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How to Install & Configure TURN Server (coTURN)

How to Install & Configure TURN Server (coTURN)

This blog page covers how to install and configure coTURN server for your SIP or WebRTC projects (like Jitsi Meet) to allow users behind restrictive firewalls or proxies to connect.

What is TURN?

TURN stands for Traversal Using Relays around NAT. Similar as STUN, it is a network protocol / packet format (IETF RFC 5766) used to assist in the discovery of paths between peers on the Internet. It differs from STUN in that it uses a public relay to transfer packets between peers. TURN is used to exchange media packets when no other option is available. So that it consumes server resources and has an increased latency due to the extra hop in peer to peer connection.

The time when you must use TURN is when one of the peers is behind a symmetric NAT and the other is behind either a symmetric NAT or port-restricted NAT. The frequency of cases where a relay is necessary is around %10 of the overall connections, since STUN is enough for most cases.

Install coTURN Server

Audio / Video based services requires a wide range of UDP ports to be available for WebRTC. In some network restricted sites, such as those behind NAT or a firewall that restricts outgoing UDP connections, users may be unable to make outgoing UDP connections to your media server.

TURN protocol is designed to allow UDP communication flows to bypass NAT or firewalls by forcing the client to connect to the TURN server, and then force TURN server to connect to the destination on their behalf.

Using a TURN server under your control improves the success of connections to your multimedia application and also improves user privacy, since it acts like a proxy so that peers will no longer be sending their IP address information to a public STUN server.

Required Hardware

TURN protocol is not really CPU or memory intensive. Additionally, since it’s only used during connection setup (for STUN) and as a fallback for users who would otherwise be unable to connect, the bandwidth requirements aren’t particularly high. For a moderate number of connections, a single small VPS configuration is usually enough. Here you can find my reccomendations to install coTURN:

  • At least two vCPUs
  • 4GB Memory.
  • 20GB HDD. SSD can be used, but not mandatory.
  • The most important thing is the networking performance.
    • Low jitter (less than 30ms)
    • Low latency (less than 150ms)
    • Enough bandwidth to handle relayed media streams in both directions.

Having the server behind NAT (like on Amazon EC2) is OK, but all incoming UDP and TCP connections on any port (TCP 80 & 443, UDP 3478, 10000-20000) must be forwarded to coTURN server and not firewalled.

Required Software

I recommend using a minimal server installation of Debian with netinst or Ubuntu. Since coTURN software uses port TCP 443, the server which coTURN will be installed cannot have any other web applications running.

coTURN is already available in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories and it can be installed with apt-get:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install coturn

Please note that coTURN will not start automatically until the configuration is finished. You can find the configuration tasks in below.

DNS Entry For coTURN

You need to setup a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that resolves the external IP address of your coTURN server. You’ll use this domain name to generate a TLS certificate.

Generating TLS Certificates

You can use certbot to generate free TLS certificates from Let’s Encrypt. To setup certbot, enter the following commands on your coTURN server:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install certbot

Note: If you face with add-apt-repository command not found error, please use sudo apt-get install software-properties-common command to install the necessary packets.

You can then run a certbot command like the following to generate the certificate, replacing turn.fatiherikci.com with the domain name of your TURN server:

$ sudo certbot certonly --standalone --preferred-challenges http \
    --deploy-hook "systemctl restart coturn" \
    -d turn.fatiherikci.com

Current versions of the certbot command set up automatic renewal by default. Note that when certbot renews the certificate, it will restart coTURN service, so coTURN will start to use the updated certificate files. This will cause an interruption on any ongoing TURN connections. You may change the certbot renewal schedule or disable automatic renewal if you like.

Configure coTURN

coTURN configuration is stored in /etc/turnserver.conf file. There are a lot of options and all of them are documented in comments in that file. I include a sample configuration below with comments as the recommended settings, also with notes in places where customization is needed.

You can replace the contents /etc/turnserver.conf with the file below and make these changes:

  • Replace turn.fatiherikci.com with the hostname of your TURN server
  • Change the values in bold with your choices.

You can see an example config file below:

server-name=turn.fatiherikci.com
realm=turn.fatiherikci.com
cert=/etc/letsencrypt/live/turn.fatiherikci.com/cert.pem
pkey=/etc/letsencrypt/live/turn.fatiherikci.com/privkey.pem
fingerprint 
listening-ip=0.0.0.0 
external-ip= 1.2.3.4/192.168.0.1 #or just write the external ip 
listening-port=3478 
min-port=10000 
max-port=20000 
log-file=/var/log/turnserver.log 
verbose 
user=myusername:mypassword 
lt-cred-mech

You can now start the COTURN service with this command:

$ systemctl start coturn

Running coTURN as a Service

The Debian / Ubuntu package for coTURN requires that you edit a file to enable at startup. Edit /etc/default/coturn file and uncomment the following line:

TURNSERVER_ENABLED=1

That’s it! coTURN install is complete. Now you have an up and runnning TURN server!

Testing Your TURN Server

To test your coTURN server, you can use Trickle-Ice testing tool. Go to trickle-ice webpage and enter following:

STUN or TURN URI : turn:Your Public IP Address:3478
TURN username: Username
TURN password: Password

Then click Add Server button and then click Gather Candidates button. If everything works well, you should see Done as final result.

How to Install Jitsi Meet on Debian 10

How to Install Jitsi Meet on Debian 10

PS: If you need professional assistance about installing & configuring Jitsi Meet, you can contact me via contact link.

Jitsi Meet is a very usable and simple WebRTC based open-source multi-platform video conferencing solution. It can be even cloud based solution or you can install it on your premises. In this blog post, I will explain how to install Jitsi server on your Debianbased linux platform.

Installing Jitsi Meet is very easy if you want to install it on Debian linux platform. In this guide you can find how to install Jitsi Meet on Debian 10 by using .deb packages.

I prefer installing Debian from net installer package (netinst), since it is a minimal installation with up-to-date packages. I assume that you can install a Debian linux and I will continue from that point.

First, let’s install base packages like sudo & ssh, so set that up first. Log in from console as root, then install the necessary packets.

apt-get install -y ssh sudo ufw apt-transport-https

Add your non-root user (mine is ferikci) to /etc/sudoers file.

 ferikci  ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL 

Now you can continue with your user by using sudo commands.

(Optional) Enable UFW firewall and open the needed ports:

ufw allow in ssh
ufw allow in http
ufw allow in https
ufw allow in 10000:20000/udp
ufw enable

I have to warn you that if you are connected to your linux machine via SSH, enter “ufw enable” command after entering “ufw allow in ssh” command, otherwise you may lose your current SSH connection.

Now re-login with your non-root user via SSH for the rest of the setup.

Add the Jitsi GPG key.

wget -qO - https://download.jitsi.org/jitsi-key.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -

Add the Jitsi repository and update apt

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://download.jitsi.org stable/' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jitsi-stable.list"
sudo apt-get -y update

Install Jitsi-Meet

Now you’re ready for Jitsi server installation. Use the command below to install jitsi-meet with dependencies:

sudo apt-get -y install jitsi-meet

You will be asked your hostname but do not only write your hostname, you MUST write as FQDN, otherwise you will encounter with problems. By the way, be sure that the FQDN can be addressable with your DNS server (Or you can insert the FQDN to your host file.).

Jitsi Hostname Configuration

After that you will be asked for certificate. In this installation I will use self-signed SSL certificate, so select the first option.

Jitsi SSL Certificate Configuration Menu

The installation will be completed after a while and it will put you to the command prompt. Reboot your linux machine:

sudo reboot

Now it’s time to connect to your video conference GUI. Use https://FQDN to go to the main page of Jitsi server:

https://jitsi.test.local

You will see a greeting page with a room name input field. Just enter a room name and click Go button.

Jitsi Meet Greeting Page

That’s it! You can add more participants with the same procedure or by using URL https://FQDN/roomname

https://jitsi.test.local/testroom
Finally Jitsi Meet is Alive!

Running Jitsi Meet Behind a NAT

If you wish to use your Jitsi server behind a NAT, you must configure your router to forward the following ports to your Jitsi Meet server:

  • 80/TCP
  • 443/TCP
  • 10000-20000/UDP

Next you have to add following lines to /etc/jitsi/videobridge/sip-communicator.properties file:

org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_LOCAL_ADDRESS=[INTERNAL.IP.ADDRESS]
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_PUBLIC_ADDRESS=[PUBLIC.IP.ADDRESS]

For example, here is my configuration:

org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_LOCAL_ADDRESS=192.168.1.20
org.ice4j.ice.harvest.NAT_HARVESTER_PUBLIC_ADDRESS=95.9.74.32
How to Install miniSIPServer on Debian / Ubuntu

How to Install miniSIPServer on Debian / Ubuntu

miniSIPServer is a SIP pbx server developed by a Chinese-based company for nearly 10 years, with an extremely easy-to-use interface that can run in either Windows, Linux or Raspberry Pi environments. Because it has a visual interface, you can set up an IP pbx very quickly (in less than 1 hour). Another feature is that you can use it for 30 days without the need for a paid license. This makes it especially ideal for creating fast test environments. In this article I will explain how to install miniSIPServer in Linux (Debian / Ubuntu) environments.

miniSIPServer Setup

As I said before, installation is very simple. Install Debian or Ubuntu operating system with a desktop interface and make network connections, then install the relevant libraries. You can then download and install miniSIPServer from myvoipapp.com. You can find these steps in detail below:

miniSIPServer Required Library & Applications

You can install the necessary libraries and applications for miniSIPServer via apt. To do this you can use the following command:

apt-get install libqt4-dev libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libqt4-network libqt4-xml libsrtp0-dev curl gcc g++

Install miniSIPServer

Download the version corresponding to the number of users you want to use from this link.

Go to the folder where you downloaded the .deb package and install miniSIPServer with dpkg. For example, for a 20-user V35 package, you can use the following command:

dpkg --install mss_v35_u20.deb 

After the installation completes, you can find the application in the /opt/sipserver/ folder. You can also use the Internet -> miniSIPServer link in your linux desktop interface to run the application.

You can visually find the steps I’ve described and how to simply add an IP phone in my video below: