Headless raspberry pi audio and video issues

Hello all. I have been working on some robots that battle and are remote operated over internet. I have been using jitsi on a headless raspberry pi 3b+ for video and audio feed.

Operating system is current raspbian/raspberry pi OS kernel v5.4. Autostarting into Chromium with prejoinPageEnabled and startWithAudioMuted = false.

My most urgent issue is not being able to send audio from the USB microphone when the pi has booted headless. If I boot with a monitor attached, the audio/mic do function. Any suggestions?

Also, any idea if a Chrome OS would run better than raspbian?


The primary problem is not related in Jitsi. It’s the desktop environment which doesn’t setup when there is no attached monitor. I think this can be fixed easily with a little search.

An alternative way is to get the audio/video without a desktop environment using ffmpeg and push it to a stream server (not jitsi).

Thank you for the reply.

I suspect you are correct about the desktop environment not loading. What I found interesting is that the camera works fine, but not the microphone. The camera is a pi cam 1 style with cable to the main board while the microphone is USB. I did search around before posting, without luck. I will try again.

For now, I would like to maintain desktop environment for easier navigating by potential users that are not familiar with linux. I realize it would probably be easier in the long run to go straight to CLI, but I would also like to keep the pi’s ready to use as simple desktop computers as well. Still working through the best options.

I am not familiar with ffmpeg. Ideally, I am looking for a mature system that is easy for users to get running when moving robots and operators between locations. Jitsi appears to pretty easily make its way through all the networks and firewalls without any necessary software installation on a PC, so far. Long term, maybe something like ffmpeg may be wiser. I will research it further if this project gets past the proving grounds. Any idea how latency of ffmpeg typically compares to jitsi?

Thanks again.

Well, I looked again, a lot, and could not find a valid working solution to enabling the microphone for headless and my configuration. If you have any specific details, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Regarding Chromium OS…

It does not currently support using a pi camera module. This makes it a no go for my project.

Furthermore, it recognized the USB microphone and a microphone on a USB webcam, but there were not any volume level settings for input within the GUI so the microphones I tried were not usable. The default levels and gains must be set very low. I assume one could solve this by digging through config files, if they had the time.

Since the camera does not work, I never got around to testing headless.

On a positive note, with a decent webcam, the video was faster than with raspbian. I will be using the Chromium OS for my digital microscope since the lag while simply viewing the camera is almost imperceivable. With raspbian, it is much slower.

Still trying to get the headless raspbian to run with sound/microphone enabled. Does anyone have any suggestions??