Introducing a Full Self-hosted Audio/video and Chat Communication Platform: Nextcloud Talk


#1

Originally published at: https://nextcloud.com/blog/introducing-a-full-self-hosted-audiovideo-and-chat-communication-platform-nextcloud-talk/


We’re very proud to announce today Nextcloud Talk, the first enterprise-ready, self-hosted communication technology giving users the highest degree of control over their data and communication. Nextcloud Talk is a fully open source video meeting software, on-premise hosted and end-to-end encrypted. It features a text chat and is available for web and mobile. In related news, Nextcloud has become the vendor with the greatest momentum in the self-hosted Enterprise File Sync and Share market and increased its customer base by 7 times in 2017. And over 500 individuals contributed more than 6.6 million lines of code to Nextcloud last year!

Get talking now!

Nextcloud Talk makes it easier than ever to host a privacy-respecting audio/video communication service for home users and enterprises. Business users have optional access to the Spreed High Performance Back-end offering enterprise-class scalability, reliability, and features through a Nextcloud subscription. With the easy-to-use interface, users can engage colleagues, friends, partners or customers, working in real time through High Definition (H265 based) audio and video in web meetings and webinars. Main features of Nextcloud Talk include:
  • Communication without barriers - the mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as browser support allow private and public calls, and does not require conversation partners to have an account or install any software to join a call.
  • Integrated into business workflow - participants can receive calendar invitations and reminders.
  • Easy collaboration - the Screen Sharing feature allows participants to present content while links and notes can be shared in the side chat bar.
  • Full control - the moderator can invite, mute and remove participants as needed.
  • 100% secure and private - calls are peer-to-peer and end-to-end encrypted. Chat is exchanged encrypted with logs stored on the Nextcloud Talk server.
  • integration - powerful integration with Nextcloud Files and Nextcloud Groupware enables seamless collaboration.

Mobile Apps: Start and receive calls!

With the mobile Talk apps, users can now receive push notifications when others call them, and pick up easily. Self-hosting the infrastructure ensures the absolute confidentiality of communication, as even metadata does not leak to anyone else.

The Spreed High-Performance Back-end for large organizations is offered by Nextcloud partner Struktur AG, a leading web conferencing software company since 1995, servicing customers like Deutsche Bank, Vodafone, BNP Paribas and many others. It offers improved connectivity behind firewalls, restrictive networks, and unlimited participants in a call. A SIP gate allows participants to join through a dial-in conference line, wherever they are.

Nextcloud Talk is completely open source and is available for home users on the Nextcloud App store for a one-click install. The mobile apps for Android and iOS are in the respective application stores. Nextcloud Talk requires Nextcloud 13, which is currently in Beta and can be downloaded from our website (bottom right of the page).

Of course, Nextcloud Talk !

Learn more about Nextcloud Talk on our website

Evolution

For those of you familiar with our development work on audio/video calls, the major new features, bringing one and a half year of work to a 1.0, are a built-in chat, moderation capabilities, mobile applications and support for a High-Performance back-end which allows calls with hundreds or even thousands of participants as well as dial-in over a phone line. Frank Karlitschek has blogged about the vision and work behind Nextcloud Talk. Together with this release, we released news on the progress of the Nextcloud Community and Nextcloud GmbH over the last year. On top of the good news that our iOS client hit 300.000 downloads with a 4.7-star rating and our Collabora Online app was downloaded over 100.000 times in 2017, we are excited to share that Nextcloud GmbH has grown 7-fold in 2017, fueled by its unique technology. With already over 100 customers and partners active in Europe, North, Central and South America, Asia, and Australia, Nextcloud continues to be a healthy and fast-growing company.

Nextcloud is now the hottest self-hosted Enterprise File Sync and Share technology according to Google Trends! Our community created over 100 apps, and over 500 individuals contributed over 6.6 million lines of code in a 12 month period.

Learn more in our blog about Nextcloud growth.


#2

Whao !!! Such a big hit !

As soon as Nextcloud 13 will be released i will give it a try.

Question : is it still necessary to have a Stun Server apart ?


#3

i was running @JasonBayton 's official demo-instance of NC 13 (Beta 1) and just enabled the new “talk”-app.
there was an error message popping up… "The column 'incall' on table 'oc_talk_participants' already exists."
maybe this one was already solved with one of the later beta-versions of RC13 - or maybe it’s a problem of Talk 3.0.0?
@LukasReschke @nickvergessen

@Nemskiller
if i’m not very much mistaken the mentioned app is already available for NC 12 (and less)… called “video call” - which would run quite well there. but you’d be sending your data over a nextcloud.com STUN-server, i guess. so it COULD happen that it’ll be the same in NC13. but as devs have wewritte a major part of the app for version 3/NC13 that’s not clear, exactly.

but yeah… it sounds like a killer-feature.


#4

update: i dared updating jason’s demo instance to nc 13.0.0 beta 4 and this error from above still occurs.


#5

I’ll rebuild the demo server, not sure why it’s doing that.


#6

Great! looking forward to nextcloud13.

I noticed that getting all participants on current spreed was much slower when comparison to jitsi, on nextcloud12, but I love the idea and hope this will get better overtime.

Were you guys thinking of making to possible to integrate with matrix?
Matrix currently uses jitsi but many people:

1.Host both matrix and nextcloud on their home servers
2. Currently jitsi is hardcoded into the Riot though you can use your own version via custom widgets.

Would be nice if we could replace jitsi on matrix with spreed/talk from nextcloud. one less service to host and less fragmentation. Specially that both Nextcloud and Matrix.org are involved with works on Librem5 apps. Maybe some collaboration would be beneficial for all.


#7

I’m running Nextcloud 13 beta 4 on CentOS 7 with PHP 7.1.13. with MariaDB 10.1.30

I got this error when I tried to enable the Talk plug-in:

An exception occurred while executing 'SELECT * FROMoc_spreedme_roomsWHEREtoken= ''': SQLSTATE[42S22]: Column not found: 1054 Unknown column 'token' in 'where clause'


#8

Yeah, this is apparently because we use HD quality by default. We’re looking into this, trying to start with a lower quality to be set up faster and then increasing it.

Absolutely on our agenda. XMPP first, probably, but then yeah, Matrix integration has been discussed and I recal the devs saying it is relatively easy as we use a similar way of handling chat.

I personally would love it, too :wink: Of course, we have to see what customers ask for, too - their input comes with the resources to implement it. But I’m hoping we get more community help, too!

Anybody feel like working on Matrix integration?


#9

demo13 is fixed, and talk enabled by default, HOWEVER I don’t have time today to spin up a TURN server so testing will be limited until the weekend (I think).


#10

Will this be possible to also link with jitsi videobridge for improving performance of multi-user video chats, or is that only possible with the for pay option (which sounds like it is pretty much the same plus a stun/turn server)?


#11

@Nemskiller
so after @JasonBayton (thanks old boy) fixed his nc-demo13 with enabled talk-app - it seems to run smoothly using a nextcloud-stun server (like the app-version before)… which means for bigger and larger usergroups it could turn out that your own STUN-server would make everything faster. but it’s not needed by default.
hope that answers your question.


#12

I got something missing, tell me if i’m wrong :

I enable talk-app, and normaly by default, you have a setting about STUN Server who is configured to a Nextcloud one ?
If i got trouble because of speed or big meeting, i can install a STUN Server my self and configure my Nextcloud this way.

I’m just asking, i have a STUN Server on an external VPS and it’s working well, it’s just because some of my clients with little needs, will love to have this apps without having to make a STUN Server.


#13

yes. you can even do that with “video-call”-app under NC12.

that’s what i understood from it.


#14

This looks fantastic, but while I’m on NC 12.0.4 , I installed coturn on my Fedora / NextCloud system, but still I’m not able via the Web interface to get Video/Share screen type of activities.

I’m able to send the invite, The connection seems to happen, but from that point nothing progress :frowning: And that sound very hard to troubleshoot.


#15

The whole thing is going great! I’m using here nextcloud 13 RC1 on debian stretch. Before, I had only black pictures in video chat, then I installed a turn server (coturn) and the problem was done. I used this guide for coturn. I hope for the text chat in the Android and iOS app.


#16

Hey, im glad to see matrix was brought up and on the Roadmap already, just wondered, particularly since it’s mentioned in the main text, would there be interest in audit and analysis comparison of the recently open sourced Facebook chat protocol https://github.com/facebookresearch/asynchronousratchetingtree , it seems very interesting and worth a comparison analysis with what you have and matrix,… If for no reason other than completeness and to stay ahead of the curb,(I believe it was only open sourced in the last few days) which nextcloud always is!


#17

IMHO this seems the right way forward.

I’m very much looking forward to this instead of having to do the whole oh-do-you-use-$voip1-no-what-about-$voip2-well-then-what-do-you-use, and simply point them to my own server :smile:

BTW, how resource hungry is this? I’m running Nextcloud on an A20 ARM, but am considering eventually offloading the DB load to a separate (A20 ARM) board.


#18

As this uses WebRTC it is P2P between the browsers and the serverload should be minimal. The problem is that unless you get the paid performance option or this becomes compatible to the Jitsi videobridge ( https://jitsi.org/jitsi-videobridge/ ) at some point, it is very bandwidth heavy for the users to have a conference call. This is because for every extra user there is a new P2P video/audio stream created, thus it does not scale very well. Jitsi videobridge works by combining different streams into one server-side and thus greatly saves bandwidth.

Edit: I guess the text chat component uses the server database right now though, thus probably puts some strain on the Nextcloud server. Looking forward to the XMPP integration though. Any chance it will be compatible with the cloud auth bridge from the JSXC project?


#19

I really hope there will be some collaboration between this app and the JSXC app. As you said using an external XMPP server may boost performance or reduce load on the Nextcloud server for larger installations.
And the backend of the JSXC app is already using BOSH, which is a possible feature for this app:

We want to expose the Chat feature via an XMPP compatible API so that third party Chat Apps can talk to a Nextcloud Talk server. And we will also integrate chat into our mobile apps. I hope that Desktop chat apps also integrate this natively. for example on KDE and GNOME. This should be relatively easy because of the standard XMPP BOSH protocol. And the last important feature is call federation so that you can call people on different Nextcloud Talk servers.
(http://karlitschek.de/2018/01/nextcloud-talk-is-here/)

There is also some work going on in the JSXC app to built a cross-platform mobile app: https://github.com/jsxc/jsxc.ionic.


#20

Hi,

I’m using NC on 2 instances (PROD and Dev). My dev is in NC13 and I have tested Nextcloud talk with success on mobile and browser. All is working fine, I have to test more for screen sharing etc …
Quality is so good and latency is good (it run on a small VPS server).
However, do you have a roadmap or plan for tchat ? It will be very complete when tchat will be included, nextcloud will be a major actor on private cloud business !

Congrats to all the team for the job you do.

Fabien