The Free Software Lab (FSLab) at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg was created as a place of exchange for all kind of topics around free and opensource software.

We have been providing services for collaborative work for quite a while, and of course with the current COVID19 situation and everybody needing to work from home we are working hard on providing a lot more services so that lectures and study groups can work online.

Please keep in mind that we are providing these services and most of the work free of charge. The current situation with the university being not the least prepared for everybody working from home resulted in a lot of people asking for services and advice. We are trying to do our best.

All services are to be seen as experimental with no guarantee for quick support and perfect uptime. Some services need a login from the Department of Computer Science, some need registration, and some are open for everybody.

Our Services

If you want to host pre-recorded lectures you can use our platform at Users of the Department of Computer Science can login with their regular credentials, other univeristy members can register using their university email address.

The platform also has support for direct linking and embedding of videos as well as for uploading some attachments (e.g. script or slides), making it possible to integrate videos into other platforms or use the lecture platform completely standalone.

Jitsi-Meet allows for quick and easy setup of video conferences using only a webbrowser (Firefox support is limited, Safari is not supported.).

This platform is best for smaller groups. You can access it on

For more information visit our info page for Jitsi-Meet Video Conferencing.

BigBlueButton is also a video conferencing solution, but it has a lot more moderation features, making it (at least in theory) suitable for bigger online lectures.

To use this service register at

Mobile support with BigBlueButton is a bit lacking, it's not scaling great with multiple big sessions in parallel and it requires a registration for room-creation, so we are providing it alongside Jitsi-Meet, so everbody can choose their platform and how they are using it.

BigBlueButton also allows for session recordings, unfortunately it's not easy to export those recordings, but we are trying to work on a solution.

Our service is based on GitLab, which is very similar to GitHub, but completely open source.

Using GitLab we are able to provide project hosting for the Department of Computer Science where everybody can host their projects and work together.

It's also possible to add external users, for that please contact us:

Mattermost is a Slack-like platform where teams can chat and share files. In our setup Mattermost is set up as a part of GitLab, so user accounts are shared.

Our instance is running on

We are still working on a few things, e.g. better recording services for BigBlueButton

University Services

Just to complete the list of services here are some of the most important official university services and other noteworthy links:

LEA is a platform for sharing learning material and managing courses in general.

It's great for sharing presentations, homework, organizing video conferences (e.g. using our Jitsi-Meet platform) and lots more.

Unfortunately the university was not prepared for everybody working from home so video uploads on LEA itself are currently more or less forbidden, but we are working with the LEA team to provide easy instructions on how to host videos on and embed them into a LEA course.

Our library is working hard on providing more online-services than usual (e.g. access to the Juris database) and also started a delivery service for book rentals. Kudos to them for adapting so quickly!

You can find more information in their FAQ.

As students we got note that the university is paying for Zoom and Cisco Webex licenses, but unfortunately we were not able to find any details about how to access them 🤷