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How to Turn Raspberry Pi into a Video Conferencing Server

December 23, 2021
Dimitrii Zuikov

Dimitrii Zuikov

TrueConf offers a trial video conferencing solution for the Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer. With this microcomputer and TrueConf software, you can create self-service systems in public places, information kiosks located near tourist sites, or use it to build “Smart Home”.

How to Turn Raspberry Pi into a Video Conferencing Server 1

For this configuration we provide a special version of TrueConf Room designed for ARM architecture. You can install this software on your Raspberry Pi for free by following the guide below.

Required equipment

Minimum equipment requirements for video conferencing are listed below:

  • Raspberry Pi 4 microcomputer
  • MicroSD class 10 memory card with at least 8 GB capacity
  • Power supply with USB Type-C connector, AC 220 V, DC 5 V / 3 A
  • Micro-HDMI to HDMI cable
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • USB webcam
  • Monitor or TV panel with HDMI input
  • If your monitor does not support HDMI audio output, you can use a USB speakerphone, a USB headset, or connect speakers or headphones to the 3.5mm (mini-jack) output.

Warning!

The Raspberry Pi gets hot when the microcomputer board is in use, so it is recommended to equip your board with an active cooling system. In this way you will prevent CPU performance from slowing down, while the board will operate in a normal mode.

How to Turn Raspberry Pi into a Video Conferencing Server 2

Please note that the Raspberry Pi board is not equipped with a 3.5mm audio input, so it is recommended to use a webcam with a built-in microphone. Otherwise you will need a USB headset, microphone or speakerphone.

You will also need a computer with a card reader to prepare the memory card.

Step 1: Setting up your TrueConf account

To use video conferencing on your Raspberry Pi in a bundle with TrueConf Room application, you need to sign in with either your TrueConf Server account or TrueConf Online cloud service. In the first case, you can request your login details from the administrator of your video conferencing server. To connect to the cloud service, create an account on our website.

Step 2: Installing the operating system

TrueConf Room for Raspberry Pi is designed for the 64-bit Ubuntu 21.10 for Raspberry Pi OS. You will need to install this operating system on the memory card. To lower CPU usage we recommend that you use Ubuntu Server with the lightweight graphical environment Xfce installed:

  1. Download the Ubuntu Server 21.10 for Raspberry Pi distro from the official website.
  2. Download and install the Raspberry Pi Imager software on your PC.
  3. Insert the MicroSD card into your PC and run the Raspberry Pi Imager.
  4. Click Choose OS → Use custom and select the downloaded Ubuntu Server for Raspberry Pi image file in the opened window.
  5. Click Choose SD card and specify your memory card.
  6. Click Write, confirm the data deletion from the memory card, and wait until the process of writing the operating system is finished.

Step 3: Startup and initial setup of the operating system

  1. Insert the memory card into the corresponding slot of the single-board computer. Then you will need to connect:
    • power supply in the USB Type-C connector (do not connect to the electricity yet)
    • monitor with micro-HDMI – HDMI cable to HDMI0 connector (audio output is supported)
    • network cable into the Ethernet port (it is also possible to use the built-in Wi-Fi)
    • keyboard, mouse, webcam, and microphone (if necessary) to available USB ports.
  2. Plug the power supply into an outlet, thus starting up the Raspberry Pi.
  3. After booting up, enter your ubuntu login and ubuntu password in the opened window. Then enter and confirm your new password.

If you want to set up a Wi-Fi connection, edit the configuration file used by the Netplan utility:

  1. Find the name of your system wireless adapter with the command

    Output example:

    The wlan0 value is the target name.

  2. Find the configuration file name with the command:

    The required file is named 01-network-manager-all.yaml or 50-cloud-init.yaml.

  3. Open the configuration file with any pre-installed Ubuntu Server text editor, for example vim:

  4. Add the Wi-Fi connection settings so that the final file content looks like this:

    Where:
    wlan is the name of your Wi-Fi adapter (see step 1)
    SSID-NAME is your network name
    PASSWORD is the password that you use to connect to the network.
    Please note: the wifis: line must be at the same level as the ethernets: line (or version: if there is one).

  5. To apply the settings, run the command

    or reboot your operating system with the command

To learn more about setting up network connection, read official Netplan documentation.

Step 4. Installing the Xfce desktop environment on Ubuntu Server

  1. Update existing system packages with the command
  2. We recommend you disable automatic system updates to avoid taking up microcomputer resources, and update the software manually with the above mentioned command when the TrueConf Room is closed. To do this, open the file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades with a text editor:

    Replace its text with the following:

  3. Install the Xfce environment with the command

  4. After installing all the packages, reboot the microcomputer:

  5. It is also recommended to enable the maximum performance mode for all processor cores. To do this, first switch to the superuser account:

    Then execute the command:

Step 5: Installing the TrueConf Room

  1. Download the TrueConf Room distro for Raspberry Pi from our website:

    Download TrueConf Room for Raspberry Pi

  2. Copy the received installer file to a USB flash drive or NAS that is accessible from the microcomputer.
  3. We recommend that you install TrueConf Room using the command line. To do this, go to the directory containing the saved deb package and run the command:

    where trueconf-room.deb is the name of the installation package.

Step 6: Using Video Conferencing on Raspberry Pi

Using TrueConf Room on a single-board computer is no different than using it on Windows. Follow our instructions to get started with the application.

  1. Login to the TrueConf Room control panel.
  2. Configure connection to the TrueConf Server instance or TrueConf Online service.
  3. Set up additional settings, if necessary.
  4. Make video calls and hold conferences on your Raspberry Pi 4.

How to Turn Raspberry Pi into a Video Conferencing Server 3

Join our Telegram community, where you can share your experiences with TrueConf Room built for the ARM architecture:

Join our community


Still have questions? Please contact our support team directly via online chat.

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