Jitsi Meet (Firefox) Browser Support Update

I would like to give Jitsi Meet another try for - among others - a group of up to 15 participants. We had to switch back to Zoom in the first round in March, presumably due to missing (Firefox) browser support.

There is a “closed” thread on git hub about solving this issue. E.g. on 26th of March it says

Better video quality since we are introducing simulcast support for FF.

I also noticed, that there is no browser warning anymore for Firefox, when I start a call.

However, in the same thread, on 11th of August, it says

In the Jitsi community call, we have been receiving reports of audio/video issues when using Firefox in large calls. As part of the client performance optimization work, we have been working on different features lately that are designed to bring down the client’s cpu utilization. One such feature is called layer suspension that lets the client suspend sending HD simulcast streams when the bridge signals that it’s no longer needed. We are able to do this on all browsers except Firefox because of a missing implementation there.

Furthermore I still find people and organizations providing Jitsi instances, who recommend Chrome only.

So I would really like to know, what this means practically and how we can avoid browser issues this time.

If we are up to 15 people, do we still need to be concerned about which browsers we use?

…After some further consideration, I concluded the following:

  1. I would like to offer stable, safe and protected meeting rooms, where we do not have to worry about technical issues or privacy.

  2. I much more trust in Jitsi and its community (and even in 8x8) than in Zoom. So I really like to make Jitsi Meet the platform of choice.

  3. As far as I know, Firefox meanwhile somehow works for Jitsi Meet. However it seems, there are still some technical issues, that cannot easily be resolved. Since our meeting time is precious, I rather want to be on the “safe side” instead of elaborating technical problems. So I do not want to recommend Firefox.

  4. As far as I understand, Chromium based browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, or SRWare Iron either raise legitimate privacy concerns or safety issues for unaware Windows users, since they are either provided by data mining companies or they do not auto update by themselves. So I also do not want to generally recommend Chromium based browsers to Windows users.

  5. Finally, recommending users to install a full browser only to be able to use Jitsi Meet, seems to be somehow odd to me. So I prefer a solution, that does not need extra software, which is not directly related to the meeting platform.

So the strategy that seems to be left is to simply forget about browsers and use the Jitsi Meet app!

I just installed the app on Linux desktop and it looked really pleasant, simple and useful on the first glance :smiley: . I am really looking forward to try this out in a smaller (test) meeting and gain my own experience.

Although by this post, I have maybe already answered my question, I am still curious, if you share this point of view from your own experience.

So please feel free, to add your comments here!

Since you have already a Linux desktop, you can use chromium with some minor config changes to get a better privacy. Switching to DuckDuckGo, disabling the auto-completion etc

Yes, this is true (I actually have Chromium installed). Linux is great for these things!

However, what do I tell all the others, that mostly use Windows and are not prepared to do some extra browser configuration or manual updating :thinking: :wink: ?

E.g. I know that some of the people, I want to set up the meetings for, actually use Firefox as their main browser, because they are aware of privacy issues. So I do not want to tell them: “Hey, we are now moving to Jitsi to better protect our privacy, so please install Google Chrome.” (Of course they can if they want to and maybe they even have already installed Chrome. However I do not want to focus on this, as long as there is a better alternative available.)

For me it is really about focusing and supporting alternative technology and at the same time providing a simple solution, that can be easily adopted by everybody and actually works. - I mean, this is basically why we are looking forward to use Jitsi Meet instead of staying with Zoom.

If we now implement a practical alternative solution for our group meetings, I am sure, that it will not just stay inside our small circle, but it will spread and people will start to use it in other contexts as well.

So for me the most important question now seems to be, if “simply forget about browsers and use the Jitsi Meet app” works out for this goal.

Would be interesting to know, what is your experience with the app?

The desktop app is FANTASTIC! Personally, I prefer it to using a browser. Although, it’s fundamentally an Electron project, from my experience, it still seems to offer superior audio and video compared to the browsers (it could just be my mind though… lol). I don’t allow the use of Firefox at all on our Jitsi installation and because some people are wary of Chrome, they were only too eager to get the Desktop app. Chromium, as noted, offers a bit more privacy than Chrome.

I have a different point of view based on experience with various browsers (and the Jitsi App) on Windows.

I’ve used Firefox and a number of chromium-based browsers including Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, and Chrome variants. (BTW the latest Edge is now also a chromium based product.)

Worth noting that Brave and Vivaldi claim being built with features that assure privacy and security. Furthermore, like FF, add-ons such as u-Block Origin are available to augment built-in capabilities. It appears these browsers could be recommended as safer options.

In my observation the performance of the latest FF versions and up-to-date chromium-derived browsers hasn’t varied significantly. I’m not sure if this has to do with browser improvements or due to the most recent updates to jitsi. I strongly suspect the latter has made the biggest impact.

It’s true that FF lacks support for EE2E but I haven’t found this feature useful (or usable) even on browsers where it is supported. Otherwise feature set appears to be more or less equivalent.

As far as Jitsi App is concerned, at its core it is a chromium-derived application, albeit much more specialized vs. browsers. In any case it’s installation footprint is more or less equivalent to a browser. From that perspective recommending users install a browser for no other purpose than using with jitsi would be equally logical.

Very interesting. Thank you both for your different perspectives :smiley:!

We will have our test meeting this Thursday. I will recommend to use the app or Chromium browsers - so we should be on the safe side.