Jitsi and Firefox: Fixing a recent bug with the BWE (bwe=-1)

Update: This is a bug with Firefox versions 117 and later. More details are available in this post: Update: Firefox 117+ and Jitse BWE=-1 issue. This post still explains on how to turn off the BWE altogether but the bug does not lie with Jitsi itself.

Update: This has been resolved.

There's a recent bug that (AFAICT) was introduced with the latest versions of jitsi-meet and its videobridge. If you use Firefox it will drop all video to and from your client. The error messages in the log files are a series of "bwe=-1" error messages that will temporarily go away if you reconnect but will continue with wild abandon after about three seconds.

The community.jitsi.org boards are littered with folks having similar issues but unfortunately the developers and helpers are too quick to fob off any of these issues as merely bandwidth issues but the main issue is somewhere in the BWE calculation for Firefox. I doubt that Chrome is experiencing the same issue.

The way to fix it is to edit /etc/jitsi/videobridge/jvb.conf and add the following stanza:

videobridge {
    http-servers {
        public {
            port = 9090
    cc {
        trust-bwe = false

This effectively turns off the BWE checks. Note that this should be a temporary fix. Normally the BWE does a reasonable job of figuring gout what's going on but unfortunately it's gone haywire with the latest updates.

I hope that someone else finds this useful and I also hope that this bug gets fixed. I'm loathe to file an actual bug because frankly it takes way too much effort to convince folks that it's not a bandwidth issue. I understand Jitsi is intensely sensitive to bandwidth issues but this isn't it; it's snapping the neck of anyone who uses Firefox without any appeal.

I love Jitsi and I wish them well, but this is just one more instance where deep-seated issues with the software can go unheeded. When it works its an absolute treat and when it doesn't it's several days of poring over forum posts to find the right nerve to pinch to make things succumb to working again.