GnomeMeeting 1.0 provides Linux users with a basic platform for conducting video and audio conferences.
Released earlier this month, GnomeMeeting 1.0 is a free, open-source, H.323-compliant application that supports videoconferencing, audio conferencing, text chat and IP-based telephony. In eWEEK Labs tests, we found GnomeMeeting 1.0 worked reasonably well, although we did have difficulty setting up our audio and Universal Serial Bus-based video cameras to work on our test systems. This was mainly a Linux issue in our tests; anyone who wants to try GnomeMeeting, and hasnt installed a USB video camera, should plan on investing some time installing drivers. GnomeMeeting also supports FireWire-based cameras.
Using an H.323-compliant test system, we were able to connect to a system running Microsoft Corp.s NetMeeting. Overall, the GnomeMeeting client is well-organized and provides fast access to components such as chat or control settings such as audio volume.
GnomeMeeting does have its limitations, however: It doesnt support application sharing or whiteboards. In addition, the application supports PC-to-phone calls but requires voice-over-IP hardware from Quicknet Technologies Inc. and Quicknets MicroTelco Services.
The address book worked well in tests and enabled us to create groups and connect to a directory, including a hosted public directory. User information in that directory can be either public or private.
Running GnomeMeeting 1.0 requires numerous components, including the client and OpenH323 and PWlib libraries. At press time, we found the easiest place to download the GnomeMeeting client and libraries was www.gnomemeeting.org.
Configuring the client to work with given hardware requires picking the right plug-ins. This proved more difficult than we would have expected in tests.