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Version: 0.6.3


There are two ways of running Fishjam:

  • building from source (requires Elixir and native dependencies)
  • using Fishjam Docker images

At the moment, Fishjam doesn't provide pre-built binaries.

Building from source

Make sure to have both Elixir and Rust installed. Check the links below for instructions:

Clone the Fishjam repo

git clone

Install native dependencies

These instructions assume you have Homebrew installed. You can get it here.

brew install srtp clang-format ffmpeg opus pkg-config
# additionally, you might need to export these env vars
export C_INCLUDE_PATH=$(brew --prefix opus)/include:$(brew --prefix openssl)/include
export LIBRARY_PATH=$(brew --prefix opus)/lib:$(brew --prefix openssl)/lib
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$(brew --prefix openssl)/lib/pkgconfig

Install elixir dependencies

mix deps.get

Run the server in development

mix phx.server

Create a binary

You can also create Fishjam binary with:

MIX_ENV=prod mix release

Then follow instructions printed in your terminal.


The difference between running with mix phx.server and generating target binary is that the latter is prepared for running in production so e.g. it includes some Erlang Virtual Machine tweaks. Fishjam Dockerfile always uses mix release under the hood.

Running with Docker

Docker images are built for production which means that you always need to set a couple of environment variables.

An example docker command running bare Fishjam HTTP service locally:

docker run -p 8080:8080/tcp -e FJ_HOST=localhost:8080 -e FJ_SERVER_API_TOKEN=token

Note that in real case scenarios, docker commands depend on peers/components you are going to use. Therefore, we don't present them here but rather in each peer/component's documentation. As an example see WebRTC Peer.

For the full list of Fishjam Docker images, see this page.


Instead of passing environmental variables manually, you can use the --env-file ./env-file flag, where the env-file is a file containing the variables that the image expects, see example file .env.sample in the Fishjam repository.

Environment variables

Environment variables are split into two groups:

  • general ones - presented below
  • peer/component-specific - each Peer and Component can expose its own environment variables. They are always listed in a Peer/Component description. See for example the list of Peers and SIP Component.

Below there are general, Fishjam environment variables. If you are running Fishjam in development, you don't need to set any of them.

Required in production:

  • FJ_SERVER_API_TOKEN - token for authorizing HTTP requests.
    Defaults to development for development builds.

  • FJ_HOST - defines how Fishjam should be seen from the outside.
    Defaults to FJ_IP:FJ_PORT.
    It can be in the form of ip:port, domain:port or simply domain. Additionally, you can specify a path (e.g. ip:port/path, domain:port/path, domain/path). Useful when hosting Fishjam behind proxy. It is returned e.g. when creating a new room. When running with Docker, FJ_IP is set to making the default value of FJ_HOST incorrect. Therefore, for Docker, you have to set FJ_HOST manually. For running Docker locally, it can simply be localhost:8080.


  • FJ_COMPONENTS_USED - defines which components can be added to rooms on this Fishjam.
    Defaults to an empty string, i.e. all components are disabled globally.
    The format is a space-separated list of allowed component types written in lowercase.
    Example: FJ_COMPONENTS_USED="hls rtsp sip".

  • FJ_IP - an ip address to run the HTTP server on.
    Defaults to when running from source or using mix release, or for Docker.

  • FJ_PORT - port to run the HTTP server on.
    Defaults to 5002 for development builds and 8080 for production builds (mix release or Docker).

  • FJ_SSL_KEY_PATH - an absolute path to the SSL key. When both FJ_SSL_KEY_PATH and FJ_SSL_CERT_PATH are set, Fishjam will run HTTPS server instead of HTTP one. An address where this server listens to is still configured via FJ_IP and FJ_PORT.

  • FJ_SSL_CERT_PATH - an absolute path the the SSL certificate. When both FJ_SSL_KEY_PATH and FJ_SSL_CERT_PATH are set, Fishjam will run HTTPS server instead of HTTP one. An address where this server listens to is still configured via FJ_IP and FJ_PORT.

  • FJ_SECRET_KEY_BASE - used to sign/encrypt tokens generated for Peers. Generated if not provided.

  • FJ_CHECK_ORIGIN - defines if Fishjam will check the origin of incoming requests and socket connection.
    Defaults to true.
    Possible values are true, false or a space-separated list of allowed origins (wildcards are allowed).
    Example: FJ_CHECK_ORIGIN=" // //*"

  • FJ_RESOURCES_BASE_PATH - a base path where Fishjam multimedia files are stored
    Defaults to ./fishjam_resources/.
    When running via docker, the directory can be mounted as -v $(pwd)/host_directory:/app/fishjam_resources.

  • FJ_METRICS_IP - an IP address to run metrics endpoint on.
    Defaults to when running from source or using mix release, or for Docker.

  • FJ_METRICS_PORT - a port to run metrics endpoint on.
    Defaults to 9568.

  • FJ_LOG_LEVEL - level of logs below which all logs will not be displayed.
    Defaults to info.
    All possible values are: error, warning, info, debug.

  • FJ_STRUCTURED_LOGGING - whether to enable JSON-structured logging to stdout.
    Defaults to false.
    Possible values of the severity field (ordered by importance) are:

    • error
    • warning
    • info
    • debug (disabled by default)

For more information about these log levels, refer here.
Example log with and without this option:

{"time":"2024-02-20T17:32:32.448Z","severity":"info","message":"Initialize room","metadata":{"room_id":"40"}}
  • MIX_ENV - defines compilation environment. This variable takes effect only when running from the source. Docker images are always built with MIX_ENV=prod. Possible values are:
    • dev - uses default values for environment variables (default option when running with mix phx.server)
    • prod - requires that you provide values for environment variables
    • test - used in tests


  • FJ_DIST_ENABLED - whether to run Fishjam in a cluster.
    Defaults to false.

  • FJ_DIST_STRATEGY_NAME - specify which clustering strategy to use.
    Possible values are DNS or NODES_LIST. Defaults to NODES_LIST.

  • FJ_DIST_NODE_NAME - Node name used in a cluster. Defaults to fishjam@(hostname).
    It consists of two parts - nodename@hostname. The first part identifies a node on a single machine and can be any string. The second part identifies the host machine fishjam runs on and has to be resolvable. Its format depends on FJ_DIST_MODE. If FJ_DIST_MODE is set to name, the hostname has to be an IP address or FQDN. If FJ_DIST_MODE is set to sname, the hostname can be any string. If you run a cluster using DNS strategy, every Fishjam instance must have nodename set to the same value. If hostname is not an IP address, it will be automatically resolved as DNS strategy requires node names to use IP addresses. This also means that DNS strategy has to be run with FJ_DIST_MODE set to name. See our docker-compose-epmd.yaml or docker-compose-dns.yaml, which we use in our integration tests or refer to Cluster section for examples.

  • FJ_DIST_MODE - distribution mode - can be name or sname.
    Defaults to sname.
    When using name, your hostname has to be an IP address or FQDN of a machine Fishjam runs on. When using sname, your hostname can be any string. See FJ_DIST_NODE_NAME for more information.

  • FJ_DIST_COOKIE - used to group Fishjams in a cluster.
    Defaults to fishjam_cookie.
    Use different cookies to create multiple clusters on the same machine.
    Important: cookie does not provide any cryptographic security. Its only purpose is to prevent a node from connecting to a cluster with which it is not intended to communicate.

  • FJ_DIST_MIN_PORT- minimal port used by Fishjam when forming a cluster (connecting to other Fishjams).
    Defaults to 9000 when running with Docker.
    Only available when running with Docker or mix release.

  • FJ_DIST_MAX_PORT- maximal port used by Fishjam when forming a cluster (connecting to other Fishjams).
    Defaults to 9000 when running with Docker.
    Only available when running with Docker or mix release.

Distribution NODES_LIST specific:
  • FJ_DIST_NODES - space-separated list of other Fishjams to connect to.
    Defaults to "".
    Example: FJ_DIST_NODES="fishjam1@ fishjam2@".
    This list can also include ourselves so that you can pass the same value to every Fishjam. Note: Fishjam connection to other Fishjam is transitive meaning that when you connect to one Fishjam you also connect to all other Fishjams this one was connected to.
Distribution DNS specific:
  • FJ_DIST_QUERY - query sent to DNS to discover other Fishjams.
    Returned list of IPs from DNS is used for creating distribution node name in the format <nodename>@<IP_ADDRESS>.

  • FJ_DIST_POLLING_INTERVAL - DNS polling interval in ms.
    Default value is 5000.


You can use a single port to form a cluster, even if a cluster consists of more than two Fishjams.


Besides ports specified using FJ_DIST_MIN_PORT and FJ_DIST_MAX_PORT, Fishjam also uses one more service called EPMD that runs on port 4369. This port has to be explicitly exported when running with Docker. Read more in the Cluster section.