Running Zoom on the Raspberry Pi

For this project, we will be showing you how to run the popular Zoom client on a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Zoom

Zoom is a video and web conferencing tool that has become popular among organizations, schools, and consumers.

One of the biggest advantages of Zoom is its ease of use. You can join meetings without ever having to create your own account.

You can even use the tool to create meetings so that others can connect to you easily. However, the person making the meeting does require their own Zoom account.

The person that creates the meeting can dictate who can speak and share things such as their screen.

The free plan allows you to connect up to 100 other people with a 40-minute time restriction.

This guide will show you how to install the Zoom client to your Raspberry Pi.

As there are no ARM binaries available for Zoom, we will have to use a piece of software called box86.

Equipment

Below you can see a list of equipment we used when installing Zoom on to our Raspberry Pi.

Recommended

Raspberry Pi

Micro SD Card (8GB+)

Network Connection

Raspberry Pi Camera or USB Webcam

Optional

Raspberry Pi Case

USB Keyboard

USB Mouse

Preparing your Raspberry Pi for Zoom

Running Zoom on the Raspberry Pi is not straightforward because it does not have any ARM binaries.

To get around this, we will be using a nifty piece of software called box86. Box86 is an emulation software that converts x86 instructions to the ARM instruction set that the Raspberry Pi understands.

1. Before you can proceed, you need to make sure you have compiled and installed box86 to your Raspberry Pi.

You can follow our tutorial on getting x86 emulation running on your Raspberry Pi.

2. Once you have box86 installed, we can now do the rest of our preparation work.

Let us update our Raspberry Pi’s operating system by running the following two commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

3. Once your Raspberry Pi finishes updating, we need to install some additional software.

Zoom requires a library that isn’t available on the OS by default, but we can install it from the package repository.

sudo apt-get install libxcb-xtest0

This library is libxcb-xtest0. The Zoom client uses this library to interact with the X window system.

Installing Zoom on the Raspberry Pi

With our Raspberry Pi prepared, we can finally move install the Zoom client to the device.

These steps get a bit involved as we need to download the 32bit version of Zoom and extract it from the Debian package.

1. First, make sure that we are at the root of our user’s home directory.

This ensures we aren’t downloading Zoom into a random directory.

You can change to the root of the user’s home directory by running the following command.

cd ~

2. Let us download the 32-bit Zoom client to our Raspberry Pi by using the wget command.

This archive contains the compiled version of Zoom that we need for our operating system.

We can’t use the typical Debian package due to it detecting that our system shouldn’t be compatible due to it not being available for ARM.

wget https://zoom.us/client/5.4.53391.1108/zoom_i686.tar.xz

Please note that this may not be the latest version of Zoom. You can get the latest download link from the Zoom website.

When using the website to grab the latest download link, select “Other Linux OS” for type. Then select “32 bit” for OS Architecture.

Once selected, you should be able to right-click the download button and copy the link.

3. With the archive downloaded to our Pi, we can extract the Zoom binaries from it.

To extract files from the archive, we can use the following tar command on our device.

tar xvf zoom_i686.tar.xz

Running Zoom from the Desktop Interface

With Zoom now extracted to your Raspberry Pi, we can now run it using the box86 emulator.

Thanks to box86, this is a reasonably straightforward process and can be done in a single command.

To launch Zoom on your Raspberry Pi, you need to make sure you are running a version of the operating system that has the desktop.

You obviously can’t run Zoom over an SSH connection to your Raspberry Pi.

1. On your device, we need to change to the directory that we extracted in the previous section.

This directory is where the Zoom application is now sitting on your device.

cd /home/pi/zoom

2. Once in the directory, we can launch the Zoom client on our Raspberry Pi.

All we need to do is use the following command to launch the client.

./zoom

3. You can now join in on Zoom meetings from your device.

If you have an account, you can even host your own meeting straight from your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Zoom Running Successfully using Box86

When you first connect to a meeting, you may have to change your webcam and microphone settings. The defaults for these on the Raspberry Pi are often incorrect.

Conclusion

At this point, you should now have successfully installed and ran Zoom on your Raspberry Pi.

Zoom is a remarkable media conferencing tool that can be useful to run on your Pi, thanks to its enormous rise in usage.

Considering the Zoom client is running within an x86 emulator, it runs incredibly well.  It can utilize a connected USB webcam or even the Raspberry Pi camera.

If you have run into any issues with getting Zoom to work, please leave a comment below.

Additionally, be sure to check out our other great Raspberry Pi projects.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar for Brian C (warhawk8080)
    Brian C (warhawk8080) on

    This is just the zoom client correct? Not a zoom server.

    Thanks for this, and Box86 should be able to run all x86 apps on arm processors (no special compiling needed)

    1. Avatar for Emmet
      Emmet on
      Editor

      Hi Brian,

      Yes this is just the zoom client though you should still be able to create meetings using it.

      Box86 is still fairly early on, but yes it is capable of running x86 apps on an ARM processor. It basically reads in the x86 instructions and attempts to recompile it into ARM.

      Cheers,
      Emmet

  2. Avatar for Bas van Beelen
    Bas van Beelen on

    Hi!

    Thanks for the tutorial! I forgot that after the box86 installation I was still in that folder in the terminal, so don’t forget to change back to the folder you want zoom te be installed in.

    Installation was successful, and I had fine webcam footage and received sound on the raspberry. However, on my ‘normal’ windows laptop I only received audio noise from the RPi microphone. Switching back to browser I received normal audio. Has anyone else had this problem and/or does anyone know if I can fix this or if it’s a problem with the software?

    Greets,
    Bas

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