Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Discussion related to Ekiga (formerly GnomeMeeting), the open source H.323 and SIP-based client for Linux found at http://www.ekiga.org/.
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HibouVoyageur
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:26 pm

Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by HibouVoyageur » Wed May 04, 2011 9:37 am

Hello,

I kind of stumbled upon this forum while looking for a proper tutorial to set up a multiple point video conference using Ekiga in order to communicate with my overseas research collaborators.

As you may already guess, I am a complete neophyte in this kind of process and I have plenty of stupid questions.

Before getting to that, let me tell you what system I use:

- I work with linux mint debian edition, and installed Ekiga, GnuGk and openMCU through the synaptic package installer.
- My webcam is a logitech quickcam pro 4000, it is recognized by my system and works fine with Ekiga in a SIP one-on-one video conference.

Also, in order to avoid redundancies, let me tell you what I think I know so far:

- I think that in order to get this kind of setup to work, I need an MCU server, a gatekeeper and a client.
- It seems to me like there is no communication with the H323 protocol possible without a gatekeeper
- It seems to me like there is no multiple point conference possible without an MCU
- So far I managed to start a gatekeeper on my computer and get my client registered. Although I'm not quite sure of how I got that to work (I just followed a tutorial with a ready-to-use gatekeeper.ini file).

So now, let me start with questions. First, a general one: does anyone on this forum know of a recent tutorial that explains how all the components of a multipoint video conference work together (and even how to set them up so that they work together). So far I could find multiple tutorials about how to setup either the gatekeeper or the MCU or the client, but none of them does that in a context of getting all the parts to work together.

Less general question: since I got my client and my gatekeeper to work together (however flaky this knowledge may be) how does one make the MCU and gatekeeper talk together? Can an MCU talk to several gatekeepers (like the gatekeeper that I setup for me in Europe while my US colleagues setup their own gatekeeper in their own lab and the MCU talks to everyone)? Even if it is not possible, it seems like it would be possible for my overseas colleagues to register in my gatekeeper using a telnet connection through port 7000, but wouldn't that slow down a lot the whole thing (I have a university connection, so quite fast though)?

Finally, if I get my gatekeeper and my openmcu server to work together, how do I set up Ekiga and/or my MCU so that I can just join a conference room from my Ekiga client?

Thank you very much for any help you could provide, regards,

Hibou

shorne
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:17 am

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by shorne » Thu May 05, 2011 6:16 am

- I think that in order to get this kind of setup to work, I need an MCU server, a gatekeeper and a client.
No you do not need a gatekeeper but you do need an MCU.
It seems to me like there is no communication with the H323 protocol possible without a gatekeeper

You can make calls to other H.323 devices by simply calling their IP address.
It seems to me like there is no multiple point conference possible without an MCU
Some commercial endpoints do have MCU capabilities but in general Yes you do need an MCU.
how does one make the MCU and gatekeeper talk together
The MCU is registered to the Gatekeeper. If you are using OpenMCU and GnuGK you can set the MCU as an endpoint in the [RasSrv::PermanentEndpoints] section of the INI. Refer to the manual. You can register the MCU as a permanent endpoint in multiple gatekeepers.
how do I set up Ekiga and/or my MCU so that I can just join a conference room from my Ekiga client?
You register your clients to the gatekeeper. You setup the MCU as a permanent endpoint in the gatekeeper INI.
[RasSrv::PermanentEndpoints]
x.x.x.x=1234

Both dial 1234 and you are in the MCU.

HibouVoyageur
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by HibouVoyageur » Thu May 05, 2011 7:50 am

Hi,
shorne wrote: No you do not need a gatekeeper but you do need an MCU.
Interesting! How would you set Ekiga up in that case? Because it seems like, in order to set an H323 account with Ekiga, you need to specify a gatekeeper IP address.

Let me see if I understand well, I can just try to set an MCU server up (like openmcu -d, with a proper .ini file in the ~/.pwlib_config directory), and make a call to its IP address by entering h323:user@x.x.x.x:1420 and click on the call button with Ekiga? Last time I tried that, it did not work for some reason (either with my actual IP address or localhost). One suspicion that I have about that is that I don't know if any user name is OK for the MCU. Should I set something up in my openmcu.ini file?

Anyway, I'll try all this stuff with GnuGK as well (but now, I start to get the feeling that I need to work on how to set openmcu up). Thank you very much for your help, best,

Hibou

shorne
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:17 am

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by shorne » Thu May 05, 2011 3:46 pm

A gatekeeper is an optional component. You should be able to leave the gatekeeper field blank. If you required to have a gatekeeper then it is bug in ekiga.

To call you should be able to contact on just the ipaddress or the alias in the gatekeeper (if registered) you should not require a full URI so the ip address "1.2.3.4" or the alias "1234" set in the gatekeeper should be enough.

If you continuing to have difficulties grab a windows box and test with Mirial or Spranto.

farid
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:08 am

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by farid » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:25 am

Hi HibouVoyageur

Would like to know if you have succesfully setup openMCU with Ekiga.

I plan to do the same here, and hope you could give me some pointers .
Would really appreciate your help

-farid

M TALCOD
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:04 am

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by M TALCOD » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:07 am

I don't know a lot of videoconferencing software, but maybe you could be interested in Big Blue Bottom, that's a great open source software. We use it at TALCOD (French Web and Open source agency I work in) to build videoconferencing tools tailored to each organization and I can tell that customers are quite satisfied with it. Hope it helps!

M TALCOD
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:04 am

Re: Ekiga and multipoint video conference

Post by M TALCOD » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:45 pm

Maybe you should have a look on BigBlueButton, that an open source videoconferencing tool really efficient we used in TALCOD (French Web open source agency I work at). We can create videoconferencing rooms that allows you to join a conference even by phone. Hope it helps

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