Sun 12 Apr 2020 11:59AM

Hosting our own Online-Conferencing Tool

AK Alex Kaos Public Seen by 26

Hi there,

so with the Pandemic in full swing, Kiez burn cancelled, and before that even some major complications with online video-call-ins, there was some discussion as to whether kiez burn should get a Zoom account.

I am resistant to this idea for a few reasons:

  • Zoom is getting a bad rep for security. This is a debatable claim to accuracy, but my unskilled and inexperienced eye can't tell if it's true and would rather sta safe than sorry.

  • Zoom is like Slack. It caters to large businesses, and we are in the midst of an organizational revolution. It seems counter-intuitive to use capitalist-heavy platforms instead of experimenting with Open-Source options.

  • A single zoom account only makes things a little easier. The alternative is for users to jump back in to the same meeting once the 40 minutes free-window is over. We would still need to manage the account and share with the right people for the right meetings, which is orga overhead, and is unflexible

It costs 14€ per month, 168€ per year = just over 2.5 ticketholders (at 2019 ticket value).

Potential solution


Does anyone know anything about this? Apparently we can isntall it on our servers and have our own flexible video conferencing space. I would be excited by the prospect of having our own own to play with. I have a few questions for the robot Ministry.

  • have any of you used this before, or know anything about it?

  • Is it easy to set-up, or very challenging? Can anyone get that response?

  • Would it be something worth setting up sooner rather than later in order to utilize it during the Times of Corona?

I am available to help if anyone more technically minded knows how to set this up and would be keen for the side project.


Karlo Walz Sun 12 Apr 2020 1:00PM

Hi Alex

a few words from my side on this from the perspective of not liking these tools.

A tool is a tool and I dont kiss a hammer.

ich weiss es gibt schon meherer pro accounts für burner. Ich finde wir sollten

das gifting ernster nehmen und diese erstmal teilen.

Gerade auch um Geld zu sparen.

Viel wichtiger als das tool ist wer und wie man damit arbeitet.

Anstatt sich also auf ein weiteres tool zu konzentrieren könnte man sich besser

auf das Wie, Was und Warum fokussieren.

was ich sehe sind abschottungstendenzen, ein weiteres tool, ein weiteren account, noch ein passwort

um möglichst ungestört alleine sich besprechen zu können.

thats my point of view.


Owl Mon 13 Apr 2020 7:36PM

I gave it a shot for the idea to have a virtual campfire, so people can gather at any time they like (not only for specific events). I gave up my first attempt using my raspberry Pi 4 4GB at home, because to have it in my local network at home and make it accessible from the net, I would have to open it up to be able use dyndns. I've now created a virtual server for the domain (1 core 4gb RAM, Ubuntu 18.4) which I gonna sponsor for a while to see if that works better than Zoom. The setup following the quick installation guide worked pretty easy in the end, I just made a very stupid mistake in the very first hostname step, and that lead to confusing problems later. I also switched in the end the nightly build). I'm not sure for how many parallel connections the server will be sufficient, that has to be tried out.

What I'm currently preparing is a permanent view into the Embassy (even with no one inside) to anchor the virtual world in the real world. Unfortunately the construction works at the Haus der Statistik teared apart the freifunk glas fiber cable which connected the different buildings, so it is unclear when that part will really work.

What I like to see in the end is a dashboard (an entry page) with a number of public room for specific topics/languages (and how many people are in there), so people can meet for whats interesting to them. 50 people in a conference is nice, but like elsewhere with 50 people you can't have much conversation. For a more personal conversation it would be better to have smaller groups, but in a way that you can find them and don't feel alone. Such a dashboard doesn't seem to exist yet, but maybe it can be programmed?

To address Karlo: yes, currently each type of server often brings their own tools with them. But most can be used from a browser, too, and as a normal participant you don't need an account. In the case of using Jitsi, you don't need an account at all. And yes: for most people everything videoconferencing is new, and most systems are business oriented and not ment for an open community. So currently there is no final solution, and while a number of people use Zoom (me too), others are unsatisfied with their security problems, and that everything is running from (and all data go to) somewhere else, and that you always need a inviting host online. Since some of the Freifunk groups and also CCC groups are running their own Jitsi servers, it might also work for us :-)

We might need videoconferencing also in the future (Kiez Burn meetings tried that option already before Corona), so it is a good idea to collect some experiences.


[deactivated account] Tue 14 Apr 2020 4:04PM

Hello dear @Alexxx ! There was a virtual mini burn that happened called HiveBurn that used Jitsi. It seemed to be more creative, with more possibilities. It worked really well! You can plug other tools into it (like, Zoom). I could put you in touch with the people who did this (on Facebook) for more info - I'm not a techie. Let me know!


Henrik 🤖 Tue 21 Apr 2020 9:43PM

Hey Alex,

I'm currently looking at – and am pretty damn amazed by – this:

It's basically a server manager that comes with a ton of prepackaged open source apps. Jitsi is one of them (i.e. supposedly super easy to install once YunoHost is setup)

There are quite a lot of really cool apps and apparently YunoHost takes care of unified user and permissions management (for all non-techies: it's super dope!). The full list of apps is at

Some Apps that could be useful for Kiez Burn:

This is the best collection of prepackaged open source apps I've seen so far. Ironically, Loomio isn't supported (yet) =D

@Zach Dunton @Tibo @Flo @waldo What do you think? Should we give it a try?

EDIT: There is also Cloudron, which offers an alternative to yunohost as a paid service (but with a different apps potofolio)


Sebastian Sun 7 Jun 2020 6:51PM

I have Jitsi running on a samll VPS at Hetzner (3€/month) which can handle up to 10 video streams at once. Any of the bigger VPS or having only some people share their screen can get the installation to bigger conference sizes. I have an ansible script to install a running server automatically, if you're interested in self hosting...


Henrik 🤖 Thu 11 Jun 2020 8:02PM

that's pretty cool! well, if there is demand we could definitely go for it. but for now I'm lacking proper justification for going through the hassle =)


walto Tue 21 Apr 2020 10:19PM

wow, looks sweet! Thanks for this link. If there is a use case for some (parts) of this, sure, let's give it a try.

I am however not sure what the use case here is. What are we trying to do. @Alexxx do you have something in mind that you would like to do and where some of these tools would help?