Networking

How to make video calls on your Nextcloud server

If you're looking for an incredibly easy internal video call solution, your best bet might be found in the Nextcloud server. Jack Wallen shows you how to make this happen.

Image: Jack Wallen

Nextcloud has quickly become one of the most useful and flexible in-house cloud servers on the market. With it you can create a cost-effective server that can cover any number of needs—from file sharing, to CMS, to calendars, and so much more. One of the recent additions to the Nextcloud app lineup is video calls. That's right, thanks to WebRTC, you can include video calls to your Nextcloud server, so anyone that has access to an account can have a video conference with other users on the server.

Naturally to enable the Nextcloud video call you will need at least Nextcloud 12 installed, and be able to log in as an administrative user. And to take advantage of video calls, users will have to have a video camera and mic (either built into a laptop or attached via USB).

Let's enable video call on Nextcloud. I'll be demonstrating on Nextcloud 12, installed on Ubuntu Server 16.04. I will assume you already have both Ubuntu Server and Nextcloud up and running.

Installation

The installation of the video call app is quite simple. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Log into your Nextcloud server as an admin user.
  2. Click the Nextcloud drop-down menu in the upper right corner.
  3. Click the Apps + button.
  4. Click Social & communication entry in the left navigation.
  5. Locate the Video calls app (Figure A).
  6. Click Enable.

That's it. Video call has been enabled for your Nextcloud server.

Figure A

Figure A

Enabling Video call in Nextcloud 12.

Starting a call

To start a video call on Nextcloud, a user must log in with their account, click the Nextcloud drop-down (upper left corner), and select the Video calls entry. When a user opens the Video calls app, they will be prompted to select their mic and video hardware. Next they only need click on the Choose person dropdown (upper left corner) and select the user they want in the video call (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Selecting your user.

Once the user has accepted the call, you can add additional users to the call by clicking the overflow menu associated with the call (Figure C) and clicking Add person. Once you find the user in the dropdown, they will be added and can accept the incoming call request.

Figure C

Figure C

Adding more users to your call.

Easy video conferencing

And that's all there is to adding video conferencing to your Nextcloud server. If you've been looking for a cost-effective means of adding video calls to your internal company network, Nextcloud might well be your best bet. Even if you only use Nextcloud for this feature, which you probably won't as there are so many outstanding additions to the platform, it is well worth the investment especially since it's free.

Give the Nextcloud video call feature a go and see if it doesn't wind up becoming your go-to solution.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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