Firefox menus unresposive, output Usage:program_name [address][:port]

Bug #528798 reported by theking2 on 2010-02-27
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox-3.0

Firefox 3.6 Namoroka's menu's are nearly unresponsive (menues appear after 5-6 sec after click). The following output is created in the console from where firefox was started:

 Usage:program_name [address][:port]

firefox was completely remove and reinstalled. all plugins were removed the settings folder .mozilla was removed.

theking2 (johannes-kingma) wrote :

The reason for this problem was the ommision of localhost in /etc/hosts. After adding this line Firefox and the menus worked fine again.

dencrypt (dencrypt) wrote :

If this does not work you may be missing your lo in ifconfig.

# ifconfig lo

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Robert Jansen (brennerlars) wrote :

This problem is years old now . It was reported in 2010. It took three (3) whole years before it got 'confirmed'. Now that was more than a year ago. Is their any chance of this being 'solved' or 'diagnosed' or something promising like that in the years to come ? Or is to remain 'confirmed' forever.
In the meantime rebooting crappy Ubuntu Linux machines multiple times a day because that is the only temporary 'solution' to this 'confirmed' problem.

The problem is not caused by /etc/hosts nor by addons nor an old profile. Even with a fresh install of Firefox and a completely new profile without addons the problem persists. The problem occurs on Xubuntu 12.04. ( I'm back on 12.04 and skipping 14.04 because of the huge number of bugs and problemes in that release ).

I used to actually promote Ubuntu and Linux. Can't really remember why actually, the reason must be buried under a the accumulated mountain of frustration.

OMS (oms-ubun) wrote :

The problem is not specific to Ubuntu. Symptoms (on a non-Ubuntu installation) here: constant delay of ca. 8 seconds between clicking on popup / pulldown menu entries and appearance of popup menus. Same delay when closing or browsing horizontally from one pulldown menu to another one. Only popup menus seem affected; most popup windows / dialogs or simple button actions are not. It's noteworthy that in these ca. 8 seconds of delay Firefox pauses completely. That is, it doesn't compute anything at 100% CPU but rather waits constantly at 0% CPU usage!

The problem exists even in (today's) latest Firefox 36 and when being started in safe mode, that is, all plugins disabled! I even tried a brand new manual installation of Firefox and deleted all data in its home directry: problem persists! There are reports that Thunderbird may suffer from the same problem. So it may not be a problem specific to Firefox but to the XUL implementation in general.

After some investigation I found the cause, at least here: it's neither a missing localhost entry in /etc/hosts nor a disabled loopback ( device nor DNS lookup problems or something like that. Instead, it's the PulseAudio daemon! Some sort of interaction between Firefox and PulseAudio seems to go astray when triggering popup menus.

Solution: disable PulseAudio before starting Firefox. In my case, renaming /usr/bin/pulseaudio to /usr/bin/pulseaudio~ (or similar) is sufficient. After that the delays are completely gone. CAUTION: this has to be done while Firefox is not running! Otherwise, at least here, Firefox immediately locks up totally and has to be SIGKILLed and restarted. Whether it's Firefox or PulseAudio daemon who is to be blamed of behaving erroneously is beyond my findings.

However, since this problem seems not to occur everywhere I suppose some special configuration settings, likely of the PulseAudio daemon, being involved in the problem. I haven't figured out that in detail yet. However, I use nonstandard SHM size of just 1 MB and daemon exit-idle-time of -1 (stay alive) and have connected my PulseAudio to a JackAudio server.

Keith (dj-ubuntu) wrote :

OMS: Thank you! I encountered the same problem with PulseAudio. When the PulseAudio service wasn't running, I was experiencing these symptoms in Firefox and Thunderbird. Starting PulseAudio fixed it.

This is on Ubuntu 14.10, using the awesomewm window manager.

Eric Munson (emunson) wrote :

Had this problem after switching to a dual socket motherboard, not sure why pulse audio was not starting but slow firefox was the only symptom. After removing my ~/.config/pulse directory everything is happy again.

Problem showed for kubuntu 14.10 and 15.04

dino99 (9d9) wrote :

That version is no more supported

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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