[Solved] Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not

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claude
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[Solved] Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not

Post#1 by claude » 12 Jan 2013, 03:02

Here's the thing... Identical installs of XFCE v1.2 on two laptops: one is a 1.3 GHz with 768 MB of ram
(here everything works perfectly without even a single glitch) and the other one is a 350 MHz with 192 MB of
ram (where firefox 13.0.1, the original base module that came with Porteus, starts fine but immediately crashes upon opening a web page, both online and also html files residing on the hard drive).
Could it be due to the older laptop being slower than the newer one? I wouldn't think so. Incidentally, both Opera and Midori work just fine on the faster laptop, but do not even start on the older one. Everything else works just fine in the older computer except for the three web browsers in question.

What could it be?

EDIT: I've just downloaded the newest firefox, version 18.0, and it also works perfectly well in XFCE v1.2
on the faster laptop, but displays the same behavior and crashes on the slower one....
Last edited by claude on 24 Jan 2013, 15:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#2 by fanthom » 12 Jan 2013, 07:29

@claude
interesting case :)

192MB of RAM is probably the culprit. i guess that you were not saving changes?
if so then please boot porteus with 'changes=' cheatcode (changes saved on save.dat or a partition) which will free all the memory up for the system.
(if you boot without 'changes=' then up to 60% of memory is allocated for aufs)

if that still wont help then please consider downgrading firefox to 10.0.x ESR (extended support release) which should be lighter on resources.
(not sure where to get it though)

let us know if any of above helped.

EDIT:\\
just re-read your post and found that even midiori does not work on older PC so it's not a matter of RAM.
are you able to browse the net with 'lynx'?
please open terminal and type:

Code: Select all

lynx porteus.org
(press 'a' to accept cookies)

if that works then please open terminal and launch firefox from it then try to get to porteus.org
any crashing information may be helpful.

Cheers
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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#3 by claude » 13 Jan 2013, 01:23

@fanthom

Here are my findings. It does not seem an internet connection problem as I have
been able to surf with lynx to porteus.org and also to other websites no problem.

Perhaps the low RAM is the problem. I was not saving changes, but saving changes
has not changed the situation at all. I have dedicated a whole ext4 HD partition to
changes, which was accepted and used by Porteus, yet my memory usage has remained
the same. With both changes saved and NOT saved, with porteus live in aufs, 185 of
the 192 MB RAM are loaded in memory as buffers/cache, and of those, 96 MB are used
just to boot and load xwindows and, after loading firefox, 'free' shows that 120 MB
of RAM are used from the buffers/cache with 72 MB remaining free. This is exactly
the same both with changes saved and not saved. Firefox's behavior remains exactly
the same: it is able to start with a blank page, and I can even load a local
small-size html document, but as soon as I try to load a larger local html file or
try to open a web page online, it crashes. Also the behavior of both opera and
midori stays exactly the same: they don't even start. Isn't this very strange?
I have experimented with placing porteus XFCE on an ext4 partition (not a frugal
install, but actually uncompressing the whole filesystem and booting it there).
Memory usage is much less, with 150 MB going to buffers/cache and 42 MB remaining
free. Then, of the 150, only 75 are used to start xwindows and load firefox. But firefox's
behavior is the same even this way: I can open a small page, but it crashes with with larger
documents or online. Opera and midori, same thing, they don't even start.
I have to say that in all three instances (changes saved, changes not saved, and porteus
uncompressed over partition and booted as regular slackware) the system is very,
very slow. This seems very strange to me, because it is still a 350 MHz, 192 MB of RAM
laptop. As we have seen, XFCE on aufs uses about 96 MB, then another 24 MB are used by firefox
and that still leaves about 72 MB free....shouldn't this system perform a little better than that?

Is it possible that we are overlooking something? I don't think it's a simple matter of
downgrading to a less demanding firefox. After all, the other two browsers, opera and midori,
for some reason do not start at all. And this is the original Porteus XFCE (minus the devel
module) unmodified, as downloaded from this site. The opera and midori modules are also
the original ones, as downloaded from this site (32 bit).

I'm beginning to think that perhaps something is wrong with the laptop, I'll try to run an older
slax install on it and see how it behaves with that.

Please let me know if something else comes to mind.

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#4 by claude » 13 Jan 2013, 02:54

Also, a slightly unrelated question: I have made a module for the current version of firefox-18.0 that I am currently using in my faster, newer machine. It is not a base module, but goes in the module directory. I have chowned /home/guest guest guest, however after boot up it magically bears ownership root root and therefore blocks access to TDE, dcapserver, etc. Why is it so? What do I need to do so that my module results in a /home/guest directory which preserves its originally correct ownership?

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#5 by brokenman » 13 Jan 2013, 03:09

Starting in safe mode gives the same problem i assume since other browsers also crash. This points to either graphics card/driver problem but to me it does sound like memory problem. Perhaps a bad RAM stick (run testdisk to see). Do you get any error output when starting the browser from a console? Does /var/log/messages or /home/guest/.xsession show any errors?

I believe firefox ships with the breakpad crash report dumper enabled by default so check: /home/<username>/.mozilla/firefox/Crash Reports too.
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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#6 by fanthom » 13 Jan 2013, 12:23

@claude
i was successfully browsing the net with 'kiosk edition' in 128MB RAM environment (virtualbox) so maybe try it and check if problem persist?
(our 'kiosk edition' is probably lowest requirement OS which shipps firefox by default)

at least will know if this is a low RAM issue (when using standard edition) or something else.
I have chowned /home/guest guest guest, however after boot up it magically bears ownership root root and therefore blocks access to TDE, dcapserver, etc. Why is it so?
3 possibilities:
a) there must be other module containing /home/guest with root:root which is loaded after firefox.xzm
b) you have /home/guest with root:root in /rootcopy folder
c) some script is changing ownership during boot

i bet it's either a) or b) - please double check all your modules and /rootcopy folder.
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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#7 by claude » 13 Jan 2013, 19:09

@brokenman
Starting in safe mode gives the same problem i assume since other browsers also crash. This points to either graphics card/driver problem but to me it does sound like memory problem. Perhaps a bad RAM stick (run testdisk to see). Do you get any error output when starting the browser from a console? Does /var/log/messages or /home/guest/.xsession show any errors?

I believe firefox ships with the breakpad crash report dumper enabled by default so check: /home/<username>/.mozilla/firefox/Crash Reports too.
I'm testing memory right now (memtest). It's been testing for 14 hours, no idea how long before it completes.
No errors when starting and browsing with lynx from console. I'll check again any /var/log/messages and /home/guest/.xsession errors and also Crash Reports once memtesting is complete.

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#8 by claude » 13 Jan 2013, 19:37

@fanthom
i was successfully browsing the net with 'kiosk edition' in 128MB RAM environment (virtualbox) so maybe try it and check if problem persist?
(our 'kiosk edition' is probably lowest requirement OS which shipps firefox by default)
I'll download kiosk edition and try that...but where is it? I don't see it anywhere in the download section.
I've booted slax 5.0.6, both popcorn and KDE editions, and they work flawlessly including firefox that came with that version. In that case, the system used about 45 MB of RAM for KDE and 60 MB total with firefox started. However, I tried booting slax 6.1.2 and it was unsuccessful (tried with two different CDs that I know to be in working order)...the boot up process hangs when it loads the apm drivers, then it stops and freezes right after at the message relative to computer bios. Same thing with a slitaz 3.0 CD......it stops and freezes very early during boot up.
So it could be low memory, but there seems to be some other issue involved. So far no memtest RAM errors.

EDIT:\\ I've located the kiosk edition...will download it in a few minutes...if it's possible to add a small editor and a shell terminal to it, it might just be my perfect ticket for surfing the net on the older laptop... :)
3 possibilities:
a) there must be other module containing /home/guest with root:root which is loaded after firefox.xzm
b) you have /home/guest with root:root in /rootcopy folder
c) some script is changing ownership during boot

i bet it's either a) or b) - please double check all your modules and /rootcopy folder.
It's very simple. If I remove the firefox xzm from the module directory, everything works perfectly without it.
The only home files in the firefox xzm module are in /home/guest/.mozilla ... home is root root rwxr-xr-x and guest is guest guest rwxr-xr-x ... so I am really puzzled, because when it is loaded, guest strangely becomes owned by root. Could it have to do with the ownership of the directory in which these files where placed before running 'dir2xzm' (probably root root)? I'll double check everything again...

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#9 by Hamza » 13 Jan 2013, 23:30

psinfo please.
NjVFQzY2Rg==

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#10 by claude » 15 Jan 2013, 01:35

@brokenman
I ran memtest86 for 36 hours (45 passes) and RAM memory apparently has no errors.
How could it be graphic card related? All other xwindows programs start and perform just fine,
it's just a matter of firefox crashing when opening a large local html document locally, or
opening any document online, and the other two browsers. But the rest of the xwindows programs
work just fine, including Mplayer.

Here's the crash report from firefox (minus the dump file):

StartupTime=1358176402
EMCheckCompatibility=true
ProductName=Firefox
Vendor=Mozilla
InstallTime=1357923647
FramePoisonBase=00000000f0dea000
Theme=classic/1.0
Notes=GLXtest process failed (exited with status 1): X error occurred in GLX probe, error_code=9, request_code=55, minor_code=0\n\n
FramePoisonSize=4096
Version=13.0.1
ReleaseChannel=default
ServerURL=https://crash-reports.mozilla.com/submi ... 0616101010
Add-ons={3d7eb24f-2740-49df-8937-200b1cc08f8a}:1.5.14.2,{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}:13.0.1
BuildID=20120616101010
ProductID={ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}
URL=file:///mnt/sda3/How_to_Make_a_REAL_Installation_to_Hard_Disk-1.html
CrashTime=1358176454
SecondsSinceLastCrash=79


@fanthom
I tried loading Porteus Kiosk, but it loads only to the point where the Porteus Kiosk image appears and then the laptop gets stuck there...never gets to open firefox. This on the problem machine, which is a Compaq 1670 laptop, 350 Mhz, 192 MB RAM.
I find this very strange, as I've just tried to boot Porteus Kiosk on a much less capable machine, a Toshiba laptop, 266 MHz, 96 MB RAM, and it loads completely firefox, it does takes five minutes to get there though and it is pretty unusable, but it does load it. So as you can see the problem must be something other than low RAM. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that this laptop has an "internet button" and perhaps it requires special proprietary drivers in order to activate this function...since only the web browsers for some reason fail to load...the rest of the xwindows programs work just fine.
However, to make it even more puzzling, I booted slax popcorn ver. 5.0.6 and was able to open all major programs (Mplayer, Abiword, BPM, Gaim) and have Firefox (v.1.02) work just fine on top of them. They took all together 67 MB of RAM. I think I'm giving up on this laptop...it is a bit of a shame to let it go to waste but it only seems to like Win98 and 2000 (with proprietary drivers) and older versions of slax.

As far as the dir2xzm script from v1.2, I'm sorry to report the problem is with the script itself, it does not preserve directory ownership other than root. I've tried again one minute ago to make an xzm file out of my /home/guest/Desktop directory. It not only chowns all directories within that directory inside the xzm to root, but it also even changes ownership of the actual /home/guest/Desktop directory itself to root. And I'm talking about my actual directory in /home/guest here, not only what is inside the xzm... Please try it yourself and you'll see.

On a side note, your Porteus Kiosk is excellent. May I suggest that you also make it available as a Porteus mini edition by adding a shell terminal and a small xwindows text editor and renaming it something other than Kiosk? It would provide a functional updated firefox browser in a modern system with updated drivers that would bring back to useful life a lot of older hardware uncapable of running anything larger than that. It's more or less along the lines of Larry Ellison's idea for the network computer. What most people with older computers wish for is the possibility to surf the web with a modern browser, with the option of saving the downloaded stuff to a hard drive partition and perhaps a graphic text editor available to modify/write text files. I don't see anything like that around, and don't think it would take much of an effort to add to Kiosk a text editor and a shell terminal, the capability to log in and to write files on an ext2/ext4 fs. Just a thought.

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#11 by fanthom » 15 Jan 2013, 11:58

Notes=GLXtest process failed (exited with status 1)
this could be the reason.
please open firefox Preferences -> Advanced -> General -> and uncheck "smooth scrolling" and "hardware accelecation" then try to browse something.
what GPU is there?
please generate psinfo raport, upload to pastebin.com and link here
As far as the dir2xzm script from v1.2, I'm sorry to report the problem is with the script itself, it does not preserve directory ownership other than root.
just checked and all is fine here.
On a side note, your Porteus Kiosk is excellent. May I suggest that you also make it available as a Porteus mini edition by adding a shell terminal and a small xwindows text editor and renaming it something other than Kiosk?
we have many editions already and sometimes i get lost whats here and not there.
brokenman had a plans for mini-porteus but not sure if still after media-center, mate, fat-gnome and cinnamon in plans :)
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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#12 by claude » 15 Jan 2013, 19:45

@fanthom
Notes=GLXtest process failed (exited with status 1)
this could be the reason.
please open firefox Preferences -> Advanced -> General -> and uncheck "smooth scrolling" and "hardware accelecation" then try to browse something.
what GPU is there?
please generate psinfo raport, upload to pastebin.com and link here
Unchecked "smooth scrolling" and "hardware acceleration" and after that firefox crashed just the same as before upon opening local files.
psinfo report crashed with: "Failed to get size of gamma for output default."
I've uploaded psinfo's report, /var/log/messages and /home/guest/.xsession-errors here:
http://pastebin.com/utiVSy5b
As far as the dir2xzm script from v1.2, I'm sorry to report the problem is with the script itself, it does not preserve directory ownership other than root.
just checked and all is fine here.
Checked by booting the original .iso and you're right, it works as you say. The faulty behavior I described must have been caused by my customizing one or more /etc files: HOSTNAME, hosts, hosts.allow, hosts.deny, login.access and changing passwords for both root and guest in my custom version of v1.2 XFCE.

By the way, I've used Porteus v2.0-rc1 XFCE, freshly downloaded this morning, to produce all of the above. The behavior with firefox stays the same.
I have to say that v2.0-rc1 utilizes RAM in a much better way that did v1.2 XFCE, meaning it requires less RAM to boot into xwindows. Only 81 MB of RAM to run XFCE with 150 MB in buffers and 42 MB free. Upon opening firefox RAM usage goes up to 128 MB. The whole thing is visibly a great improvement over v1.2. It is a much better Porteus to run on older hardware than was v1.2. :good:

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#13 by brokenman » 16 Jan 2013, 15:48

Please go to about:config in ff and search for webgl. Change webgl.disabled to 'true'. Acceleration should also be switched off. Just confirming it is not GL related. Close ff and reopen. Also a full psinfo would be better to see the complete picture. Firefox is a strange animal that only supports
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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#14 by claude » 16 Jan 2013, 16:53

brokenman wrote:Please go to about:config in ff and search for webgl. Change webgl.disabled to 'true'. Acceleration should also be switched off. Just confirming it is not GL related. Close ff and reopen. Also a full psinfo would be better to see the complete picture.
I just did that: switched off acceleration and smooth scrolling, then toggled webgl.disabled to 'true'.
After that ff crashed by itself, without my doing anything else. When I reopen it, I get the window with the message: "Firefox is already running, but it is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing firefox process, or restart your system."
If I click on OK, firefox opens, but it is not a newly started firefox - just the one which was already running, because if I quit it and then reopen it, it still gives me the same message as before, that original ff is still running. So it seems a catch 22, because after making the modifications you suggested, ff keeps running even if the ff window crashes upon making those changes. The only way to restart ff fresh would be to restart the system, but since this is a live Porteus, those changes would be lost. I tried to transfer the whole thing to partition to boot it as a non-live system, but there is no lilo program to do that. I tried importing lilo from v1.2, but after booting it to hard drive partition and starting xwindows, the system does not respond at all. This with XFCE v2.0-rc1.
Maybe I should try this process with v1.2 booted from hard drive partition as non-live (I know it previously worked) and then reboot the system after making the changes to ff, so that on HD they will be preserved, and see what happens. Just give me some time, I'll do it tonight, I've been wasting a lot of my time on this stupid laptop.

I have a question for you: why doesn't Porteus XFCE v2.0-rc1 come with lilo? I'd usually make a frugal install to HD, but I noticed there is no lilo (what I customarily use) and no grub either..... Why is that?

EDIT: By the way, if I try opening an html file, it crashes just like before....but keep in mind that it is not ff freshly restarted, but the original one still running, so those changes you suggested have not yet taken effect.

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Re: Firefox strangely crashing on one computer but not the o

Post#15 by brokenman » 17 Jan 2013, 00:41

Try in a console killall firefox to kill any invisible instances so you can try restarting ff. After ruling out openGL and graphics we can move on.
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