Using diffmon to figure out what Jitsi is up to

Jitsi is a lovely piece of software for video meetings. It has come a long way when it comes to setting up a reasonably uncomplicated environment that will let you hold meetings with just about anyone in the world, with participants using smartphones, tablets, and/or desktop computers.

Upgrading Jitsi isn’t, however, as straightforward as the initial setup (IMHO, of course). I’m guessing we’ll get there one day, but that is not where Jitsi is today; at least not if you want to keep customizations and other settings intact.

If you, like myself, use Linux for hosting your Jitsi, you may have access to a tool called diffmon. Its primary function is to detect changes in files and then report those changes to a given e-mail address. I’m sure it can be used for other things too, but that’s what I use diffmon for.

So, before attempting a Jitsi distribution upgrade, create copies of these directories:


With something like:

cp -p -r /usr/share/jitsi-meet /usr/share/bak.jitsi-meet

(repeat for the other directories)


Install diffmon if it isn’t already installed. For Ubuntu, this would typically be:

apt-get install diffmon

If you aren’t already using diffmon, there will be a sample configuration file in /etc/diffmon, called To clear its default contents, do this:


NOTE: This will “create” an empty file! Do not do this if you’re already using diffmon 😎, in which case you simply need to append the following lines, using your favorite text editor (i.e. Emacs 😃). If you’re not already using diffmon, insert the below into the (now) empty file /etc/diffmon/

/usr/share/jitsi-meet : -u :
/usr/share/jitsi-meet/static : -u :
/usr/share/jitsi-meet-prosody : -u :
/usr/share/jitsi-meet-web-config : -u :
/etc/prosody : -u :
/etc/jitsi/jicofo : -u :
/etc/jitsi/meet : -u :
/etc/jitsi/videobridge : -u :

You should then invoke diffmon manually:

diffmon -c /etc/diffmon/

It will run for a while and then proceed to generate e-mail messages to the address you specified above.

Since this is pre-upgrade, you can safely ignore those e-mail messages.


Now run the Jitsi upgrade and then repeat the same diffmon run again. This time, you should get e-mail messages if any of the monitored files have been changed. You’ll probably find that Jitsi changed a few settings, and possibly added some files.

Review the changes, make adjustments accordingly, and re-start Jitsi.


diffmon is a good, and very basic, file change notification tool that can be used to monitor things like changes to .ssh directories for root or other users, changes in /etc, web server configurations, and so on.

[Images are from Jitsi]


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