Using BigBlueButton - FAQ

hey there. Wondering if there’s any way to turn off the ‘you are now muted’ message?

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Do you have any thoughts on why when some people take presenter we can still all see the tools (eg for drawing on the whiteboard), but when others take it the tools disappear for the rest of us? This was in a practice session where everyone was set as moderators.

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It’s slowly growing on me.

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Only one person can present at once (makes sense). So when someone becomes the presenter those buttons disappear for everyone else.

I’ve not played with whiteboard yet though, so don’t know about that.

Not growing on me, but more relevantly is disliked by most who are experiencing their first meeting, ie first impressions. Also, and more practically, it often means you miss a couple of words of what the speaker is saying as the message talks over them.

At the moment no, but we have added it to the list of change requests, to make it possible to switch the audio message on or off. Originally it annoyed me too, but it is actually very practical… people speak while muted SO often it is one of the main repeated problems with online meetings… and the audio message makes it really clear which ‘state’ you are in… so it does deliver value… but it would obviously be better if we could provide users with an option to turn it off if they want.

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I’d like to be able to see the chat and the shared notes simultaneously. They are not mutually exclusive channels, so why make it so that I only see one at a time.

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yes please, can it be possible to pop them out into different windows?

hi all. Radical Routes is aiming to use for the smaller workshops at this weekend’s gathering (15-16 Aug 2020).

However, we had practice session with about 8 people (on the other day and it was pretty unworkable - most people’s audio was dropping in and out, i was getting repeatedly disconnected and got a message along the lines of ‘socket not found, error 1002’ or somethign like that. @Jonathan from WebArchitects was there and may have more useful notes to contribute

I’m concerned that if we’re using this weekend’s sessions (likley to be up to 30 people) to get people into the idea of and up for spending £1200/year or more on it, then we’ve got to have something that reliably lets people participate and doesn’t put them off from the start.

Is this a server space issue? Is there any way we can increase the reliability of it in time for this weekend?


Hi Cath
Thanks for posting this here
Let’s hope we can resolve a few of these issues! We had over 70 people using the same server during OPEN 2020 so I don’t think it is a server space issue at all. If anything it is more likely to be peoplpe’s internet connections or browsers. We have noticed that BBB works best when people use Firefox or Chrome - and we know there can problems when using Safari - so please ask all your attendees to use FF or Chrome.

I would be very interested to hear if @Jonathan has any more details on what did not work?

The other main point to notes is that headphones are essential if you want clear audio - as they stop the echo / feedback which can be caused by laptops / speakers. So please ask all attendees to use headphone too - and ideally to keep themselves muted when not speaking - as has become standard video-conferencing etiquette these days - (especially since ‘the toilet indecent’ …) lol

If people are using FF / Chrome and headphones and still having issues with audio - please can you ask them to speed test their wifi and let us know what the results are if you are still having issues? This may help us diagnose the issues in more depth…


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Invaluable feedback Cath. Thanks. I think it’s fair to say that the group is very keen to see a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship with Radical Routes, and we are committed to continue to do all we can to make that work. There is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes to continually improve performance and service quality, as this is critically important. My own experience of using the service has been one that does show a steady improvement over time. I understand that the people working on the tech end of things are in process of making a series of changes that will result in a much more robust and reliable service.

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In response to Oli’s point about speed=checking wifi in advance - we don’t know who’ll be in the meeting until it starts, so that’s not really an option.

We’re in the awkward position of forcing a number of people who are not tech savvy or particularly enthusiastic to join an online meeting. We can slowly go through etiquette at the beginning, but fixing actual tech issues is going to be much harder. That’s the main reasn we’re using only for smaller workshops rather than the big meetings


Hi @leedscath
We just discussed the above in our All Hands meeting at and the general consensus was that any poor sound quality is most likely to be the result of poor internet connections - we had 8 people on our call and everyone could hear fine - Ben had some audio problems, which he could tell were local to him because of his wifi connection…

The only other suggestion we have (apart from avoiding Safari, using headphones and muting when not speaking) is for your attendees to possibly disable their video if they experience sound issues - as this should free up some bandwidth and allow them to hear better.

We will also be upgrading the BBB software to latest version soon, which may also improve things, although this will probably not be done by the weekend.

Let us know how you get on - we have also created this how to video about using BBB, which might help your attendees find their way around BBB.

All the best


I have two questions from a current and a prospective member, quoting them here:

  1. […] we can do recording on the server, right ? Does it stay forever, or is deleted after a while ?

  2. if I have an account for 10 people and by chance on some occasion more than 10 try to attend, is the 11th person locked out? Or is it a matter of a user who exceeds 10 users on several occasions should really upgrade their account?


1. Recording

By default, BBB creates two raw video streams that you can download if you have the meeting ID:

  • Webcams + audio
  • Screen share (with no audio)

Other assets are included as image files, etc. BBB has a web-based user interface that allows users to navigate through a combined interface, but that cannot be downloaded into a single video for upload to a hosting platform such as YouTube.

We are working to add a single downloadable video file that includes [ presentation + audio + screen share ], this however does not include webcams.

@hng I want to clarify how room recording works in our newly upgraded Greenlight. My understanding is:

  • when one creates a room, one can choose whether the room is a recorded room or non-recorded room
  • in a recorded room everything is recorded as a raw stream, and a recording button in the BBB user interface allows a moderator to create markers where the non-recorded segments (when button is off) will be omitted from the processed stream
    • raw streams are kept on the server for x days, only accessible to sysadmins
    • processed streams are kept on the server for y days, accessible to users
  • in a non-recorded room nothing is recorded by the BBB server and there is no button to toggle recording
  • downloading of the recording as .mp4 / .webm file is work-in-progress, tracked here Self-serve download video recordings

@hng it seems that I cannot yet choose whether a room is a recorded room or non-recorded room. I am want to know what x and y are configured on the server, and I propose keeping y as infinite until we sort out the download user interface.

2. Room participant limits

@hng Is this currently a soft or hard limit? I know we discussed some option within Product and Tech, the options are:

  • making this a complete honour system until we are short on resources
  • set a padding, where we set 12 max. in a tier that has a 10 max. limit
  • set strict limits, 10 means 10

I would like to know what is the current configuration or and eventually Product needs to decide on final policy.


  1. Recordings

The per room activation of recording feature is now activated on We will also activate our current solution for self-serve downloads of recordings. This will provide a single file with audio+presentation+screenshare. It probably will not cover all use cases and expectations, but then time/resources have to be allocated to this feature.

  1. Room participant limits

There is no limit on Currently our system is 100 % fair use. That means we expect people to pay more if they (often) have meetings with more participants then their service level is set to.
The Greenlight instances are set to 100 participants max per meeting.


I don’t think this has been activated, has it? All I see is the download for the Presentation Slides + Audio, or the Presentation link that has everything (but can’t be downloaded).

That’s what I was referencing. What are you missing? A video file with webcams?

Sorry yes, it was late and somehow I misread “this will provide a single file with audio+presentation+screenshare” as including everything

is there any difference between “public” and “unlisted” video recordings?
I would have thought that “unlisted” were not available to users that were not logged in to BBB, or that there should be a way to restrict access to only BBB users… but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • unlisted : only available to people with the link
  • public: published in the recordings list of the room
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