, please follow the below steps.

dpkg -i libmpfr1ldbl_2.4.2-3ubuntu1_i386.deb


9) Another workaround to avoid packaging errors later on :

mkdir -p /var/www/nginx-default/
touch /var/www/nginx-default/50x.html


10) For the voice conference, we are going to install Asterisk ( Can use FreeSWITCH also )

To install Asterisk, please follow the steps.

apt-get install bbb-voice-conference


You may get the following errors.

Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)


Please reinstall Asterisk to fix the issue by following the below steps.

apt-get --purge remove asterisk


Then reinstall Asterisk

apt-get install asterisk


Restart Asterisk to see if it is working fine.

/etc/init.d/asterisk restart


Then reinstall bbb-voice-conference

apt-get install bbb-voice-conference


( If you again get the same errors, ignore it and continue to install the BBB. That will be fixed after performing the coming sections. )


11) Install BigBlueButton

apt-get install bigbluebutton


To restart all services related to BBB, run the following command.

bbb-conf --clean



To check the info and the errors, execute the following command.

bbb-conf –check


You may get the following errors.

# Not Running: Nginx
# This server could not connect to BigBlueButton through http://your
If you try restarting the nginx, you will get the following errors.
/etc/init.d/nginx restart
Restarting nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax
is ok
[emerg]: socket() [::]:80 failed (97: Address family not supported by
configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed


You are getting this error because the IPv6 support is enabled in your nginx by default. Turning off the IPv6 support will fix this issue.

vim /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
#listen [::]:80 default ipv6only=off; ## listen for ipv6


Then restart nginx.

/etc/init.d/nginx restart


Now it will create the bigbluebutton site under nginx.

You may get the following Asterisk “konference” error when executing the command “bbb-conf –check”.

** Potential problems described below **
# Did not detect the BigBlueButton configuration setup for asterisk.
# /usr/lib/asterisk/modules/
# Try running: sudo apt-get install bbb-voice-conference


Follow the given steps to fix the issue.

Execute the below command to o find the app_konference location.

dpkg -L bbb-voice-conference | grep app_konference


The output will be as follows.



If your OS is 32 bit, then follow the below command to fix the issue.

cp /var/tmp/ /usr/lib/asterisk/modules/



If your OS is 64 bit, then follow the below command to fix the issue.

cp /var/tmp/ /usr/lib/asterisk/modules/


Then restart BBB to check if the issue is fixed.

bbb-conf --clean



12) To test the working




To start using your BigBlueButton server, enter your name and click the ‘Join’ button. You’ll join the Demo Meeting.

To create your meetings or join a meeting, click on the “View API examples”, and you can see the options there.


So that’s how you install BigBlueButton.

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