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Thread: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

  1. #1

    Default Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Hello there,

    As a matter of principle and as far as possible, I don't use hardware or software from GAFAM and other too big companies, it's why I use GNU/Linux .

    I need to find a RTC application do have some voice and video calls with a friend of mine. He uses Apple devices and is not at all a tech guy, so the application need to easy to install.

    My main needs are:
    Some privacy: P2P link, no centralised server, no or minimal account registration, encryption, no need of phone book
    No group call,
    Good sound and video
    Multi-platform, at least Win, Linux, Apple, Android

    So far I did some tests with the following:
    Ring, https://ring.cx/
    Linphone, http://www.linphone.org/
    Tox, https://tox.chat/

    Unfortunately, all of them are still in development and are unstable.

    Along my search I found a lot of applications using WebRTC but it looks like there are some concern about privacy/security. I didn't really get what exactly is the issue. I'd be glad to get more information about it.

    Now I am looking for other appli, what do you use? Do you have other software?

    Thank you for your help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    I don't know if a fully developed alternative exists. I generally look for one myself about once a year but haven't found one... The few truly promising apps I've seen in alpha/demo have generally been bought in short order and converted into paid apps. That's a bit curious because for several years now IMO the basics of creating a P-P video conferencing app is not that much of a secret. Whereas a little while ago streaming video was still a bit of a trick, today that shouldn't be the case. AFAIK the difficulty is choosing and integrating the other things that fill out such an app like directory services(possibly not a problem for only 2 people, but might be an issue for larger numbers), in-app security, management, push notifications. Many of these required or desired components are available off-the-shelf, but it still probably takes work to integrate what might ordinarily be 5 apps into one.

    Been awhile since I've looked at WebRTC, it's just Google's streaming protocol. Publicly licensed for only a couple years now, AFAIK Google has by now worked out all the important bugs and it's been ready for Prime Time for maybe a year now. WebRTC is only a protocol like RTSP, not an application, and in keeping with Google's philosophy was acquired so that Google could turn around and make it available with a non-restrictive license in the hope of stimulating the creation of apps which would benefit Google's business/advertising reach. Although it shouldn't be that big a problem today, perhaps the main obstacle for adoption is devices and software that supports the protocol.

    If no finished app exists,
    I'd recommend you try any one that can be found by a search using keywords like "alternative to video skype gnu" and find out how active and responsive the Development is behind the app. If bugs are worked on and fixed in short order, you may have found and contributed to a world-beater.

    HTH,
    TSU
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Security concerns around WebRTC are more along the lines of tracking privacy issues than in the protocol being secure. If you are a heavy VPN or proxy user who needs to hide your identity from state actors or if you just dislike ad-based companies pulling identifying information from you then it is best to turn WebRTC off in the browser.

    Here are a few interesting links both about WebRTC and about how to help mitigate commercially-based privacy concerns in Firefox:

    https://lakkireddymadhu.com/2017/06/...hrome-browser/

    https://vikingvpn.com/cybersecurity-...y-and-security

    For obvious reasons the last article, although well intended, does not mitigate all concerns. If identity security is critical the layering Tor over a VPN while using the Tails version of Linux is a better approach. It comes down to who your adversary is as to the approach you take.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Thank you both for the help.

    Regarding security, I am not a paranoiac, I just want to avoid GAFAM to take info from my computer and I would prefer to avoid leaking my data.
    I use some add-on on Firefox but I'd guess not set as it should be. I need time to read, understand et set them right.

    I did a lot of search for the right app, 2 options; Based on WebRTC or not. We know that WebRTC leaks IP addresses this is why it will be the last choice.

    I found another app (F2F) that seems to be promising; http://retroshare.net/index.html
    Unfortunately beta version. Could you comment about architecture and security. Thanks
    I didn't try is so far but will do it soon.

    I'll try again Linphone, Tox and if no one work well, I'll try WebTRC based;
    https://talky.io/
    https://www.video4sure.com/
    https://jumpch.at
    Can you comment the 3 and say the best if there is one?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Question Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNice View Post
    I need to find a RTC application do have some voice and video calls with a friend of mine. He uses Apple devices and is not at all a tech guy, so the application need to easy to install.

    So far I did some tests with the following:
    Linphone, http://www.linphone.org/

    Unfortunately, all of them are still in development and are unstable.
    I beg to differ:
    • The actual stable Linphone version for Linux and Mac is 4.0 -- version 3.16.4 for iOS.
    • The actual default Linphone version for openSUSE Leap 42.3 is 3.10.2 -- Leap 15 has version 4.1.1.
    • The Linphone web site mentions that, the "Group Chat" feature is in beta test for the iOS and Android executables.

    Um, er, version number > 1.0 is unstable?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    I confirm, not stable with versions
    Desktop Opensuse Leap 42.3 > Linphone version 3.10.2.
    Tablet Android 5.1 > Linphone Android 3.3.2 Linphone Core 3.12.0.274

    Test from the same modem/router
    Applications start fine (desktop from CLI), but

    • Desktop at video start, no video, black window: libv4l2: error turning on stream: No space left on device. Thenstop and second try to start video > Crash
    • Later, desktop at start video : error Segmentation fault (core dumped)
    • Desktop or Tablet Pause/resume > crashes desktop (even when pause/resume the tablet) randomly
    • Later, from tablet, start video, on the desktop: ** Message: Video used=0, video requested=1, automatically_accept=1
      libv4l2: error turning on stream: No space left on device
    • Then stop and restart from the tablet, on the desktop: libv4l2: error setting pixformat: Device or resource busy
      Segmentation fault (core dumped) > Crash


    If you are a developer I could tell more about the issues.

    Edit: Webcam on the desktop is working fine with VLC

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    FWIW: I've got a pretty nice solution, though not exactly what you're asking for, but including it. A Nextcloud instance with their Talk app. It's WebRTC based. And, there's the QTalk app fpr Android and IOS . I run such a thing on a VPS, but a friend uses a Raspberry Pi3 for this. You would need a registered (sub)domain name though. See here:
    https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/spreed
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Knurpht View Post
    ... You would need a registered (sub)domain name though...
    I don't think I'll go this way.
    Anyway thank you for your information.

  9. #9
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    Question Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNice View Post
    I confirm, not stable with versions
    Desktop Opensuse Leap 42.3 > Linphone version 3.10.2.
    Tablet Android 5.1 > Linphone Android 3.3.2 Linphone Core 3.12.0.274
    Are you absolutely certain that, the systems repositories are correct and all the dependencies are satisfied and all the system configuration files have the correct settings?
    • 'zypper verify'.
    • 'rcrpmconfigcheck' (with the user "root").

    If things are crashing and libraries are not being called correctly then, you have some severe version mismatches within your system.

    Please post the output of 'zypper repos --uri'.

    I'll install Linphone on a Leap 42.3 laptop and Nokia 3 (Android 8) telephone here and check your statements.

  10. #10
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    Cool Re: Real-time communications (RTC) out of GAFAM

    Installing Linphone on the Laptop with a KDE Plasma 5 GUI:
    Linphone is a Web phone with a GNOME interface.
    Let's see …
    All packages are being installed from the main Leap 42.3 repository: <http://download.opensuse.org/update/leap/42.3/non-oss/>
    Linphone: Version: 3.10.2-2.3
    linphone-lang: Version: 3.10.2-2.3
    libantlr3c-3_4: Version: 3.4-7.1
    libbctoolbox-tester0: Version: 0.2.0-3.7
    libbellesip0: Version: 1.5.0-6.25
    libcunit1: Version: 2.1.3-10.3
    libmediastreamer_base7: Version: 2.14.0-3.5
    libmediastreamer_voip7: Version: 2.14.0-3.5
    libortp12: Version: 0.27.0-3.3
    Code:
    2018-05-04 19:54:22|command|root@xxx|'/usr/bin/ruby' '/usr/lib/YaST2/bin/y2start' 'sw_single' 'qt' '-name' 'YaST2' '-icon' 'yast'|
    2018-05-04 19:54:22|install|libantlr3c-3_4|3.4-7.1|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|42e609f330d99756a8c0573149931e5fa3e28fe4|
    2018-05-04 19:54:22|install|libcunit1|2.1.3-10.3|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|23c8fc852e003df8866fc6358cf7db6af56d0f28|
    2018-05-04 19:54:22|install|libortp12|0.27.0-3.3|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|30ff5e941781fb72bfe441ef8f3db9a6a5e44f1d|
    2018-05-04 19:54:23|install|libbellesip0|1.5.0-6.25|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|b378da0645aa0b41fd8984ffe02d3b8ad9d463a8|
    2018-05-04 19:54:23|install|libbctoolbox-tester0|0.2.0-3.7|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|ba3969b1c451227a52f98cf676cc8e1407438499|
    2018-05-04 19:54:23|install|libmediastreamer_base7|2.14.0-3.5|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|1408ecbdd343ed6accefd2abb669e029c84e5b07|
    2018-05-04 19:54:23|install|libmediastreamer_voip7|2.14.0-3.5|x86_64||download.opensuse.org-oss_2|d53b8645ef35ac15e7fde7931a09e98034746063|
    2018-05-04 19:54:26|install|linphone|3.10.2-2.3|x86_64|root@eck005|download.opensuse.org-oss_2|e5c8e7ef03dbb7d255bcaa6f5ebc9c5e94404ffb|
    2018-05-04 19:54:26|install|linphone-lang|3.10.2-2.3|noarch|root@eck005|download.opensuse.org-oss_2|a7e5c682f0f2ddec323e378ab91dd0d56f6cfe5e|
    The Linphone account set-up assistant is running -- I'll close now and get back later -- just in case it crashes …

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