close search

Add Messaging, Voice, and Authentication to your apps with Vonage Communications APIs

Visit the Vonage API Developer Portal

Vonage Video API Ruby SDK

The OpenTok Ruby SDK lets you generate sessions and tokens for OpenTok applications. It also includes methods for working with OpenTok archives, working with OpenTok live streaming broadcasts, working with OpenTok SIP interconnect, and disconnecting clients from sessions.


Bundler helps manage dependencies for Ruby projects. Find more info here:

Add this gem to your Gemfile:

gem "opentok", "~> 4.0.0"

Allow bundler to install the change.

$ bundle install


$ gem install opentok



Load the gem at the top of any file where it will be used. Then initialize an OpenTok::OpenTok object with your OpenTok API key and API secret.

require "opentok"

opentok = api_key, api_secret

Initialization Options

You can specify a custom timeout value for HTTP requests when initializing a new OpenTok::OpenTok object:

require "opentok"

opentok = api_key, api_secret, :timeout_length => 10

The value for :timeout_length is an integer representing the number of seconds to wait for an HTTP request to complete. The default is set to 2 seconds.

Creating Sessions

To create an OpenTok Session, use the OpenTok#create_session(properties) method. The properties parameter is an optional Hash used to specify the following:

The session_id method of the returned OpenTok::Session instance is useful to get a sessionId that can be saved to a persistent store (such as a database).

# Create a session that will attempt to transmit streams directly between clients.
# If clients cannot connect, the session uses the OpenTok TURN server:
session = opentok.create_session

# A session that will use the OpenTok Media Server:
session = opentok.create_session :media_mode => :routed

# A session with a location hint:
session = opentok.create_session :location => ''

# A session with automatic archiving (must use the routed media mode):
session = opentok.create_session :archive_mode => :always, :media_mode => :routed

# Store this sessionId in the database for later use:
session_id = session.session_id

Generating Tokens

Once a Session is created, you can start generating Tokens for clients to use when connecting to it. You can generate a token either by calling the opentok.generate_token(session_id, options) method, or by calling the Session#generate_token(options) method on the instance after creating it. The options parameter is an optional Hash used to set the role, expire time, and connection data of the Token. For layout control in archives and broadcasts, the initial layout class list of streams published from connections using this token can be set as well.

# Generate a Token from just a session_id (fetched from a database)
token = opentok.generate_token session_id

# Generate a Token by calling the method on the Session (returned from createSession)
token = session.generate_token

# Set some options in a token
token = session.generate_token({
    :role        => :moderator,
    :expire_time => * 24 * 60 * 60), # in one week
    :data        => 'name=Johnny',
    :initial_layout_class_list => ['focus', 'inactive']

Working with Streams

Use this method to get information for an OpenTok stream or for all streams in a session. For example, you can call this method to get information about layout classes used by an OpenTok stream.

To get information of a specific stream in a session, call opentok.streams.find(session_id, stream_id). The return object is a Stream object and you can access various stream properties as shown in the following example (using RSpec notations):

expect(stream).to be_an_instance_of OpenTok::Stream
expect(stream.videoType).to eq 'camera'
expect(stream.layoutClassList.count).to eq 1
expect(stream.layoutClassList.first).to eq "full"

To get information on all streams in a session, call opentok.streams.all(session_id). The return value is a StreamList object:

expect(all_streams).to be_an_instance_of OpenTok::StreamList
expect( eq 2
expect(all_streams[0].layoutClassList[1]).to eq "focus"

Working with Archives

You can only archive sessions that use the OpenTok Media Router (sessions with the media mode set to routed).

You can start the recording of an OpenTok Session using the opentok.archives.create(session_id, options) method. This will return an OpenTok::Archive instance. The parameter options is an optional Hash used to set the has_audio, has_video, and name options. Note that you can only start an Archive on a Session that has clients connected.

# Create an Archive
archive = opentok.archives.create session_id

# Create a named Archive
archive = opentok.archives.create session_id :name => "Important Presentation"

# Create an audio-only Archive
archive = opentok.archives.create session_id :has_video => false

# Store this archive_id in the database for later use
archive_id =

Setting the :output_mode option to :individual setting causes each stream in the archive to be recorded to its own individual file:

archive = opentok.archives.create session_id :output_mode => :individual

The :output_mode => :composed setting (the default) causes all streams in the archive to be recorded to a single (composed) file.

For composed archives you can set the resolution of the archive, either "640x480" (SD, the default) or "1280x720" (HD). The resolution parameter is optional and could be included in the options hash (second argument) of the opentok.archives.create() method.

opts = {
    :output_mode => :composed,
    :resolution => "1280x720"

archive = opentok.archives.create session_id, opts

To customize the initial layout of composed archives, you can use the :layout option. Set this to a hash containing two keys: :type and :stylesheet. Valid values for :type are "bestFit" (best fit), "custom" (custom), "horizontalPresentation" (horizontal presentation), "pip" (picture-in-picture), and "verticalPresentation" (vertical presentation)). If you specify a "custom" layout type, set the :stylesheet key to the stylesheet (CSS). (For other layout types, do not set the :stylesheet key.)

opts = {
    :output_mode => :composed,
    :resolution => "1280x720",
    :layout => {
      :type => "custom",
      :stylesheet => "stream:last-child{display: block;margin: 0;top: 0;left: 0;width: 1px;height: 1px;}stream:first-child{display: block;margin: 0;top: 0;left: 0;width: 100%;height: 100%;}"

archive = opentok.archives.create session_id, opts

If you do not specify an initial layout type, the archive uses the best fit layout type. For more information, see Customizing the video layout for composed archives.

You can stop the recording of a started Archive using the opentok.archives.stop_by_id(archive_id) method. You can also do this using the Archive#stop() method.

# Stop an Archive from an archive_id (fetched from database)
opentok.archives.stop_by_id archive_id

# Stop an Archive from an instance (returned from opentok.archives.create)

To get an OpenTok::Archive instance (and all the information about it) from an archive_id, use the opentok.archives.find(archive_id) method.

archive = opentok.archives.find archive_id

To delete an Archive, you can call the opentok.archives.delete_by_id(archive_id) method or the delete method of an OpenTok::Archive instance.

# Delete an Archive from an archive_id (fetched from database)
opentok.archives.delete_by_id archive_id

# Delete an Archive from an Archive instance (returned from archives.create, archives.find)

You can also get a list of all the Archives you've created (up to 1000) with your API Key. This is done using the opentok.archives.all(options) method. The parameter options is an optional Hash used to specify an :offset and :count to help you paginate through the results. This will return an instance of the OpenTok::ArchiveList class.

archive_list = opentok.archives.all

# Get an specific Archive from the list

# Get the total number of Archives for this API Key
$total =

Note that you can also create an automatically archived session, by passing in :always as the :archive_mode property of the options parameter passed into the OpenTok#create_session() method (see "Creating Sessions," above).

You can set the layout of an archive:

opts = { :type => "verticalPresentation" }
opentok.archives.layout(archive_id, opts)

The hash opts has two entries:

See Customizing the video layout for composed archives for more details.

You can set the initial layout class for a client's streams by setting the layout option when you create the token for the client, using the opentok.generate_token method. And you can also change the layout classes of a stream as follows:

streams_list = {
    :items => [
            :id => "8b732909-0a06-46a2-8ea8-074e64d43422",
            :layoutClassList => ["full"]
            :id => "8b732909-0a06-46a2-8ea8-074e64d43423",
            :layoutClassList => ["full", "focus"]
response = opentok.streams.layout(session_id, streams_list)

For more information on setting stream layout classes, see the Changing the composed archive layout classes for an OpenTok stream.

Please keep in mind that the streams.layout method applies to archive and broadcast streams only.

For more information on archiving, see the OpenTok archiving programming guide.


You can send a signal using the opentok.signals.send(session_id, connection_id, opts) method.
If connection_id is nil or an empty string, then the signal is send to all valid connections in the session.

An example of opts field can be as follows:

opts = { :type => "chat",
         :data => "Hello"

The maximum length of the type string is 128 bytes, and it must contain only letters (A-Z and a-z), numbers (0-9), '-', '_', and '~'.

The data string must not exceed the maximum size (8 kB).

The connection_id and opts parameter are jointly optional by default. Hence you can also use opentok.signals.send(session_id)

For more information on signaling, see the OpenTok Signaling programming guide.


You can broadcast your streams to a HLS or RTMP servers.

To successfully start broadcasting a session, at least one publishing client must be connected to the session.

The live streaming broadcast can target one HLS endpoint and up to five RTMP servers simultaneously for a session.

You can only start live streaming for sessions that use the OpenTok Media Router (with the media mode set to routed). You cannot use live streaming with sessions that have the media mode set to relayed.

To create a HLS only broadcast:

opts = {
  :outputs => {
      :hls => {}
broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.create(session_id, opts)

opts = {
   :outputs => {
       :hls => {},
       :rtmp => [
               :id => "myOpentokStream",
               :serverUrl => "rtmp://",
               :streamName => "66c9-jwuh-pquf-9x00"
broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.create(session_id, opts)

The returned Broadcast object has information about the broadcast, like id, sessionId , projectId, createdAt, updatedAt, resolution, status, and a Hash of broadcastUrls. The broadcastUrls consists of an HLS URL and an array of RTMP objects. The RTMP objects resembles the rtmp value in opts in the example above.

For more information on broadcast, see the OpenTok Broadcast guide programming guide.

To get information about a broadcast stream

my_broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.find broadcast_id

The Broadcast object returned has properties describing the broadcast, like id, sessionId, projectId, createdAt, updatedAt, resolution, status, and a Hash of broadcastUrls. The broadcastUrls consists of an HLS URL and an array of RTMP objects. The RTMP objects resembles the rtmp value in opts in the example above.

To stop a broadcast:

 my_broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.stop broadcast_id

 # stop at a broadcast object level too
 my_broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.find broadcast_id
 ret_broadcast =  my_broadcast.stop

 # Both the above returned objects has the "broadcastUrls" property as a nil value and the status
 # property value is "stopped"

To change the layout of a broadcast dynamically

opentok.broadcasts.layout(started_broadcast_id, {
        :type => "verticalPresentation"

  # On an object level
   my_broadcast = opentok.broadcasts.find broadcast_id
             :type => 'pip',

   # the returned value is true if successful

The hash above has two entries.

Refer to Customizing the video layout for composed archives for more details.

You can also change the layout of an individual stream dynamically. Refer to working with Streams.

Force disconnect

You can cause a client to be forced to disconnect from a session by using the opentok.connections.forceDisconnect(session_id, connection_id) method.

Initiating a SIP call

You can initiate a SIP call using the opentok.sip.dial(session_id, token, sip_uri, opts) method. This requires a SIP URL. You will often need to pass options for authenticating to the SIP provider and specifying encrypted session establishment.

opts = { "auth" => { "username" => sip_username,
                     "password" => sip_password },
         "secure" => "true"
response = opentok.sip.dial(session_id, token, ";transport=tls", opts)

For more information on SIP Interconnect, see the OpenTok SIP Interconnect developer guide.


You need an OpenTok API key and API secret, which you can obtain by logging into your Vonage Video API account.

The OpenTok Ruby SDK requires Ruby 2.1.0 or greater.

Release Notes

See the Releases page for details about each release.

Important changes since v2.2.0

Changes in v4.0.0:

The SDK adds support for Ruby v2.7 and now requires Ruby v2.1.0 or higher. For Ruby v2.0.0 please continue to use the OpenTok Ruby SDK v3.0.0. For Ruby v1.9.3 please continue to use the OpenTok Ruby SDK v2.5.0.

Changes in v3.0.0:

The SDK now now requires Ruby v2.0.0 or higher. For Ruby v1.9.3 please continue to use the OpenTok Ruby SDK v2.5.0.

Changes in v2.2.2:

The default setting for the create_session() method is to create a session with the media mode set to relayed. In previous versions of the SDK, the default setting was to use the OpenTok Media Router (media mode set to routed). In a relayed session, clients will attempt to send streams directly between each other (peer-to-peer); if clients cannot connect due to firewall restrictions, the session uses the OpenTok TURN server to relay audio-video streams.

Changes in v2.2.0:

This version of the SDK includes support for working with OpenTok archives.

Note also that the options parameter of the OpenTok.create_session() method has a media_mode property instead of a p2p property.