[lug] online meeting software for linux

Davide Del Vento davide.del.vento at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 14:36:09 MST 2011

And the winner is....

ok, so I evaluated all the suggested stuff, and this is what I've
found (from worst to best):

- didn't try Yugma, nor any of its (lot of) competitors. This is the
kind of stuff that (I guess) just works fine, but you eventually have
to pay for (SaS) and it's not fine with our business model (we might
need one "large" event once per year, whereas they have monthly fees,
which for "large" events are pretty steep)

- tried Google. This is like the previous ones, but it's "forever free
as in beer". There is something that I don't like, e.g. you can't
easily share the desktop or a piece of it (I need to show my shell).
You can share slides, but people need to have a Google account (I also
don't like to ask people to register: most people already have a
Google account, but those who don't probably have strong feelings
against it, and I don't blame them). Audio/video is hard to straight
it out, at least on linux, and it might be limited to only 4 attendees
(not very clear). Documentation is not up-to-date, some things don't
work as advertised

- I was also referred a completely free (as in beer) option in
http://www.ustream.tv/get-started but didn't try it (yet).

- didn't actually tried VNC/NX either (and yet). Assuming that it
works as advertised, the things I don't like are: that it requires
installation on the end users of a "weird" piece of software (vnc/nx
client - I have it installed for other purposes and it's not a big
deal, but a web-based solution its preferable) and that it requires
separated software for audio and/or video

- http://www.bigbluebutton.org
This sounds great. Haven't tried on my server because it's CentOS and
BBB requires some work on RH-based systems (works out of the box on
Ubuntu). But I tried it on Linux ETC (thanks a lot, Crawford!)  and it
feels great. Not tested under load, however. Only concern (why it
doesn't get the first spot) is that it doesn't record the talk.

- http://code.google.com/p/openmeetings/
This sounds very similar to the previous one, but it can record! I
somehow installed it (but I ran into some MySQL issues and I haven't
actually tested it), I watched the videos and I'm assuming it works as
advertised. Of course that is not good if you run into some unsolvable
installation issues, but I'm assuming I (or you) can eventually sort
them out, so it's getting the first spot.

You might wonder why I'm reporting only an incomplete test, and the
reason is that some higher priority stuff came out and I have to put
this on hold for I while (possibly offloading the task to another
person), but wanted to give folks feedback before it became too stale.

Thanks everybody for your suggestions, I'll keep you posted on what I'll find.

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