This page contains tips and usage for Zoom.
Zoom is an important part of GitLab's strategy for communication between team members. As such, extra care needs to be given to ensure the safety and integrity of data.
There have been a number of security researchers looking at Zoom, which has resulted in numerous articles (some quite sensational) regarding the privacy and security of the product. Here are a few important things to keep in mind, especially as you read through the Zoom tips below:
Also note there has been an increase in what is know as "Zoombombing" which involves an uninvited party trying to brute force their way into an existing Zoom meeting.
GitLab's Zoom account has End-to-End Encryption enabled. This may impact performance, so if you run into any issues, let People Ops know.
If there is a meeting active, a new meeting cannot start until the host ends the meeting or all participants leave, so you can only be in one meeting at a time. The People Ops or IT Ops teams can force end a meeting by logging into Zoom with the credentials in 1Password, going to My Meetings, finding the meeting they would like to end, then selecting "End." This will allow the next meeting to begin.
Sign up for your default Zoom Pro account in Okta. All team members should have a Zoom Pro account by default.
If you are the meeting host, consider enabling live transcriptions for accessibility. Live transcription is not enabled by default, and must be enabled manually for each meeting:
If the host is not present, no one can enable live transcription. If you've created a meeting but won't be attending, consider assigning alternative host permissions to someone who will be present, so they can enable live transcription.
Please make sure that you customize your Personal link under Profile > Personal Link.
The default is
Enable the Waiting Room so unauthorized attendees cannot join your zoom room.
The personal link is used by talent acquisition to schedule interviews so it is important the default naming convention is used and there is no password set.
Since Zoom doesn't display the job title field during meetings, it is recommended that you add your job title as part of the display name field.
For example, if your name is Art VanDelay and your role is Engineer, you can write display name:
Art VanDelay - Engineer.
Joining an ongoing meeting with your microphone not muted can cause disruptions. As we sometimes forget to quickly mute ourselves, Zoom provides an option to join calls muted:
Zoom > Preferences > Audio.
Mute my mic when joining a meeting.
Sometimes you need a hot key to mute/unmute, even when Zoom is not the selected window. Follow these steps to set it up:
Zoom > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts
Enable Global Shortcutto
Mute/Unmute My Audio
It's recommended you enable the Waiting Room feature for your personal meeting room to prevent others from joining (in the event of back-to-back meetings, for example). There are a few steps to get this enabled for personal meetings:
For Personal Meetings
Now all meetings that use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) will require you to "admit" anyone who joins the meeting.
Method 1 (recommended):
Edit this meetingbutton
As an added security measure, you can restrict the meeting by requiring any attendee to be authenticated to Zoom with a Gitlab zoom account. This is meant to ensure only people who have logged in to Zoom can attend the meeting. This is not recommended for meetings with attendees that are not GitLab team members such as customers or someone interviewing for GitLab employment. It should be noted that this needs to be set up before the meeting, not during the meeting.
Here is a quick video tutorial how to do this:
Steps for a new meeting:
Steps for editing an existing meeting:
Enable for all future meetingss
To set up a Zoom meeting, sign in via Okta and share the link for your "personal meeting room" with your participants.
Your personal link is a great way to provide a consistent, easy-to-read-and-remember meeting room for colleagues and customers. However, there are some drawbacks to reusing the same meeting, such as participants joining an ongoing meeting when two are scheduled back to back. In some cases it may be better to use a unique meeting link.
Here are some good use cases for the personal link:
Here are some good use cases for a unique link:
Use your best judgement on when to use each type of link. Not all situations will fit cleanly into any of the given scenarios, and your needs may vary.
Not everyone has a Zoom client, so you can allow for invitees to choose to use Zoom from the browser. Go to Settings > In Meeting (Advanced) and click next to "Show a 'Join from your browser' link" to make this option available in your meeting invites. The browser version of Zoom is not as full-featured as the regular client, but it doesn't force an invitee to download the Zoom client. This also mitigates the issue of potential weak communication encryption since the browser uses HTTPS instead of Zoom's proprietary encryption scheme.
Zoom can be minimized during a meeting (
cmd-m on macOS) to a small window staying on top of all applications.
This tip is very handy when using a small screen: it allows to see the participant(s) and use other applications at the same time without worrying about the screen layout.
In order to be able to record your Zoom meetings you must first enable recordings in your Zoom profile. You can access this page at Recording Settings. You need to be signed in to have the ability to record.
To auto-record meetings set up cloud recording. You can also configure Zoom to save to the cloud automatically. Go to "My Meeting Settings" and find the "Recording" section, then click on "Cloud Recording". Setting the topic of the meeting is important, otherwise all meetings will be recorded with a generic name. Once recording is complete, your videos will not appear in the “Recordings” section of your Zoom account.
If the meeting topic in Zoom (editable by logging into https://zoom.us/) contains the text
[REC], these recordings will
automatically be saved to a folder on Google Drive under
GitLab Videos Recorded (accessible from Google shared drives).
The name of the folder will be prefixed by the host's e-mail
address. For example, if the host is
firstname.lastname@example.org and the
meeting title is
Company Training [REC], the folder will appear as
To make it easier for meetings to be uploaded automatically without changing the title, the sync script also uses an allow list. If a meeting title matches the provided regex with the given host's e-mail address, the meeting will also be uploaded to Google Drive. File a merge request to change the current list.
Consider setting your default recording view to "Gallery view".
To do this:
Record gallery view with shared screenselected
Record active speaker with shared screenand
Record active speaker, gallery view and shared screen separately. Remember to save.
You can also read through General information on recording on the zoom support here
You can use one of the below methods to find this information after joining the meeting.
This usually happens on recurring meetings where the host can't always attend.
The meeting creator should add colleagues as "Alternative Hosts" in case they can't attend so that others can still start the recording.
Using the website:
Using the Zoom app:
Closed captioning and live transcription is enabled by default for all users, however the subtitles will not show for participants unless a host manually enables it once the meeting starts.
At the end of a recorded meeting, the transcription will be available in a text file under the same folder as the other recording files.
For local recordings, a transcription is saved to
closed_caption.txt but only if enabled by
For cloud recordings, the file name ends with
.transcript.txt and the full transcription is always
available. Processing takes about 15 minutes, so the video files appear before the transcription.
At some point, you may need to give a slide presentation using Zoom. Ideally, you should be able to see your speaker notes while participants see your slide show. This is fairly easy to do with two monitors by using presenter view and sharing the monitor which contains the slides. If you have only one monitor, it is still possible using the following steps:
Presenter view. This will make your presentation take up the entire window for participants, but not your entire monitor. If you want to switch to this view from the standard
Presentview you can simply press the
Toggle Full Screenoption, third button from the right, next to settings. This will end full screen mode without leaving the presenter view.
Presenter Viewfrom the menu.
Share Screenfrom the options at the bottom of the screen.
If you would like to practice presenting, you can do so using your own private Zoom room.
Start with video.
Sharing a document is not recommended in Zoom. Instead, participants can follow along in the document themselves. The link to the document should be included in the meeting invite.
If you share your screen (for a document despite above recommendation, for a web based application demo, for an ssh session, etc.) it is recommended that you increase the font size so that the text can easily be read by those who are farsighted.
If you share your screen in zoom, please wait until after introductions have been completed to allow participants to see each other clearly during introductions. This is especially important during external calls when participants are meeting each other for the first time.
Especially when talking with customers, it's good to make a good impression! One way is to use a phone to dial in, which can increase reliability of your audio connection and reduce latency. In general, a landline has the lowest latency, a mobile phone is next, and internet audio is variable. Here are some tips for quick and effective telephone connections to Zoom meetings.
#, followed by your Participant ID, followed by
#again. Zoom will merge the two connections without annoying others on the call.
Check in with your Audience: There are multiple stages throughout your Zoom presentation or video conference which are prime points to engage the audience with a simple check-in.
There are a number of simple methods presenters can use to involve the participants throughout your presentation.
Harness the power of pausing to help people keep up and absorb what you’re sharing is even more important in a removed presenting environment. That’s because, without an audience in front of us, we tend to speed up and truncate our pauses even more. So be extra mindful of this and of your audience. At the end of the day, listeners lost means a missed opportunity to get your message across.
Video calling via Zoom and other technologies is incredibly useful and convenient but can make presentations dull and boring for both the audience and the presenter. For this reason, it’s even more important to find ways to build rapport and to have fun and inject some humor into the meeting (if possible). It’s important that you give yourself, and the audience, the permission to have some banter and moments of ‘lightness’ during the presentation. Don’t take the entire experience too seriously or you’ll bleed the presentation dry of any interactivity.
Therefore it is good to allow your natural personality to shine through. This will refresh the presentation with an air of genuine spirit, much needed when your audience is remote and cannot interact with you in person. Remember, if you sound like you’re enjoying hosting the meeting, the audience is more likely to enjoy listening to it.
Provide links (to merge requests, issues, documents, etc) rather than sharing your screen while you present/edit. This allows participants to follow along at their own pace and indepenently make comments/edits.
While Zoom works on Linux, the application is not free software. As a result, some might be wary of running this directly on their computer. One way of running Zoom without worrying about what it does is to use firejail.
To use Zoom with Firejail, first install Zoom or download the archive. Zoom offers standalone binaries that you can download should your distribution not have a package for Zoom. Once installed, install firejail.
Once both firejail and Zoom are installed we need two things:
You can use the following firejail profile and store it in
noblacklist ~/.config/zoomus.conf include /etc/firejail/zoom.local include /etc/firejail/disable-common.inc include /etc/firejail/disable-programs.inc include /etc/firejail/disable-devel.inc whitelist ~/.zoom caps.drop all netfilter nonewprivs noroot protocol unix,inet,inet6,netlink seccomp private-tmp
Next we need a home directory for Zoom.
For this example we'll use
sudo mkdir -p /opt/zoom/home sudo chown -R $USER /opt/zoom
firejail --quiet --profile=~/.config/firejail/zoom.profile --private=/opt/zoom/home /path/to/zoom/ZoomLauncher
Note that you must start the
ZoomLauncher binary and not the shell script wrapper called
Consider using a custom GitLab Background (Google Drive access available to GitLab team members who are logged in).
Virtual Backgroundwith Zoom is available here
Virtual Backgroundthat is a similar color to whatever is behind you.
It is possible to achieve high quality video output with a professional bokeh effect by using a DSLR or external webcam. External webcams are generally a good alternative to your built in Macbook webcam as they allow for more control such as advanced color and light correction including white balance and contrast adjustments. External webcams also allow you to crop your live image concentrating on a certain part of your video i.e. your face.
Video calling with Zoom and Chrome often has the annoying popup before every call where you have to click the popup "Open Zoom Meetings".
There used to be a
checkbox in Chrome that you could select in order to tell Chrome to Always open thse types of links in the assocated app - Zoom.
checkbox option was removed in Chrome in September 2019 according to this Chrome support thread, this meant that every time you started a Zoom meeting from Chrome, you would have to click the popup and 'Open Zoom Meetings' a second time for the meeting to actually start the meeting.
In the above Chrome support thread, the following macOS solution is listed:
Open Terminal and enter:
defaults write com.google.Chrome ExternalProtocolDialogShowAlwaysOpenCheckbox -bool true
Quit and restart Chrome to see the checkbox
Once you do this, when you start your next Zoom meeting, just check the box to always trust Zoom and you'll never see it again.
If you have a loud keyboard or a fan in your office, Zoom may try to automatically reduce your microphone input volume. This can be frustrating because then other participants have trouble hearing you speak later in the call. If you are experiencing this issue, go into your Zoom client settings and uncheck "Automatically adjust microphone volume".
To make it easy to set up Zoom sessions for your calendar events, enable the Google Calendar add-on for Zoom. This adds a dropdown option right inside of Google Calendar to add Zoom to the event. When users view the event, they will see specially formatted Zoom details that includes the link to the meeting, and a clickable phone number if they are dialing in. The add-on will also follow your preferences in your Zoom account for using your personal link or a unique link.