firefox 3.0 very slow on some sites, blocking computer

Bug #232197 reported by dfszb
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox (Ubuntu)
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: mozilla-firefox

see this site.
this will kill your computer.
I have a fully up to date firefox, 3.0.b5, and the web developer plugin installed.
ubuntu system is 8.04. , up to date.

Tags: likely-dup
Revision history for this message
José M. López-Cepero (cepe) wrote :

I'm seeing the same behavior on some sites. The scrolling becomes so slow that the browser freezes for 1-2 seconds whenever you do. If you hit the clickwheel a few times, it's enough to trigger the "unresponsive application" warning, while the browser uses 100% CPU to redraw the window.

I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 in AMD64, up to date as of now (June 5th). Kernel 2.6.24-18-generic, Firefox 3.0~rc1+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1, Xorg 1:7.3+10ubuntu10.1. I have Compiz enabled with nVidia proprietary driver (169.12).

I'm attaching a test case which is pretty painful for me with Firefox 3, but which renders fine on Ubuntu 7.10 with Firefox 2.

I suppose this bug is related to the Gecko engine, since epiphany-browser also exhibits it. I also suspect Bug #207454 is related to this one, but this seemed more general, so I'm posting here.

Revision history for this message
Alexander Sack (asac) wrote : Re: [Bug 232197] Re: firefox 3.0 very slow on some sites, blocking computer

 affects ubuntu/firefox
 status invalid
 affects ubuntu/firefox-3.0
 status incomplete
 tag likely-dup

 - Alexander

Changed in firefox:
status: New → Invalid
Revision history for this message
cicoandcico (cicoandcico) wrote :

another example of site causing the event:

to me, visiting those sites causes the freeze of the whole desktop, not only the browser. everything becomes irresponsive for some second.
hardy up-to-date, firefox 3.0 final, nvidia driver, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic.

i think that this problem is not actually related to the gecko engine, however: in my system the same happens when using Opera browser. moreover, windows version of firefox behaves well.

Revision history for this message
Alexandre Anoutchine (xirius) wrote :

Hi, i experience the same problem. Firefox becomes unusable, it freezes for 10 seconds (whole desktop) after each action i do (scroling, etc ...)

My hardware :

Dell XPS
 - Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 (2,50 GHz)
 - 3 GB RAM DDR2
 - nVidia GeForce Go 8600M GT

I also have a desktop PC
 - AMD Athlon 64 3500
 - NVidia GeForce 6600 GT
 - 1 GB RAM DDR2

Firefox (and compiz) renders much better on it, it doesn't freeze. So i think that it might be nVidia driver issue. (I'm not really sure since i'm new to Linux world). Both PCs have the same Hardy up-to-date, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic.

Revision history for this message
kiomava (kioma-kioma) wrote :

I also see this on one of my two setups.

Dell E1405 laptop, 1GB RAM, hardy 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-19 x86, Core T2300 x86, intel 945 graphics, 1440x900: everything is ok (Firefox3)

Dell D830, hardy 8.04, 2GB RAM, kernel 2.6.24-19 64 bit, Core T7300, nVidia Quadro NVS 135M, 1920x1200: Firefox3, Opera, Epiphany freeze consistently on certain sites. Firefox2 does not freeze on the same sites.

I have Compiz disabled on the D830. Enabling it doesn't impact the firefox freeze problem. I also tried the latest driver directly from nvidia, and that also had no effect on the FF freeze.

When Firefox3 freezes, all of X becomes unresponsive for several seconds, about 10 seconds. I can move the mouse around smoothly, but nothing else seems to be alive. I have a few system graphs in my gnome panel that normally update every 250ms, and they all freeze. When they come back, the intermediate seconds are not recorded on the graphs, strangely. Even hitting Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get a console does not happen until the freeze is over. I get in /var/log/Xorg.0.log multiple entries of:

tossed event which came in late
mieqEnequeue: out-of-order valuator event; dropping.

I'm guessing those log entries are a symptom and not indicative of the cause. I think I've seen this in other apps besides web browsers, but it's much more sporadic. Right now it will freeze 100% of the time in firefox-3 at certain pages. The one I get it at is: I actually don't get any freeze at like the above poster did.

I just noticed this only seems to only happen when the firefox window is above a certain size. when i resize the window on the troublesome web site, so it's small, say about 25% of the screen surface area or approx 960x600, it seems ok and doesn't freeze. I can resize it and it will respond quickly as long as the size is small. but when the size gets above a certain amount, it will get very slow, and freeze for seconds. The larger the surface area, the longer the freeze seems to be.

You know, this reminds me of behavior I've seen programming for image buffers on accelerated graphics cards. If you tried to allocate an image buffer above what the graphics hardware could handle, the driver would fall back to a non-accelerated software buffer, which was much slower. Maybe that's what's going on but for some reason it locks some critical system resource as it accesses the slow software image buffer, so all the other processes get blocked. Just a total guess there.

Revision history for this message
Giannis Tsakiris (giannis-tsakiris) wrote :

I also confirm this behavior of Firefox on my Pentium4 2.66GHz, 1.5GB RAM, GeForce 6200/256MB.
Firefox is generally very slow, but in certain sites (like GMail) it becomes completely unusable. Scrolling is jerky and causes CPU usage to reach tops and all other applications to freeze. Every action I take in firefox will take several seconds to be served.
On the same computer with XP Firefox and everything else run like a marvel.
I think it's worth to say that I have enabled the drivers for hardware acceleration and all visual effects (like rotating cube and wobbly windows) perform amazingly fast.
Last but not least, I tried some alternative browsers, and I surprisingly saw that the problem occurs with other browsers as well. Then I discovered that all the browsers that cause the freezing problems use the same rendering engine, Gecko. So, I think that we should address the problem in Gecko and not specifically in Firefox.

Revision history for this message
kiomava (kioma-kioma) wrote :

At least in my case this seems to be an nvidia bug. I found in the nvidia forums:

I tried their suggested temporary fix:

nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=0 -a GlyphCache=1

They say this will be fixed in a future driver release. I tried the nvidia-supplied 177.13 beta driver and the fix wasn't there.

Their fix helped a lot. Firefox doesn't freeze anymore. Unfortunately, those nvidia-settings options seem to make compiz segfault, but I can live with that.

Revision history for this message
Pausanias (pausanias) wrote :

Confirmed on my system (amd64). Workaround seems to solve the issues even without GlyphCache=1.

Changed in firefox-3.0:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Pkapsc (andre-pietsch) wrote :

Problem confirmed on Ubuntu 8.04-64 on a Dell Vostro 1700 with nvidia graphics chip, driver 173.14.12

The workaround (having firefox not run in a maximized, but a smaller sized window), works, too.

GlyphCache does not seem to be supported by my graphics card.

nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=0 -a GlyphCache=1
    ERROR: Error parsing assignment 'GlyphCache=1' (Unrecognized attribute name).

However, it should be fixed, whatever the cause may be.

Revision history for this message
mmalmeida (mmalmeida) wrote :

Bug confirmed in Nvidia 177.80 and Ubuntu 8.04.

Revision history for this message
mmalmeida (mmalmeida) wrote :

Oh, and I found the error by visiting the website:

Revision history for this message
Phillip Susi (psusi) wrote :

8.04 has reached end of life and is no longer supported. Does this still happen for you under 12.04 or later?

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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