0

On a 1 gibibit LAN, what is the simplest way I can watch a Windows 10 computer's screen and have a conversation with the user while watching their screen?

Here are some requirements:

  1. The solution needs to work without an internet connection on a LAN.
  2. The solution needs to offer decent performance (at least 10 frames per second)
  3. The solution needs to work without a 3rd party server (computer to computer)

Internet services like Jitsi and Google Meet are too demanding for the ADSL internet connection that the LAN uses. Plus, I see no point in streaming video out of the network in order for it to come right back in (to another computer in the same network). It would be awesome if jitsu could function as desktop application that could locate and list meetings on the LAN.

6
  • 1
    Technically, jistsi meet is open source, so you can self host it to use it on your LAN (potentially on the client or server if you want to keep two computers) see e.g. jitsi.github.io/handbook/docs/devops-guide/devops-guide-docker (not saying it's the simplest solution)
    – tobiasBora
    May 25 at 14:42
  • 1
    For the voice (if you use Windows remote desktop as proposed below or VNC to share the screen), there is also mumble (that you can also self host). And I'm thinking that you can certainly use WebRTC (maybe completely serverless) to share both the screen, video and audio (the discoverability can either use a TURN server, or you can also manually copy/paste credentials between the two servers to enable discoverability). But I'm not sure if there are nice tools doing that based on WebRTC.
    – tobiasBora
    May 25 at 14:53
  • 1
    @tobiasBora ha! just wrote the same in my answer prior to seeing your comment. A tool for discoverability can be Matrix users in a chat room, for example, to initiate a WebRTC peer-to-peer phone call or a jitsi videoconf. May 25 at 14:59
  • 1
    @MarcusMüller Matrix is a good idea indeed! And it can even be self-hosted to be completely disconnected from the Internet.
    – tobiasBora
    May 25 at 15:07
  • 1
    @tobiasBora their very freshly not-quite-released android and iOs element app even brings their own homeserver. In case you get locked into a submarine and want to chat with your bunkmates. May 25 at 15:31

1 Answer 1

2

If you want a self-hosted jitsi, go for it: not impossible to set up, essentially a single docker container.

Other than that:

Windows remote desktop for the screen share; it's actually really good, in many ways. Windows comes with the server, and there's multiply RDP clients for Linux (remmina is probably a good choice), and it really works smoothly.

For the audio call thing: there's nothing peer-to-peer built into Windows, so you need to install something, and it needs to open a network socket, and then you need to find each other.

Considering that, some run-of-the-mill voicechat option is probably a good idea. I'd like to point out that a few kilobit/s of audio probably won't hurt too much if they go to a central server, within or outside your own network. That would also solve the discoverability issue: a user in need of assistance would connect to the server, you'd see them and call them (or they'd call you) and then instruct them to start the desktop sharing (probably a good idea to have some inter-personal protocol in place for that – I hear windows "hotline" scams are a big thing right now; "my admin guy says I mustn't open remote desktop if the other side cannot do XYZ" is a good thing).

Personally, I've run mumble as voice chat client (with its on-premise murmur server), and it works nicely. It looks like the 1990s had a lovechild with questionable UX choices, though.

If you want more, something like a MS Teams system for your own company completely hosted within the confines of your own network, with the option to integrate your own or an external video/screen/voicecall server: Matrix is the way to go there. Element is a Slack-equivalent chat client (minus the Giphy integration) for Matrix, sooooo much better than MS Teams. Jitsi integration isn't as mature as MS Teams' Video call, but it has way less hardware problems. And, you can very nicely use it for central discoverability of available sessions, simply by users (automatically or manually) joining rooms.

2
  • Yeah, but doesn't that cause me to take over that user's session completely? I want to see what they see on their screen and also talk with them while they see it. RDP can do that? What about hearing them through their microphone as well? I'm basically trying to have a meeting like Google Meet or Jitsi without using the internet (due to its slowness). May 25 at 14:48
  • 1
    yes, RDP can! I'm extending my answer about the call thing. May 25 at 14:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.