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How to setup your own BigBlueButton Server (Windows)

★作者:桐星豆博客   |  ★类别: 技术文章   |  ★发布时间: 2010-10-25 14:19   |  ★更新时间: 2010-10-25 14:19   |  ★浏览次数:10880   |  ★ 评论(0)


How to setup your own BigBlueButton Server (Windows)

Note: These instructions are depreciated. We no longer support installation of BigBlueBtton on Windows. For up-to-date installation instructions, please see the Installation of BigBlueButton wiki page.

Note: These instructions are for version 0.3 and will soon be updated for version 0.4.


These instructions show you how to install BigBlueButton on a Windows XP/Vista computer. If you computer is running XP/Vista with at least 1GB of memory and 8GB of free disk space, you're good to go.

There are three core servers needed to run BigBlueButton:

  • bigbluebutton server (built on red5)
  • activeMQ server
  • tomcat server


You'll also need to install an Asterisk server for voice conferencing. However, for these instructions, we'll just cover the above servers. That's enough to get you running with sharing of slides, video, and chat.

For the tomcat server, there are two additional components to install:

  • bigbluebutton.war -- a Java application that handles the upload of slides
  • client -- the HTML files (including the flash SWF) files for the BigBlueButton client

For bigbluebutton.war, it uses two supporting command-line applications to convert PDF slides to SWF images:

  • pdftk -- breaks up PDF files into individual pages
  • pdf2swf -- converts a PDF file to SWF


For an overview of how the files work together, see http://code.google.com/p/bigbluebutton/wiki/GettingStarted | Getting Started

Before you begin

First, you'll need to create some directories. These instructions use the c: drive, but you can use any drive and any directory for installation.

  1. Create c:\tools (referred as TOOLS_DIR)


  1. Create c:\temp (referred as TEMP_DIR)


We'll use TOOLS_DIR and TEMP_DIR through these instructions. For example, to point the variable JAVA_HOME to TOOLS_DIR\jdk, you would define it as c:\tools\jdk. Also, you will need to know the host name (or IP address) of your computer (referred to as HOSTNAME). This could be a fully qualified domain name, such as mycomputer.network.com, or an IP address, as

Enough intro -- let's get installing.

Install Base Applications

For the downloads below, just grab the latest version of each open source application. If your computer already has the application installed, such as tomcat, you can of course skip that installation step.

Java Development Kit

  1. Download the JDK 6 (not the JRE) installer.
  2. Install the JDK to TOOLS_DIR - e.g. TOOLS_DIR\jdk. (Note, you can call the directory whatever you like, such as TOOLS_DIR\jdk1.6.)
  3. Click Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced tab -> Environment Variables on your computer.
  4. Add a system variable JAVA_HOME pointing to JAVA_HOME = TOOLS_DIR\jdk (i.e. c:\tools\jdk).
  5. Open a command prompt and run java -version. You should see the java version (JDK 1.6 or above) displayed.


  1. Download ActiveMQ version 5.2.0.
  2. Install ActiveMQ in TOOLS_DIR\activemq.
  3. Open a command prompt and cd to TOOLS_DIR\activemq\bin\win32.
  4. Run activemq.bat.
  5. You should set the AcitveMQ startup messages with no errors.


  1. Download Tomcat version 6 zip file.
  2. Uncompress the ZIP file into TOOLS_DIR\tomcat.
  3. Open a command prompt and cd to TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\bin.
  4. Run catalina.bat start.
  5. Open your browser to URL http://HOSTNAME:8080.
  6. You should see the Tomcat welcome page displayed.

By default, tomcat listens on port 8080. You can easily change tomcat's settings to listen on port 80. Edit the TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\server.xml file and find the string port=”8080″ and change it to port=”80″. Omit the port 8080 qualifier from the rest of these instructions if you do this.

SWF Tools and PDF Toolkit

  1. Download the latest version of SWF Tools.
  2. Install in TOOLS_DIR\swftools.
  3. Download the latest version of PDF Toolkit.
  4. Install in TOOLS_DIR\pdftk.

If you've been following step-by-step, at this point your TOOLS_DIR looks like this:

(The JRE is automatically installed by the JDK, but we'll be using the JDK.) OK, let's start installing the BigBlueButton specific components.

Install BigBlueButton Client

First, let's download the BigBlueButton client by grabbing the latest version from the Google Code downloads.

  1. Download the latest bbb-client (ZIP file) from the Downloads.
  2. Unzip bbb-client into TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps\ROOT. (You'll now have a ROOT\bin directory.)
  3. Rename the ROOT\bin directory to ROOT\client.

If you’ve left the tomcat server running, you should be able to open http://HOSTNAME:8080/client/BigBlueButton.html (tomcat is case sensitive) and see the login screen.

Note, you won't be able to login yet -- there's no Red5 server running yet for the Flash client to connect.

Install BigBlueButton Server

The BigBlueButton server is the Red5 server with some additional applications.

We've packaged up a slimmed-down version of the Red5 server.

  1. Download the latest bbb-server (ZIP file) from the Downloads.
  2. Unzip bbb-server into TOOLS_DIR\bbb-server.
  3. Download the latest bigbluebutton-apps(ZIP file) from the Downloads.
  4. Unzip bigbluebutton-apps it in TOOLS_DIR\bbb-server\webapps.


At this point, your bbb-server directory should look like this:

We're almost ready to login for real. Before we do this, we need to ensure there are some conference room (ID) defined for users to join.

  1. Edit TOOLS_DIR\bbb-server\webapps\conference\conferences\conferences.xml to create conference rooms.
  2. Copy the text below and save it to this file.

Note: This file was created under UNIX, so it's missing the carriage returns Windows expects. You can edit it by using a programmer's editor (such as textpad), or, as indicated above, paste in the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> 

Next, we need to edit modules.xml. On startup, the BigBlueButton client uses this XML file to retrieve the hostname (or IP address) for the Red5 server for each module it loads, along with the URL to upload slides to the tomcat server.

  1. Edit TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps\ROOT\client\conf\modules.xml.
  2. Change all instances of localhost to HOSTNAME.
  3. Change the host attribute for PresentationModule to HOSTNAME:8080. (If you changed tomcat to listen on port 80, you can omit this step.
  4. Save the file.

For example, if you are using the IP address for HOSTNAME and your tomcat server is running on port 8080, then modules.xml should contain the following values:

        <module name="VideoModule" url="VideoModule.swf" uri="rtmp://" /> 
        <module name="ChatModule" url="ChatModule.swf" uri="rtmp://" /> 
        <module name="ViewersModule" url="ViewersModule.swf" uri="rtmp://" /> 
        <module name="ListenersModule" url="ListenersModule.swf" uri="rtmp://" /> 
        <module name="PresentationModule" url="PresentationModule.swf"  
                uri="rtmp://" host="" /> 

Login Check

At this point we have installed enough components to login. First, let's make sure all the servers are running.

Start activeMQ server

If not already running, start the activeMQ server.

  1. Open a new command window.
  2. Change directory to TOOlS_DIR\activeMQ\bin
  3. type activemq.bat


Start tomcat server

If not already running, start the tomcat server.

  1. Open a new command window.
  2. Change directory to TOOlS_DIR\tomcat\bin
  3. type catalina.bat start


Start BigBlueButton server

If not already running, start the BigBlueButton server.

  1. Open a new command window.
  2. Change directory to TOOLS_DIR\bbb-server
  3. type red5.bat


Tthe BigBlueButton server (Red5 server) takes about 10 seconds to first startup.

After it's running, open http://HOSTNAME:8080/client/BigBlueButton.html and login with your name, conference ID 85115, and password modpass.

You should see the main screen.

At this point, you can start multiple clients from multiple browser and chat. You can also share your web cams. However, before you can upload slides, you'll need to configure the bigbluebutton.war servle.

Configure bigbluebutton.war

This servlet accepts the upload of PDF slides from the BigBlueButton client. The servlet uses pdftk and pdf2swf to convert the uploaded file into individual SWF images that the BigBlueButton client can display.

  1. Download the latest bigbluebutton.war file from the Downloads.
  2. Put into TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps.
  3. Start the tomcat server (no need to restart if it's already running). In the tomcat server console you should see it unpacking the WAR file into the webapps directory).
  4. After the unpacking is finished, edit TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps\bigbluebutton\WEB-INF\bigbluebutton.properties specify the locations for pdf2swf, pdftk, and the upload directory.

If you've been using the suggested defaults in this guide, you can copy and paste the following configuration:

# Define these to prevent warning messages    
# Edit to point to your pdf2swf executable 
# Edit to point to your pdftk executable 
# The base directory where uploaded slides are extracted 

Try uploading a PDF file

You are ready to share slides. To upload a PDF file, you need to make yourself presenter. to make yourself presenter, first click on your name to highligh it, then click the Make Presenter button.

Next, click the Upload PDF button.

Next, click the '+' button to select a PDF file to upload. If you don't have one ready, there's one installed with Tomcat in TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps\docs\architecture\requestProcess\requestProcess.pdf.

Click Upload button.

You should see the slides converting, then displayed.


Security Error on Upload of slides

If you get a security error when trying to upload slides

then check the value for host in TOOLS_DIR\tomcat\webapps\ROOT\client\conf\modules.xml. For example, if this value is, then try entering that URL into your browser. You should get the welcome page for the tomcat server.

Upload is successful, but there are no converting 1 of N, 2 of N messages

Try shutting down the activeMQ, tomcat, and BigBlueButton servers. Then start activeMQ first, then tomcat and BigBlueButton servers. Try again.


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