Galene is a videoconferencing server that is easy to deploy and requires moderate server resources. It is described at


See the file INSTALL in this directory for installation instructions.



There is a landing page at the root of the server. It contains a form for typing the name of a group, and a clickable list of public groups.

Groups are available under /group/groupname/. You may share this URL with others, there is no need to go through the landing page.

Recordings can be accessed under /recordings/groupname/. This is only available to the administrator of the group.

Some statistics are available under /stats.json, with a human-readable version at /stats.html. This is only available to the server administrator.

Main interface

After logging in, the user is confronted with the main interface.


There are up to three buttons at the top. The Enable/Disable button enables either or both the camera and the microphone (depending on the options set in the side menu, see below). The Mute button mutes or unmutes the microphone. The Share Screen button shares the screen or a window.

Side menu

There is a menu on the right of the user interface. This allows choosing the camera and microphone and setting the video throughput. The Blackboard mode checkbox increases resolution and sacrifices framerate in favour of image quality. The Play local file dialog allows streaming a video from a local file.

User list

There is a user list on the left. Clicking on a user opens a menu with actions that can be applied to that user. Clicking on ones own username opens a menu with actions that are global to the group.

Chat pane

Double-clicking on a message opens a contextual menu.

Text box

Typing a string in the text box at the bottom of the chat pane sends a broadcast message to all of the users in the group.

Typing a line starting with a slash / in the text box causes a command to be sent to the server. Type /help to get the list of available commands; the output depends on whether you are an operator or not.

The global configuration file

The server may be configured in the JSON file data/config.json. This file may look as follows:

    "users":{"root": {"password":"secret", "permissions": "admin"}},
    "canonicalHost": ""

The fields are as follows:

Group definitions

Groups are defined by files in the ./groups directory (this may be configured by the -groups command-line option, try ./galene -help). The definition for the group called groupname is in the file groups/groupname.json; it does not contain the group name, which makes it easy to copy or link group definitions. You may use subdirectories: a file groups/teaching/networking.json defines a group called teaching/networking.


A typical group definition file looks like this:

        "jch": {"password":"1234", "permissions": "op"}
    "allow-recording": true,
    "auto-subgroups": true

This defines a group with the operator (administrator) username jch and password 1234. The allow-recording entry says that the operator is allowed to record videos to disk, and the auto-subgroups entry says that subgroups will be created automatically. This particular group does not allow password login for ordinary users, and is suitable if you use invitations (see Stateful Tokens below) for ordinary users.

In order to allow password login for ordinary users, add password entries with the permission present:

        "jch":  {"password": "1234", "permissions": "op"}
        "john": {"password": "secret", "permissions": "present"}

If the group is to be publicly accessible, you may allow logins with any username using the wildcard-user entry::

        "jch": {"password":"1234", "permissions": "op"}
    "wildcard-user": {"password": "1234", "permissions": "present"},
    "public": true

If you want to allow users to use any password, use a wildcard password:

        "jch": {"password":"1234", "permissions": "op"}
        {"password": {"type": "wildcard"}, "permissions": "present"},
    "public": true


Every group definition file contains a single JSON directory (a list of entries between {' and}’). All fields are optional, but unless you specify at least one user definition (op, presenter, or other), nobody will be able to join the group. The following fields are allowed:

Supported video codecs include:

Supported audio codecs include "opus", "g722", "pcmu" and "pcma". Only Opus can be recorded to disk. There is no good reason to use anything except Opus.

Client Authorisation

Galene implements three authorisation methods: a simple username/password authorisation scheme, a scheme using stateful tokens and a mechanism based on cryptographic tokens that are generated by an external server. The former two mechanism are intended to be used in standalone installations, while the server-based mechanism is designed to allow easy integration with an existing authorisation infrastructure (such as LDAP, OAuth2, or even Unix passwords).

Password authorisation

When password authorisation is used, authorised usernames and password are defined directly in the group configuration file, in the users and fallback-users entries. The users entry is a dictionary that maps user names to user descriptions; the fallback-users is a list of user descriptions that are used with usernames that don’t appear in users.

Every user description is a dictionary with fields password and permissions. The password field may be a literal password string, or a dictionary describing a hashed password or a wildcard. The permissions field should be one of op, present, message or observe. (An array of Galene’s internal permissions is also allowed, but this is not recommended, since internal permissions may vary from version to version).

For example, the entry

"users": {"jch": {"password": "1234", "permissions": "op"}}

specifies that user “jch” may login as operator with password “1234”, while

"fallback-users": [{"password": "1234", "permissions": "present"}]

allows any username with password 1234. Finally,

"fallback-users": [
    {"password": {"type": "wildcard"}, "permissions": "present"}

allows any username with any password.

Hashed passwords

If you don’t wish to store cleartext passwords on the server, you may generate hashed passwords with the galene-password-generator utility. A user entry with a hashed password looks like this:

"users": {
    "jch": {
        "password": {
            "type": "pbkdf2",
            "hash": "sha-256",
            "key": "f591c35604e6aef572851d9c3543c812566b032b6dc083c81edd15cc24449913",
            "salt": "92bff2ace56fe38f",
            "iterations": 4096
        "permissions": "op"

Stateful tokens

Stateful tokens allow to temporarily grant access to a user. In order to generate a stateful token, the group administrator types

/invite user period

where user is the username granted to the temporary user, and period is the time period for which the token will be valid (for example 2d meaning 2 days). The server replies with a link, valid the given time period, that may be sent to the temporary user for example by e-mail.

Tokens may also be granted without imposing a specific username:

/invite '' 2d

Stateful tokens are revokable (use the /revoke command) and their lifetime may be extended (use the /reinvite command).

Authorisation servers

Galene is able to delegate authorisation decisions to an external authorisation server. This makes it possible to integrate Galene with an existing authentication and authorisation infrastructure, such as LDAP, OAuth2 or even Unix passwords.

When an authorisation server is used, the group configuration file specifies one or more public keys in JWK format (with the restriction that the “alg” key must be specified). In addition, it may specify either an authorisation server or an authorisation portal.

    "authKeys": [{
        "kty": "oct",
        "alg": "HS256",
        "k": "MYz3IfCq4Yq-UmPdNqWEOdPl4C_m9imHHs9uveDUJGQ",
    }, {
        "kty": "EC",
        "alg": "ES256",
        "crv": "P-256",
        "x": "dElK9qBNyCpRXdvJsn4GdjrFzScSzpkz_I0JhKbYC88",
        "y": "pBhVb37haKvwEoleoW3qxnT4y5bK35_RTP7_RmFKR6Q",
    "authServer": "",

If multiple keys are provided, then they will all be tried in turn, unless the token includes the “kid” header field, in which case only the specified key will be used.

If an authorisation server is specified, then the default client, after it prompts for a password, will request a token from the authorisation server and will join the group using token authentication. The password is never communicated to the server.

If an authorisation portal is specified, then the default client will redirect initial client connections to the authorisation portal. The authorisation portal is expected to authorise the client and then redirect it to Galene with the username and token query parameters set.

Further information

Galène’s web page is at

Answers to common questions and issues are at

– Juliusz Chroboczek