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How to join a live class (BigBlueButton) using HTML5

(Last edited: Monday, 8 February 2016, 4:15 PM)

At the time of this writing, the HTML5 client offers limited function when compared with the Flash based client.  For example, one may not broadcast or receive webcams using HTML5.  Screencasting is also not possible using the HTML5 client.  Furthermore, the HTML5 client is NOT supported in Internet Explorer or Safari, since these web browsers do not support WebRTC.  

In spite of the above limitations, HTML5 in Bigbluebutton offers some distinct advantages: It loads faster, it uses less data, and it requires less bandwidth.  It is also compatible with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.  In fact, on most mobile browsers you will use the HTML5 client by default, since very few mobile devices support Adobe Flash.

To join a live class from a mobile devices using HTML5, simply click this icon in your course .  On the following screen, select "Use HTML5 client instead" as pictured below:

Joining the HTML5 session from the desktop is also possible, though you need to disable your Flash plugin if it is installed.  You must also make sure you are using a browser that supports advanced HTML5 features, such as WebRTC.  The recommended browsers for use with HTML5 are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera.  At the time of this writing, Safari does NOT support WebRTC, which is required to use the HTML5 client.

Google Chrome comes bundled with a flash plugin, so if you are using Chrome follow these steps:

  1. Open a new tab
  2. In the address bar type "Chrome://plugins"
  3. Find the section that says "Adobe Flash Plugin"
  4. Click "Disable" at the bottom of the section.

Now, when you join the live class, you must select "Launch the HTML5 client instead".

If you are using another browser such as Firefox or Opera, please disable the flash plugin and rejoin the session.