25 July video conference: problems with Chrome on Linux Ubuntu

I organized a video conference on July 25 from 11AM - 3PM (New York time).

A user reported the following trouble:

OS: Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS*
Browser: Chrome Version 84.0.4147.89 (Official Build) (64-bit)*

Here’s what I experienced:

At first everything in the Jitsi Video Conference worked fine. Then after about 1/2 hour the audio and video quality began to become choppy. Eventually Jitsi froze. None of the controls would respond. To recover I would have to close the browser window, open a new browser window, and re-enter by clicking on the meetup link for the Math Counts Video conference. Often when I tried to re-enter the Math Counts conference I would be taken to an empty conference displaying a message saying there were no other users presently in the conference. I would then have to exit Jitsi, close the browser window and try again. Eventually I would get back to the actual Math Counts conference.

I experienced this issue over four times during our Math Counts Meetup. (I stopped counting after four times.)

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On 22 August the user with Jitsi freezing in Chrome on Ubuntu and I participated in another 3-4 hour Math Counts meetup in The user reports that they did not upgrade the version of Chrome nor Ubuntu.

Compared to July 25, Jitsi was much more stable. Instead of Jitsi freeze issues every half-hour or hour, this time there was only one Jitsi freeze after about an hour and a half or two hours.

I infer that Jitsi improvements over the past month have significantly and noticeably improved, but have not resolved this user’s Jitsi experience.

We will test again on September 26th.

This user also participated in my Jitsi testing call of August 24th, but experienced no significant issues. The problem only occurred during the much longer Jitsi conference on August 22nd. This suggests to me that it may require conferences of greater than 2 hours duration for this user to experience a Jitsi freeze.

For the 11AM-3PM event on Sep 26th, this user continued to have issues.

They upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS from previous reports.

Chromium froze after about a half hour. This time they used: Chromium Version 85.0.4183.83 (Official Build) Built on Ubuntu, running on Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit). Memory and CPU was running between 40% to 60% of capacity at the time of the freeze up.

Then they switched to Firefox (which they used at the beginning before switching to chromium when I reported that their video was frozen).

Firefox gave high quality audio during both attempts with it, however, after roughly 15 minutes the video froze, eventually it was replaced by the first letter of their name (the standard no video icon in Jitsi). Then the user shared their screen. When they stopped sharing their screen, the screen they shared remained as their video image. But audio quality continued to work well.

One use running Windows 10 w/Chrome never saw the screen share. Though they were able to see other screen shares.

Firefox was serviceable, but no one could see the user after 15 or so minutes.