BBB Tutorial Schedule

The schedule for the Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative (SKSI) BigBlueButton Tutorial is as follows:

Before the tutorial

Please create an account on the forum we have set up for the MESC Lifelong Learning Lab. (This free and open source software forum application is powered by Discourse).

It would be great if you could introduce yourself in the Introductions forum before the tutorial commences.

Start 09:30

We will all meet virtually on the OER Foundation's BigBlueButton in the SKSI room which you'll find at

You should be able to participate with any internet connected device with a stable connection and a modern browser.

If you can, please use headphones as this reduces background noise from your computer which can affect others' ability to hear.

If you have a slow connection or old computer, you might find it easier to avoid sharing your video, or even participate only as a 'listener'. You will still be able to ask questions via the BigBlueButton 'public chat'


The length of the tutorial is likely to be 3 or more hours, based on previous runs. Its length will depend, in part, on interaction with participants and the speed and availability of external resources.

We will also stop for short breaks during the tutorial.


MESC's ACEO ICT & Media, Nehru Mauala, will introduce the session.

We will be working through a BBB tutorial developed specifically for SKSI. Feel free to use that as a reference while we go through the process it describes. It will also serve as a reference for those participating in the tutorial afterwards.

Questions during the tutorial

I will try ask participants if they have any questions periodically through the tutorial, but you are welcome to post any questions you have using BigBlueButton's 'public chat' any time - I'll be able to see them, and hopefully answer them while they're still pertinent to the context.

What is BigBlueButton?

We'll provide a quick overview of what BigBlueButton actually is, what it's designed to do, and for whom.

What you need to know before you start!

First of all, you who are participating in this tutorial should know: you do not need to remember what we're doing today. It's complicated to be sure. Just watch the process and let it 'wash over you' - the tutorial is to give you a sense of what is involved, but if you undertake setting up BBB yourselves, you'll have my detailed online tutorial to help you along.

Some of these details will only be available after creating your Digital Ocean server instance. Others you can determine prior to starting.


We'll need to know some details about our server, some of which will only be available after we create the server, like the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses assigned to it.

[IPv4] = 
[IPv6] = 
[Domain] =
[Admin email] =
[Non-Root username] = dave

Email settings

We will need the details of an "authenticating email account" that we can use to send email from the BigBlueButton service, and from the server itself.

[SMTP server] =
[SMTP port] = 587
[SMTP security] = StartTLS
[SMTP username] =
[SMTP password] = 7TLM6qGoqZXHfkDmkh6
[Outgoing email] =

Creating a server

We will allocate a new virtual server using Digital Ocean (this is only one of many possible suppliers), costing US$24 per month.

Configuring your server's domain

We will assign a domain name to the server - in this case, we'll use - and we'll use the Domain Name Server configuration tools of a local 'Domain name registrar', Metaname. This is only one of many thousands of registrars around the world.

Preparing your server

Installing software and configuring it to prepare for Docker containers.

Installing BigBlueButton

This involves downloading a version control repository - using the market leading version control tool, 'git' (which is also open source software) - containing installation and configuration scripts and Docker container recipes made available by the BigBlueButton developer community.

Configuring BigBlueButton

We will configure our instance of BigBlueButton and then build custom Docker containers for each of the 21 individual services that together make up a BigBlueButton.

This process can take an hour, so we will shift to a separate instance of the BBB system that I set up by the same process earlier.

Testing BigBlueButton

We'll have a look at BigBlueButton in action, setting up an initial administrative user, looking at the logs to assist with debugging, and give participants a chance to try the new instance!

Discussing future steps

Due to the time constraints of this tutorial, there lots of extra details we could discuss, but we might save those for a future follow-up tutorial. Things like

  • how BigBlueButton recordings work
  • how to add extra disk space to store things like recordings
  • how to back up your recordings and user/room database securely and off-server
  • how to upgrade your BigBlueButton instance
  • how to keep your Ubuntu server secure and up-to-date

and many other potential questions.

After the tutorial

After the tutorial, you are welcome to review this post as well as the full self-guided tutorial for installing BigBlueButton on which this tutorial is based.

You are also welcome to ask questions related to the tutorial and any attempts you make to create your own BigBlueButton instance on our Tutorial Support forum.

Many thanks for your participation!

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