Install and self-host Sorbay on your machine

Sorbay is an open source asynchronous video communication tool. With Sorbay you can create and share screen and camera recordings. It comes in two parts: A desktop client and a backend service to store, organize and share your videos.

In this article, you will learn how to set your Sorbay up both on the backend service and the desktop client.

Check if you have all the requirements on your machine

The Sorbay backend service uses docker and docker-compose to operate.

Docker and Docker-compose should be installed. If you don’t have them installed already, you can do this at Docker’s official website.

If you’re not sure whether you already have docker and docker-compose, just run:

docker run hello-world
docker-compose --version

The Sorbay desktop client needs nodejs (and yarn) to run.

nodejs and yarn should be installed. If you don’t have them installed already, you can do this at nodejs’s website and yarn’s website.

If you’re not sure whether you already have npm and yarn, just run:

npm --version
yarn --version

Clone the repositories

Next up, you just have to run this:

git clone

This will clone the Sorbay backend service repository.

Then clone the Sorbay client repository for the Sorbay Desktop client.

git clone

You will then have 2 directories: sorbay and sorbay-client.

Run Sorbay backend service

Let’s start by the first run:

Open up your terminal, go to the sorbay directory, and run the following:

cd sorbay

# on macOS/Linux
sh setup/

# on Windows

This will build all the necessary Docker containers. Might take a couple of minutes to complete.

Next, start the stack by running:

docker-compose up

The backend should now be accessible on http://localhost:8000/.

On the first use, you should be redirected to a Sign-In page:

page

Since this is the first time running the Sorbay backend service, make sure to register as a new user.

Run Sorbay client

After running the Sorbay backend service, go back to the sorbay-client, and hit:

yarn install

This will install all the dependencies to make the client runnable on your machine.

next, run:

yarn start

for MacOS Users

If you’re on MacOS and it is the first time you’re running this app, you should get some pop up windows asking for camera and microphone permissions that looks like this:

Camera Permission

If you granted all permissions (screen, camera, window), then you should get a window like this:

All Permissions granted

Your first recording

After granting all permissions and closing the previous window, you should then get this window:

Sorbay client

You can use the Sorbay Cloud backend service, but since we are self-hosting, we use our custom Sorbay backend service that we setup earlier, the url here would be http://localhost:8000/:


A pop up will appear asking you if you want to link this app (your Sorbay client) to your account in the backend service.

Link app

This will automatically get you back to your Sorbay client app. You can choose whether you want your camera to be shown or choose your audio input:

Client Logged in

You can click on “Start recording”, this will record your screen, camera and microphone depending on the preferences that you set up.

The most important part is, on the bottom left of your screen, you will have this small control interface:

Control interface

If you want to finish your recording, hit the STOP button (red button). You will finally get redirected to your browser with your Sorbay backend service share link. This is the shareable link of your first recorded video.

Your First Video


Congratulations! You recorded your first video! You can share the link of your video to your friends and colleagues.