Enable authentication

DISCLAIMER: this is not legal nor technical advice. It is just a WIP proposal, open to discussion, on how a Jitsi server can be quickly (and legally) deployed in order to host one’s own private videomeetings, based on authors’ practical experiences.

Proposed Jitsi implementation

The proposed Jitsi implementation requires authentication for the host, but not for guests.
More precisely, while hosts need to have an account to create rooms, guests do not need to have one, but should be required to provide a room-specific password to enter. Thus to minimize privacy and security issues while keeping the system practical and easy to use for everybody.

The problem solved here, not (yet) covered by official documentation

As already said in platform introduction, user authentication may be added in various ways; authentication control belongs into the XMPP server on which Jitsi relies/depends ([Prosody]). [Prosody] has a simple built-in authentication system (with passwords stored in plain text or hashed, depending on the module used); many other authentication services can be implemented through dedicated [Prosody] modules.

In Jitsi official documentation, the suggested way to set user passwords is using prosodyctl command, that can only be run by the sysadmin. Unfortunately, this is not GDPR-compliant, because “enabling users to set their password without the admin knowing it” is a basic and unavoidable security measure. On the other hand, configuring Prosody to allow users to register independently their own account is not even an option, as anyone out there would be able to use your Jisti.

Since Prosody server is accessible independently from Jisti-meet, the solution is ask users to change their password through an external XMPP client, like Pidgin. In this way, basic GDPR compliance can be achieved.

The only issue is that in the default Jitsi deployment (quick install) prosody uses self-signed certificates, so XMPP clients may display error messages (or even refuse to connect). Therefore some extra manual configuration is needed, that is covered by this howto.

Configure authentication only for room creation

taken from Jitsi-Jicofo official documentation

change prosody config:

sudo nano /etc/prosody/conf.avail/$(hostname -f).cfg.lua

change authentication from anonymous to internal_hashed, and add a second VirtualHost after the first VirtualHost section (use your actual domain):

VirtualHost "guest.meet.example.com"
    authentication = "anonymous"
    c2s_require_encryption = false

save, exit, then:

sudo nano /etc/jitsi/meet/$(hostname -f)-config.js

after the line domain: 'meet.example.com', insert another line anonymousdomain: 'guest.meet.example.com', (use your actual domain and don’t forget the commas!);

save, exit, then:

sudo nano  /etc/jitsi/jicofo/sip-communicator.properties

add the following line (rember to insert your actual domain):


save and exit.

Certificates for prosody

During jitsi-meet installation, two virtual hosts (meet.example.com and auth.meet.example.com) are created in prosody configuration file (/etc/prosody/conf.avail/meet.example.com.cfg.lua), and self-signed certificates are generated for both. However, only meet.example.com is actually intended to be accessed from the Internet (through XMPP clients like Pidgin), while auth.meet.example.com is just an internal domain, used only by jicofo to internally connect to prosody.1

Since we already have a letsencrypt certificate for meet.example.com, we just need to import it in prosody (ignore warnings for internal.auth, auth, guest, conference, localhost, jitsi-videobridge and focus hosts – they are all internal domains)

sudo prosodyctl --root cert import /etc/letsencrypt/live
sudo service prosody restart

Certificates renewal

In order to enable automatic certificates renewal, a post hook script has to be added.

sudo nano /etc/letsencrypt/renewal-hooks/post/00-prosody-auth.sh

paste the following text:

prosodyctl --root cert import /etc/letsencrypt/live
service prosody restart

save and exit. Then:

sudo chmod +x /etc/letsencrypt/renewal-hooks/post/00-prosody-auth.sh

you can test it forcing a renewal:

sudo certbot-auto renew --force-renew

which should output something like (ignore warnings for auth, guest, conference, localhost, jitsi-videobridge and focus hosts):

Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log


Congratulations, all renewals succeeded. The following certs have been renewed:
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/meet.example.com/fullchain.pem (success)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Running post-hook command: /etc/letsencrypt/renewal-hooks/post/00-prosody-auth.sh
Output from post-hook command 00-prosody-auth.sh:
No certificate for host internal.auth.meet.example.com found :(
No certificate for host auth.meet.example.com found :(
No certificate for host focus.meet.example.com found :(
No certificate for host localhost found :(
No certificate for host jitsi-videobridge.meet.example.com found :(
No certificate for host conference.meet.example.com found :(
No certificate for host guest.meet.example.com found :(
Imported certificate and key for hosts meet.example.com

Now you should have certificates automatically renewed.
If there are problems with the renewal, you will be notified by email. In such case, run again the steps described in the previous section.

Create Moderator Users

After reboot, create users (moderators):

sudo prosodyctl register USER_NAME_OF_YOUR_CHOICE $(hostname -f) TEMPORARY_PASSWORD

To change their password at first use, moderators have to - log in at meet.example.com through Pidgin or any other XMPP client using the account credentials set above - change their password through the XMPP client (in pidgin, menu Account->ACCOUNT_NAME->change password).

Fail2Ban for Prosody

You should now add a new fail2ban filter and jail for prosody. But before you have to install and enable mod_log_auth in prosody.

sudo apt install -y mercurial
hg clone https://hg.prosody.im/prosody-modules/ prosody-modules
sudo cp prosody-modules/mod_log_auth/mod_log_auth.lua /usr/lib/prosody/modules/
sudo nano /etc/prosody/conf.d/$(hostname -f).cfg.lua

add log_auth in the enabled modules list/table:

-- we need bosh
modules_enabled = {
    "ping"; -- Enable mod_ping

restart prosody

sudo service prosody restart

If you want to check if the module works, do:

sudo tail -f /var/log/prosody/prosody.log

and at the same time, with a web browser, try to login at meet.example.com by creating a new room and clicking on “I am the host”, type a wrong user/password, and see what happens in the log. In terminal, to stop the test press CTRL+C.

Then configure fail2ban (NOTE: the configuration guide at https://modules.prosody.im/mod_log_auth.html is partially wrong and it does not fit our needs here):

sudo nano /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/prosody-auth.conf

put the following text:

# /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/prosody-auth.conf
# Fail2Ban configuration file for prosody authentication
failregex = Failed authentication attempt \(not-authorized\) for user .* from IP: <HOST>
ignoreregex =


sudo nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

put the following text

enabled = true
iptables-multiport[name="prosody", port="443,5222,5269"]
port    = 443,5222,5269
filter  = prosody-auth
logpath = /var/log/prosody/prosody*.log
maxretry = 5

(we need to ban also on port 443 because user usually logs in via jitsi web interface, and not only through an XMPP client)

Restart Fail2Ban

sudo service fail2ban restart

You can try if it works by monitoring the log of Fail2Ban:

sudo tail -f /var/log/fail2ban.log

and at the same time, with a web browser, try to login at meet.example.com by creating a new room and clicking on “I am the host”, type a wrong user/password for more than 6 times, and see what happens in the log. In terminal, to stop the test press CTRL+C.

IMPORTANT: restart jitsi services

Finally, restart jitsi services in order to ensure that all of your configuration changes are applied.

sudo service jicofo restart
sudo service jitsi-videobridge2 restart

  1. To make the internal connection work, the corresponding self-signed certificate is automatically added to the trusted certificates on the local machine during installation (as described in the manual installation guide of jitsi-meet).