openvidu-js-screen-share 🔗

Check it on GitHub

This tutorial is a modification of openvidu-js which includes the posibility to share the screen with other users in the same session. For more information about OpenVidu screen sharing capabilities, check section Screen share.

If it is the first time you use OpenVidu, it is highly recommended to start with openvidu-hello-world tutorial, as this app is no more than an extension of it with some new features and styles.

Running this tutorial 🔗

To run the tutorial you need the three components stated in OpenVidu application architecture: an OpenVidu deployment, your server application and your client application. In this order:

1. Run OpenVidu deployment 🔗

Using Docker Engine:

# WARNING: this container is not suitable for production deployments of OpenVidu
# Visit

docker run -p 4443:4443 --rm -e OPENVIDU_SECRET=MY_SECRET openvidu/openvidu-dev:2.29.0

2. Run your preferred server application sample 🔗

For more information visit Application server.

3. Run the client application tutorial 🔗

You will need some kind of http web server installed in your development computer to serve the tutorial. If you have Node.js installed, you can use http-server. It can be installed with:

npm install --location=global http-server

To serve the tutorial:

# Using the same repository openvidu-tutorials from step 2
http-server openvidu-tutorials/openvidu-js-screen-share/web

Go to http://localhost:8080 to test the app once the server is running.

To test the application with other devices in your network, visit this FAQ

Understanding the code 🔗

This application is very simple. It has only 4 files:

  • openvidu-browser-VERSION.js: openvidu-browser library. You don't have to manipulate this file.
  • app.js: sample application main JavaScript file, which makes use of openvidu-browser-VERSION.js. You can manipulate this file to suit your needs.
  • style.css: some CSS classes to style index.html. You can manipulate this file to suit your needs.
  • index.html: HTML code for the form to connect to a video-call and for the video-call itself. You can manipulate this file to suit your needs. It has two links to both JavaScript files:
    <script src="openvidu-browser-VERSION.js"></script>
<script src="app.js"></script>

Let's see how app.js uses openvidu-browser-VERSION.js:

First lines declare the variables that will be needed in different points along the code 🔗

// OpenVidu global variables
var OVCamera;
var OVScreen
var sessionCamera;
var sessionScreen

// User name and session name global variables
var myUserName;
var mySessionId;
var screensharing = false;

To handle in a better way Camera videos and Screen Videos, we declare two variabes for each type of video.

OpenVidu variables:

  • OVCamera and OVScreen: these two variables will be our OpenVidu object (entrypoint to the library). We will use OVCamera to init sessionCamera object, and OVScreen to init sessionScreen object.
  • sessionCamera and sessionScreen: these two objects will represent the video-call we will connect. Both will be associated to the same session id, but with sessionCamera we will handle webcam events and with sessionScreen we will handle screen events.

Global State variables

  • myUserName: the username provided in the initial form.
  • mySessionId: the session identifiers provided in the initial form. This is the video-call we will connect to.
  • screensharing: boolean state which represents if the user is screensharing or not to display a button.

When the join button is clicked, mySessionId and myUserName will be loaded from the initial form:

mySessionId = document.getElementById("sessionId").value;
myUserName = document.getElementById("userName").value;

Let's initialize a new session and configure our events: 🔗

// --- 1) Create two OpenVidu objects.

// 'OVCamera' will handle Camera operations.
// 'OVScreen' will handle screen sharing operations
OVCamera = new OpenVidu();
OVScreen = new OpenVidu();

// --- 2) Init two OpenVidu Session Objects ---

// 'sessionCamera' will handle camera operations
// 'sessionScreen' will handle screen sharing operations
sessionCamera = OVCamera.initSession();
sessionScreen = OVScreen.initSession();

As you can see in the code, the process is very simple: get an OpenVidu object and initialize a Session object with it. But, as we said in the previous section above, we will create two Openvidu objects and two session objects.

// --- 3) Specify the actions when events of type 'streamCreated' take
// --- place in the session. The reason why we're using two different objects
// --- is to handle diferently the subscribers when it is of 'CAMERA' type, or 'SCREEN' type ---

// ------- 3.1) Handle subscribers of 'CAMERA' type
sessionCamera.on('streamCreated', event => {
    if ( == "CAMERA") {
        // Subscribe to the Stream to receive it. HTML video will be appended to element with 'container-cameras' id
        var subscriber = sessionCamera.subscribe(, 'container-cameras');
        // When the HTML video has been appended to DOM...
        subscriber.on('videoElementCreated', event => {
            // Add a new <p> element for the user's nickname just below its video

// ------- 3.2) Handle subscribers of 'Screen' type
sessionScreen.on('streamCreated', event => {
    if ( == "SCREEN") {
        // Subscribe to the Stream to receive it. HTML video will be appended to element with 'container-screens' id
        var subscriberScreen = sessionScreen.subscribe(, 'container-screens');
        // When the HTML video has been appended to DOM...
        subscriberScreen.on('videoElementCreated', event => {
            // Add a new <p> element for the user's nickname just below its video

// On every Stream destroyed...
sessionCamera.on('streamDestroyed', event => {
    // Delete the HTML element with the user's nickname. HTML videos are automatically removed from DOM

// On every asynchronous exception...
sessionCamera.on('exception', (exception) => {

Here we subscribe to the events that interest us. In this case, we want to receive all videos published to the session, as well as displaying every user's nickname next to its video, including of course, screen share published videos.

  • sessionCamera.on('streamCreated'): for each new Stream received by OpenVidu of CAMERA type, we immediately subscribe to it, so we can see its video. A new HTML video element will be appended to the element with id :'container-cameras'. The important thing is the if statement: if ( == "CAMERA"). This will only add camera videos into the 'container-cameras' HTML element.

  • sessionScreen.on('streamCreated'): for each new Stream received by OpenVidu of SCREEN type, we immediately subscribe to it, so we can see its video. A new HTML video element will be appended to the element with id :'container-screens'. The important thing is the if statement: if ( == "SCREEN"). This will only add screen share videos into the 'container-screens' HTML element.

  • videoElementCreated: event triggered by Subscriber object (returned by the previous sessionCamera.subscribe and sessionScreen.subscribe method). This allows us to add the participant nickname to the new video previously added in streamCreated event. Auxiliary method appendUserData is responsible for appending a new paragraph element just below the event.element video, containing field. In this case, this field contains the user's nickName. You can see how to feed this property from the client in a later step.

  • streamDestroyed: for each Stream that has been destroyed (which means a user has left the video-call), we remove the element with the user's nickname that we added in the previous event with the auxiliary method removeUserData (appendUserData method created the element with an id containing unique value, so we can now identify the right element to be removed). OpenVidu automatically deletes the proper video element by default, so we don't need to do anything else.

  • exception: event triggered by Session object when an asynchronous unexpected error takes place on the server-side

You can take a look at all the events in the Reference Documentation

Check Application specific methods section to see all the auxiliary methods used in this app

Get an OpenVidu token 🔗

We are ready to join the session. But we still need two tokens to get access to it: one token for the camera participant and other for the screen participant. So we ask for them to the server application. The server application will in turn request two tokens to the OpenVidu deployment. If you have any doubts about this process, review the Basic Concepts.

Variable mySessionId is the OpenVidu Session we want a token from.

// --- 4) Connect to the session with two different tokens: one for the camera and other for the screen ---

// -------4.1 Get the token for the 'sessionCamera' object
getToken(mySessionId).then(token => {
    // See next point to see how to connect to the session using 'token'

// -------4.1 Get the token for the 'sessionScreen' object
getToken(mySessionId).then((tokenScreen) => {
    // See next point to see how to connect to the session using 'token'

This is the piece of code in charge of finally retrieving a token from the application server. The tutorial uses jQuery.ajax() method to perform the necessary HTTP requests.

var APPLICATION_SERVER_URL = "http://localhost:5000/";

function getToken(mySessionId) {
    return createSession(mySessionId).then(sessionId => createToken(sessionId));

function createSession(sessionId) {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
            type: "POST",
            url: APPLICATION_SERVER_URL + "api/sessions",
            data: JSON.stringify({ customSessionId: sessionId }),
            headers: { "Content-Type": "application/json" },
            success: response => resolve(response), // The sessionId
            error: (error) => reject(error)

function createToken(sessionId) {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
            type: 'POST',
            url: APPLICATION_SERVER_URL + 'api/sessions/' + sessionId + '/connections',
            data: JSON.stringify({}),
            headers: { "Content-Type": "application/json" },
            success: (response) => resolve(response), // The token
            error: (error) => reject(error)

Finally, connect to the session using the tokens and publish your webcam: 🔗

// --- 4) Connect to the session with two different tokens: one for the camera and other for the screen ---

// --- 4.1) Get the token for the 'sessionCamera' object
getToken(mySessionId).then(token => {

    // First param is the token got from the OpenVidu deployment. Second param can be retrieved by every user on event
    // 'streamCreated' (property, and will be appended to DOM as the user's nickname
    sessionCamera.connect(token, { clientData: myUserName })
        .then(() => {

            // --- 5) Set page layout for active call ---

            document.getElementById('session-title').innerText = mySessionId;
            document.getElementById('join').style.display = 'none';
            document.getElementById('session').style.display = 'block';

            // --- 6) Get your own camera stream with the desired properties ---

            var publisher = OVCamera.initPublisher('container-cameras', {
                audioSource: undefined, // The source of audio. If undefined default microphone
                videoSource: undefined, // The source of video. If undefined default webcam
                publishAudio: true,     // Whether you want to start publishing with your audio unmuted or not
                publishVideo: true,     // Whether you want to start publishing with your video enabled or not
                resolution: '640x480',  // The resolution of your video
                frameRate: 30,          // The frame rate of your video
                insertMode: 'APPEND',   // How the video is inserted in the target element 'container-cameras'
                mirror: false           // Whether to mirror your local video or not

            // --- 7) Specify the actions when events take place in our publisher ---

            // When our HTML video has been added to DOM...
            publisher.on('videoElementCreated', function (event) {
                initMainVideo(event.element, myUserName);
                appendUserData(event.element, myUserName);
                event.element['muted'] = true;

            // --- 8) Publish your stream ---

        .catch(error => {
            console.log('There was an error connecting to the session:', error.code, error.message);

// --- 4.2) Get the token for the 'sessionScreen' object
getToken(mySessionId).then((tokenScreen) => {
    // Create a token for screen share
    sessionScreen.connect(tokenScreen, { clientData: myUserName }).then(() => {
        document.getElementById('buttonScreenShare').style.visibility = 'visible';
        console.log("Session screen connected");
    }).catch((error => {
        console.warn('There was an error connecting to the session for screen share:', error.code, error.message);

In sessionCamera.connect method first param is the recently retrieved user token. Remember videoElementCreated event for the Subscriber object, when we added the user's nickname to the HTML? Well, second parameter is the actual value every user will receive in property in that event. So in this case it is an object with a property "clientData" with value "myUserName", which has been set in the first step to the value retrieved from HTML input <input class="form-control" type="text" id="userName" required> (this is filled by the user).

If the method succeeds, we first change our view to the active call (5) and then proceed to publish our webcam to the session. To do so we get a Publisher object with the desired properties (6). This process will end with the addition of a new HTML video element showing your camera, as a child of element with id 'container-cameras'. Event videoElementCreated will be fired by the Publisher object just after this video is added to DOM, so we can subscribe to it and do whatever we want with it. In this case, we init another bigger video element with our video and append our nickname to it, by using auxiliary methods initMainVideo and appendUserData (7).

Finally we just have to publish publisher object through Session.publish method (8), and the rest of users will begin receiving our webcam ('streamCreated' event will be fired for them).

But, you will notice that we're not doing the same with sessionScreen.connect (4.2). Well, that is because until the user doesn't click the "Screen Share" button, we will not publish anything from the screen. So, for the sessionScreen, we only initialize the connection with the tokenScreen. When the sessionScreen connection is established, the button to share the screen is enabled.

So, what happens when the user clicks the "Screen Share" button? At that point this function is executed:

// --- 9) Function to be called when the 'Screen share' button is clicked
function publishScreenShare() {
    // --- 9.1) To create a publisherScreen set the property 'videoSource' to 'screen'
    var publisherScreen = OVScreen.initPublisher("container-screens", { videoSource: "screen" });

    // --- 9.2) Publish the screen share stream only after the user grants permission to the browser
    publisherScreen.once('accessAllowed', (event) => {
        document.getElementById('buttonScreenShare').style.visibility = 'hidden';
        screensharing = true;
        // If the user closes the shared window or stops sharing it, unpublish the stream[0].addEventListener('ended', () => {
            console.log('User pressed the "Stop sharing" button');
            document.getElementById('buttonScreenShare').style.visibility = 'visible';
            screensharing = false;

    publisherScreen.on('videoElementCreated', function (event) {
        appendUserData(event.element, sessionScreen.connection);
        event.element['muted'] = true;

    publisherScreen.once('accessDenied', (event) => {
        console.error('Screen Share: Access Denied');

When the user clicks the "Screen Share" button, a new publisher is initialized and configured to render all of its videos in 'container-screens' HTMLElement (9.1). When initializing a Publisher object, just set property videoSource: "screen" to share the screen instead of using a webcam.

After the user grants the device permission to capture the screen (9.2), the "Screen Share" button is disabled and the screen is published to the session by calling sessionScreen.publish(publisherScreen). When the user stop screen sharing, the element will be deleted automatically from the div and the button will appear again for the userrepeat the process again.

We also define some events such as videoElementCreated to append the username information into the video element. If the user denies access to capture the screen, event accessDenied will be received. We just handle it to output an error though the console.

Leaving the session 🔗

Whenever we want a user to leave the session, we just need to call sessionCamera.disconnect and sessionScreen.disconnect method. We also make sure to disconnect both users before the page is unloaded using event window.onbeforeunload.

function leaveSession() {

    // --- 10) Leave the session by calling 'disconnect' method over the Session object ---

    // Removing all HTML elements with user's nicknames.
    // HTML videos are automatically removed when leaving a Session

    // Back to 'Join session' page
    document.getElementById('join').style.display = 'block';
    document.getElementById('session').style.display = 'none';
    // Restore default screensharing value to false
    screensharing = false;

window.onbeforeunload = function () {
    if (sessionCamera) sessionCamera.disconnect();
    if (sessionScreen) sessionScreen.disconnect();

Application specific methods 🔗

Here you have all the auxiliary methods used in this app, which are not directly related to OpenVidu:


window.addEventListener('load', function () {

function generateParticipantInfo() {
    document.getElementById("sessionId").value = "SessionScreenA";
    document.getElementById("userName").value = "Participant" + Math.floor(Math.random() * 100);

function appendUserData(videoElement, connection) {
    var userData;
    var nodeId;
    if (typeof connection === "string") {
        userData = connection;
        nodeId = connection;
    } else {
        userData = JSON.parse(;
        nodeId = connection.connectionId;
    var dataNode = document.createElement('div');
    dataNode.className = "data-node"; = "data-" + nodeId;
    dataNode.innerHTML = "<p>" + userData + "</p>";
    videoElement.parentNode.insertBefore(dataNode, videoElement.nextSibling);
    addClickListener(videoElement, userData);

function removeUserData(connection) {
    var dataNodeToRemove = document.getElementById("data-" + connection.connectionId);
    if (dataNodeToRemove) {

function removeAllUserData() {
    var nicknameElements = document.getElementsByClassName('data-node');
    while (nicknameElements[0]) {

function addClickListener(videoElement, userData) {
    videoElement.addEventListener('click', function () {
        var mainVideo = $('#main-video video').get(0);
        if (mainVideo.srcObject !== videoElement.srcObject) {
            $('#main-video').fadeOut("fast", () => {
                $('#main-video p').html(userData);
                mainVideo.srcObject = videoElement.srcObject;

function initMainVideo(videoElement, userData) {
    document.querySelector('#main-video video').srcObject = videoElement.srcObject;
    document.querySelector('#main-video p').innerHTML = userData;
    document.querySelector('#main-video video')['muted'] = true;

Deploying openvidu-js-screen-share 🔗

This tutorial image is officially released for OpenVidu under the name openvidu/openvidu-js-screen-share-demo:X.Y.Z so you do not need to build it by yourself. However, if you want to deploy a custom version of openvidu-js-screen-share, you will need to build a new one. You can keep reading for more information.

1) Build the docker image 🔗

Under the root project folder, you can see the openvidu-js-screen-share/docker/ directory. Here it is included all the required files yo make it possible the deployment with OpenVidu.

First of all, you will need to create the openvidu-js-screen-share docker image. Under openvidu-js-screen-share/docker/ directory you will find the script. This script will create the docker image with the openvidu-basic-node as application server and the static files.

./ openvidu/openvidu-js-screen-share-demo:X.Y.Z

This script will create an image named openvidu/openvidu-js-screen-share-demo:X.Y.Z. This name will be used in the next step.

2) Deploy the docker image 🔗

Time to deploy the docker image. You can follow the Deploy OpenVidu based application with Docker guide for doing this.