Learn all about PeerTube v4!


PeerTube v4 is on its way, as we have just published a release candidate version that will be tested out in the next few weeks.

For this occasion, we have published a blog post summing up a year of hard work and improvements on the PeerTube ecosystem. It also presents the new features of PeerTube v4, and what we feel we might work on next year.

We would like to thank every person who has contributed to the PeerTube ecosystem throughout the year: y'all are amazing! Our special thanks also goes to NLnet, whose 50 000 € grant funded about two thirds of our 2021 spendings on the PeerTube project. The remaining third came directly from our not-for-profit budget, that comes from grassroots donations (usually from our French audience) we get for all our actions.

If you want to help us fund our work in 2022 on PeerTube and many other projects, please consider supporting Framasoft. And don't forget to share if you care!

We hope you will enjoy PeerTube v4,

New external tools for PeerTube Live!

A PeerTube spiced up with third-party software is possible! Framasoft has funded and supported two external developments to bring interesting features to live videos. Here is an overview of these two tools, which will bring something new to your live stream.

PeerTube Live App: being live from your smartphone

ℹ️ This app is for content creators who want to broadcast live from a mobile phone.

Why PeerTube Live App?

PeerTube is the free-libre solution to decentralize and share your videos, but... what if you could broadcast live from your mobile phone, whether it's a conference, a concert or a protest? Live streaming on an independent platform, through an easy to use application, didn't exist yet.

This is a new opportunity. Until now, you could only live stream on PeerTube from your computer https://framablog.org/2021/01/07/peertube-v3-its-a-live-a-liiiiive/... which isn't really convenient when you are in the middle of a crowd!

It's a fact: at Framasoft, we didn't have the skills to develop an Android application. So we looked externally and contacted Schoumi, a contributor to Exodus Privacy, who accepted the project. After initial exchanges in April 2020, it was in May 2021 (the covid slowed us down a bit) that the PeerTube Live app started to be developed. After some improvements, we are now ready to show you the tool.

How do I live stream from my smartphone?

First step: you will need an account on a PeerTube instance that allows live streaming (see the instance's terms and conditions). Then download the PeerTube Live application, available on Google Play store and on the F-Droid app store (Note: this application is only available for Android mobiles).

We advise you to configure the application before going live (at the risk of losing some time choosing the settings - be warned!):

  • Add the web address of your instance and the login details of your account on the interface
  • Click on the "+" at the top right
  • Configure the live settings (Title, channel, privacy settings, resolution, publish a replay of not, etc.)
  • To go live, all you have to do now is press the big black button
  • The same button lets you end the live stream
  • If you have chosen to "Automatically publish a replay when your live stream ends", remember to be patient. The publication delay can vary according to the length of the live, the quality/resolution or the computing power of the server hosting your instance

PeerTube Live App needs you!

There are a few important limitations to point out. First of all, we have done very little testing on the app. In short, the paint is fresh, as they say, so bugs may occur.

Secondly, the application is not developed by Framasoft. Its evolution and improvement depend entirely on... you! You want to contribute to the improvement of the application? Here is how to participate:

PeerTube Live Chat: give your instance's audience the ability to chat during live streams

ℹ️ PeerTube Live Chat is a plugin for administrators of a PeerTube instance.

Why PeerTubeLive Chat?

More importantly, why didn't we add a chat feature when we developed the live stream feature for PeerTube? Well, it was a 100% conscious choice to focus only on live stream to begin with (we needed to manage priorities).

However, we soon noticed a developer working on a chat feature (and that was really convenient!): John Livingston. So we offered to co-fund the improvement of his code to make it more user-friendly for the general audience.

The project was launched in April 2021. It was essential that the plugin communicate properly with the PeerTube core code, which meant improving the PeerTube plugin API. After much discussions between Chocobozzz (PeerTube developer) and John, the plugin is ready!

How do you install it?

You need to be an administrator of a PeerTube instance to install the plugin on your server, and follow these steps:

  • Prosody Server Installation (version 0.11.9 or later). You can refer to the documentation
  • Installation of the "livechat" plugin via the PeerTube administration interface
  • Choose in the configuration "Prosody server controlled by PeerTube"

The chat will now be displayed during live video broadcasts.

How do you use it?

Once the plugin is installed on the instance, the audience will be able to chat during the live videos they watch. However, this will only be possible from a computer.

If you are logged in to your PeerTube account, you will be recognized directly by the plugin. If you are not logged in, you can simply enter a nickname.

You will then have direct access to the chat and its features. Moderation can be entrusted to one or more people.

It can always be improved!

As the plugin is very young, there is room for improvement:

  • Its installation can be tedious, even cumbersome, depending on certain versions of the software
  • We have only tested the tool a little, for the moment
  • The interface could be more intuitive.

At the time of writing this news, John Livingston has just received a new €4000 sponsorship from the company Code Lutin to continue his work on PeerTube Live Chat. This is great news for this very useful plugin. We look forward to see it grow.

If you want to support this development, too, please go here: https://liberapay.com/JohnLivingston/. End to contribute to the code, it's there: https://github.com/JohnXLivingston/peertube-plugin-livechat.

Contribute to the contributions

These two tools add great value to PeerTube and our freedom to distribute... livestreams! Their improvement now depends on your contributions.

We are increasingly aware of the richness of the PeerTube ecosystem: clients, plugins... Numerous external contributions offer new options and new freedoms to the community: thank you very much!

If we have been able to finance and support these two external developments, it is partly thanks to the NLnet grant we mentioned when announcing the path to v4 of PeerTube, and partly thanks to your donations which finance all the actions of Framasoft https://soutenir.framasoft.org/en/.

Thanks again for your trust!

PeerTube v3.4 is out!

Hi everybody,

At Framasoft, as we didn't spend the whole summer basking in the sun, we took time to improve our favourite software. With this version 3.4, we offer you new features to make your PeerTube use more pleasant. Let's look around and see what it brings us...

Filters on every PeerTube pages

We have added a video filtering system on video pages of accounts and channels, but also on common video pages available on each instance (Trending / Recently added / Local videos).

Since v3.2, it was already possible to sort videos display according to several criteria: date of publication, most viewed, most liked, longest, etc. With this new filtering system, you can sort videos according to:

  • video language,
  • sensitive content level,
  • video scope: local videos (from the instance you are on) or federated videos (from the instances you follow),
  • video type: live video or VOD - or both,
  • video categories.

To do this, just click on the More filters button at the top left of each page where videos are listed and complete the fields. You may have noticed that next to this More filters button, default filters of your account already appear. Look at the screenshot above where filters like Sensitive content: hidden and Scope: Federated are activated. Very useful to find your way around!

Subscribe as an instance to a channel or an account

As a PeerTube instance administrator, you could federate your instance with others to create your own federation bubble. With 3.4, you can follow an account or a channel without necessarily federating with the instance that hosts it.

To do this is very simple: you just have to go to the Administration menu, Federation tab, Following section. The list of instances to which your instance has subscribed appears. If you click on the orange Follow button, you can then manually add channel or account handles. Then, users of your instance will be able to see content published by this channel (or account).

Filter videos search results of an instance

You could already use many filters when searching for videos. Now, you have the possibility to filter videos by indicating a specific instance for which you wish to limit your search. Let's take an example: you search for videos on permaculture and you have identified content on xxxx.xyz instance which have a great editorial work. Enter the instance URL you want to search in the "PeerTube Instance Host" field. You will then only see videos about permaculture available on this instance.

Video Player Update

We have updated the HLS.js library that is used by the PeerTube video player. PeerTube now detects and remembers your bandwidth. Previously, the player used the "medium-quality" by default and you could have noticed a quality change after a few seconds if you had a good network connection. Now, the player automatically identifies your last bandwidth and chooses the most suitable resolution. And if you still want to choose the resolution of the video you are watching, the change is immediate.

And also:

PeerTube 3.4 natively supports saving video files in object-storage systems (s3). Still in beta, this new feature allows PeerTube instance administrators to host videos of their instance with this on-demand storage system. Thus, administrators no longer have to worry about the storage size of their server.

We are still trying to identify performance issues that large PeerTube instances (with many users, videos, viewers or federated with many instances) may hit. If you see any scalability issues with your instance, don't hesitate to explain it to us on our forum.

We have made many other improvements in this new version. You can read the whole list on https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/blob/develop/CHANGELOG.md.

Thanks to all PeerTube contributors!

PeerTube v3.3 is out!

Hi everybody,

With this v3.3, we offer you new features to further customise your instances, playlists' addition to the search, smaller URLs and many other things...

Customise your instance's homepage

The great novelty of this 3.3 version is the ability to create a custom homepage for each PeerTube instance. This will allow instance administrators to indicate more clearly what their instance is, what content is available, how to subscribe or propose content selections (non-exhaustive list). The system setup is flexible enough to allow everyone to publish what they want.

the homepage created on our test instance
the homepage created on our test instance

To customise your homepage, once you are logged in, simply go to the Administration menu, Configuration section, Homepage tab. There, an empty block allows you to add the elements you want, in Markdown or HTML format. Many elements are available via custom HTML tags created for the occasion. To discover them, do not hesitate to consult our documentation.

code corresponding to the homepage displayed above
code corresponding to the homepage displayed above

This will allow you to display:

  • a custom button
  • an embed player for videos or playlists
  • a video, playlist or channel miniature
  • an automatically updated list of videos (with ability to filter by language, category...)

You can also use containers to display elements (videos, channels, accounts, playlists) in a column or in a row and thus offer editorialized selections in an attractive layout.

In order to allow as many people as possible to see your homepage, make sure you set it as the default page. To do this, go to the Administration menu, Configuration section, Basic tab and select "Home" in Landing page field.

These customisation options are now also available in the instance description page (About menu).

Ability to search for playlists

Whether browsing PeerTube or using Sepia Search engine, playlists are now displayed in the search results.

Smaller public URLs

We have been asked a lot about this feature, so we have set up a system to shorten some public URLs. Indeed, the identifiers were a bit long.

From now on, the unique identifier of the video https://peertube2.cpy.re/videos/watch/d10c66b2-8fb2-4fa6-a6e2-bdcb3dab79d2 (36 characters) is shortened to https://peertube2.cpy.re/w/rPdWN4SKgiKWa7LWX3ooMq (22 characters).

And the playlist URL: https://peertube2.cpy.re/videos/watch/playlist/8524e54a-67da-4f78-a296-de844d224952 becomes https://peertube2.cpy.re/w/p/hrAdcvjkMMkHJ28upnoN21.

As you can notice, we have also shortened our URLs syntax: we use /w/ instead of /videos/watch/ and /w/p/ instead of /videos/watch/playlist/. And we have extended this syntax to accounts and channels: /a/ instead of /accounts/ and /c/ instead of /video-channels/.

Of course, the old URLs are still supported.

An adapted interface for RTL (right to left) languages

PeerTube now supports RTL layout if you set PeerTube interface to one of the right to left languages. The menu moves to the right and thumbnails are right justified.

And also:

We have made some changes to improve PeerTube performance. Retrieving information from a video is 2 times faster and we have optimized queries within the federation. We are currently trying to identify performance issues that large PeerTube instances (with many users, videos, viewers or federated with many instances) may hit. If you see any scalability issues with your instance, don't hesitate to explain it to us on our forum.

We also made several changes to PeerTube code so the plugins can add, update or remove links from the left menu. We hope to see new plugins released soon.

We have made many other improvements in this new version. You can read the whole list on https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/blob/develop/CHANGELOG.md.

Thanks to all PeerTube contributors!

PeerTube v3.2 is out!

Hi everybody,

2 months ago, we published PeerTube v.3.1! Since then, we have made many improvements to your favourite tool... So here are some details on what this version 3.2 brings you.

Improved differentiation of channels from accounts

During our work with designer Marie-Cécile Godwin, we noticed that it was not easy to differentiate accounts from channels. In order to make it easier for you to find your way around, we have redesigned the appearance of these two element. Channels' avatars (in square format) are now different from accounts' avatars (in circle format).

As you can see on this screenshot, it is now more obvious to identify that you are on a channel page (square avatar and "video channel" indication above the channel title). Thanks to the block placed on the right, you can identify which account manages this channel. If you are curious enough to click on the "view account" button, you will be redirected to a page that lists the account's channels. This page has been redesigned to make it easier to differentiate one channel from another.

We have also added new features to make channels more attractive. For example, you can add an illustration banner and a "support" button to show how people can help you to fund your video creations.

Finally, channels (rather than accounts) are now displayed first on video thumbnails. And we have increased the size of video miniatures by a third, so there are fewer videos displayed on a single line, which is more pleasant.

With these improvements, our hope is that more of you will create channels to post your videos.

New features to improve your use of PeerTube

This version 3.2 is also filled with small improvements and new features that will make your PeerTube experience more pleasant. Not all of them will revolutionize your practice, but we are still very happy to have implemented them.

  • First of all, PeerTube now automatically resumes videos for non logged-in users. If you are interrupted while watching, you won't need to look up where you were to continue watching the video.

  • PeerTube brings you more robust uploads by using a resumable upload endpoint. Actually, it was quite annoying to have to restart an upload from the beginning (especially if the video was big) when it was interrupted due to a faulty internet connection. You have been pointing this out for a while, and now this problem is history!

  • We have changed the default download setting. Previously, when you clicked on the "Download" button, the torrent download was set by default. Now it is direct download. But of course you can always change this setting.

  • When you have uploaded many videos on your account, it is sometimes not easy to find them. So we've added the ability to sort videos according to several criteria: publication date, most viewed, most liked, longest, etc. You can also display only your live broadcasts.

  • To facilitate instance administration, we have added a notification to notify administrators on new available PeerTube version and plugins updates. This way, we hope that more instances will be kept up to date.

Improvements on the video player context menu

Did you notice that when you right-click in the video player, you can display a contextual menu? This feature has been around for a while, but it wasn't highlighted. And since we've just improved this menu, this is a good opportunity to introduce this feature to those who haven't seen it yet!

We added small icons to easily understand available actions. There is a new "stats for nerds" item which displays, as the name suggests, technical information that only the most experienced geeks will understand ;)

We have made many other improvements in this new version. You can read the whole list on https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/blob/develop/CHANGELOG.md.

Thanks to all PeerTube contributors!

Our plans for PeerTube v4

In the PeerTube v3 release blogpost, we announced that we wouldn't resort to crowdfunding to finance PeerTube's development in 2021.

We are glad to announce that a big part of PeerTube v4 will be funded through an NLnet grant under their "Search and discovery" program (find here their page on PeerTube).

We plan to develop PeerTube's v4 all along 2021, with our main focus on customizing the experience so that instance administrators, content creators and users can display and discover the videos to their liking.

We truly believe that empowering instance administrators and content creators to customize their instances and channels is a great way forward to help PeerTube users to find and identify the videos they want to watch.

Such customization will have a direct impact on search, and on search results. Moreover we plan to extend the search scope to playlists so they can be displayed in search results. We also plan to improve search result pages with a more ubiquitous sorting/filter system and a better interface.

PeerTube's v4 main features

Here are the main "customization" features we plan to be working on:

  • Sorting/filter system on pages that list videos
  • Customize left menu for instances (through plugin API)
  • Customize homepage for instances (through a markup system)
  • Customize channels for content creators
  • Incentives to complete instance/channel attributes (i.e. descriptions, images, terms of service, etc.)

We also plan to work on frequently asked improvements such as:

  • Adding playlists to search scope (on PeerTube instance and Sepia Search)
  • Subscription to channels/accounts from an instance
  • Coordination with, support and contributions to external developments (clients, plugin, etc.)

More details on our plans can be found on the PeerTube Github page. Please note that these are the main features and developments. They can evolve due to circumstances, contributions, timings, etc. To be informed of any change, subscribe to PeerTube newsletter.

Managing expectations

This is already a lot, and we can't wait to implement those features!

That being said, we understand that lots of people have lots of expectations for PeerTube. But we won't uphold and develop them all, as we are not a tech giant, not even a startup.

Framasoft is a small French not for profit of 35 members, and has made the choice not to overgrow. We want to stay at 10 employees tops, even though we manage more than 80 different projects (OK, PeerTube is one the biggest ones, but it is still one of eighty projects).

We have only one developer dedicated to PeerTube (not even full time), helped by others in our team (design, administration, communication, etc.). Maintaining PeerTube means lots of different tasks (learn more about it here in our FAQ), and we don't want him (or anyone else, for that matter) to burn himself out to fulfill everyone's expectations.

So if our plans for 2021 and PeerTube's v4 don't match your priorities, that's completely OK, but we won't do more nor go faster. Remember that you are free to fork PeerTube to lead it in another direction, or to contribute by coding plugins and issues (get started on contributing here).

Thanks for the support

We really want to thank the PeerTube community for its work and support. We also want to thank NLnet for their grant that will fund the major part of our work on PeerTube this year, thus relieving us from having to organize a dedicated crowdfunding in 2021.

While most of our roadmap for PeerTube is covered by NLnet's donation, the rest will come from our own budget. Framasoft is funded by grassroots supporters who give us money for all our actions and projects.

If you want to support PeerTube, you can support Framasoft with a donation, but also by helping others to discover and learn more about PeerTube and our projects: sharing is caring!

PeerTube v3.1 is out!

Hi everybody,

After releasing PeerTube v3 in early January, it's time for a new main version with plenty of improvements and new features. Here are some explanations on what this v3.1 brings us.

Better transcoding features

Transcoding? It's the process of converting an audio or video file from one encoding format to another so media files can be visible on different platforms and devices. On PeerTube, we use the FFmpeg program to transcode the videos you upload. You probably have noticed the warning message when you post a video saying "This video is being transcoded, it may not work properly yet". In fact, until transcoding is complete, your video may not be seen from all your devices.

Until now, transcoding rules were the same for every PeerTube instance: you couldn't modify them. From this v3.1, you can create transcoding profiles by installing plugins on instances. Instance administrators can select a transcoding profile adapted to their needs after installing a plugin. We hope many of them will create such plugins to customize their FFmpeg settings.

For example, you can now create a specific transcoding profile that highlights live videos (over other videos) in terms of bandwidth. In addition, the administrator of a PeerTube instance specialized in broadcasting musical contents will be happy to know he can create a high quality audio profile.

This v3.1 also changes the way transcoding tasks are managed. Before, and for each instance, transcoding occured chronologically as users were uploading videos. Thus when a video maker was uploading several videos in a row, he prevented video transcoding from other users of the instance. Therefore we have modified the priority management system for these transcoding jobs so that when a user upload several files at the same time, the transcoding of some of his videos is de-prioritized (they are on standby) if another user upload a file. In other words, administrators can give an higher priority to optimize jobs and can decrease priority of transcoding jobs depending on the amount of videos uploaded by the user in the last 7 days. This prevents one single user from blocking other people's contents' uplaods: it's more fair. Besides, administrators can now see the progress of video transcoding in the list of on-going jobs on their instance.

Finally, instance administrators can now choose how many simultaneous transcoding jobs they support. Of course, transcoding several videos at once requires an important computing power. If you want to allow the transcoding of more than one video at once on your instance, make sure you have the proper hardware.

More and more pleasant interfaces

As we know that PeerTube interface is not always easy to understand, we still improve it so that everyone feels comfortable using this tool.

The disappearance of the "most liked" category, in the left menu, is the most visible change. In return, we added to the "trending" category 3 options for sorting videos:

  • hot: a selection of recent videos with the most interactions
  • views: videos with the most views in the last 24 hours
  • likes: the most liked videos

We have modified some elements in the Administration menu (available for instance administrators only). For example in the "users" tab, the "Create user" button is now on the left side to be more visible. Also administrators can now customize the value of video quota (total and daily) of each user.

And also:

You can now easily subscribe to an account hosted on a different instance from the one you have registered on (remote account) by clicking on the "subscribe" button under a video and then by entering your PeerTube ID (username@domain).

Instance administrators can now choose how many simultaneous import jobs they support (whether these imports are realized through a URL or a torrent). This prevents big instances from having long waiting lists.

Finally, we have also implemented a system of async torrent creation on video upload in order to fix some upload errors bugs.

We have made many other improvements in this new version. You can read the whole list (in English) on https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/blob/develop/CHANGELOG.md.

Thanks to all PeerTube contributors!

A plugin selection on joinpeertube.org


In September 2019 when PeerTube v.1.4 was released, we announced the creation of a plugin system. This system allows PeerTube instance administrators to create and/or install plugins depending on their specific feature needs, without having to rely on our small non-profit for this creative work.

Did you know that there are now more than 40 plugins available for PeerTube instance administrators?

To support the installation of these plugins, we have just created a new page in which we will often highlight a plugin selection. Thus we hope that more and more instance administrators will install them to improve their instance features.

We first have chosen to highlight 4 plugins:

We will regularly add other plugins to this selection. Have a good discovery!

PeerTube v3 is out, with p2p livestreaming!


It has been a very busy 6 months, but we have completed our roadmap and just released version 3 of PeerTube!

Illustration CC-BY david revoy

We would like to thank every person who has contributed to the fundraising of the v3 for their generosity (especially in a difficult time for everyone). Thanks also to the sponsors of this v3, Octopuce, Code Lutin and the Debian project. Last but not least, our deepest thanks to every person who, in their own way, worked and contributed to help this v3 get complete.

Happy free-libre live streams,

The Release Candidate for PeerTube v3 is live!

Hi everybody,

PeerTube v3 is almost complete, and we have just published a RC (release candidate) for admins who like to try it and give us feedback so we can publish a beautiful v3 in early January.

A barebone yet functioning p2p live streaming

The big feature of this v3 will be live streaming, and we're proud to say that it works fine! 🎉🎉🎉

We've had lots of tests and feedback from pioneers (shout out to Le Canard Réfractaire for their help), and we are now confident that a PeerTube p2p live stream can scale up to hundreds of simultaneous users (but not thousands - not yet).

In the different tests we've had, we have managed to keep lag between 30s to 1mn. To our knowledge, peer-to-peer live broadcasting will induce an incompressible lag between the streamer and the audience. Ultimately, this lag will depend on the server charge (how many live streams are happening at the same time) and bandwidth.

We encourage admins to enable live transcoding for live streaming. Even though it will take processing power and induce some lag, it is really essential to facilitate the experience both for streamers (who can use basic OBS settings) and for viewers (who can watch in their preferred video resolution).

With this v3, admins will have the option to enable live streaming, for which they can set a maximum number of ongoing and awaiting live streams (per user and for the whole instance). They will also be able to set up a maximum duration limit for live streams.

Two ways to set up your live

As you can see in our how to go live documentation, PeerTube streamers will need a broadcasting software (we recommend the Free-Libre software OBS), and use the live RTMP key.

Setting up a new livestream is like uploading a new video. The default setting will get you one PeerTube URL, one video container (with description and thumbnail and tags...), and one RTMP Key for each of your livestreams. This setting is useful if you want to host multiple lives simultaneously on you channel. When your live is finished, it will be replaced by the replay (if both the instance admin and the content creator have activated this setting).

Streamers will also have the option to enable "permanent live". It will work more like Twitch does: your permanent live URL and video container will correspond to a single RTMP key. You can go live and stop it whenever you want, the live will be broadcast on the same URL. This setting does not allow saving a video for replay, though.

There is more than live in life

This v3 comes packed with many changes and improvements.

The sidebar menu has been completely reworked, thanks to the UX design work we did with Marie Cécile Paccard. It is now way easyier to interact with you profile or to distinguish pages displaying what's in your Library from what's on your instance federation bubble.

Notifications have been improved: now, when an account has been muted (either by a user or an admin) the notification of their actions are deleted, which comes really handy when someone is having an activity peak and you d'ont want to clean your notifications one by one ;).

Administrators and moderators have, once again, usefull new tools in this update. There's a new page to facilitate comment moderation, batch actions, the option to delete all comments of an account, or to see unlisted videos uploaded by an account on the instance you moderate.

Warning: fresh paint

There is still a lot to tell about this v3, and people who contributed to make it happen. That's a good thing, because we will talk about it in January, for the v3 release post.

We just wanted to describe briefly what you could expect from this new PeerTube version, and present you our progress with this release candidate.

In the meantime, if you try and test Peertube v3 RC and its live feature, please be sure to give us some feedback on the code respository issues or on our forum.

Have a great holydays and stay safe,

Introducing SepiaSearch!

Hi everybody,

We have just released SepiaSearch, our search engine to help you discover videos and channels on PeerTube!

We've worked hard to ensure that this engine respects your data, your attention and your freedoms.

Please remember to share the roadmap to v3 page, where people can learn more about (and support) ou plans for PeerTube.

Thanks to all PeerTube contributors!