Autoscroll in Firefox can freeze these at once: Firefox, keyboard, mouse, and possibly other things

Bug #566412 reported by Aaron Michael Marsh on 2010-04-19
108
This bug affects 22 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox

Release information:
Description: Ubuntu lucid (development branch)
Release: 10.04 (beta 2)

Package Version:
firefox:
  Installed: 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
  Candidate: 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
  Version table:
 *** 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid/main Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

flash-nonfree is installed; however, the pages which were freezing did not have Flash applications on them.

What I expected to happen:
Variable-Speed scrolling through a web page, speed depending on the distance of the cursor from the "mark" that's left after middle-clicking on the page.

What happened instead:
Slow scrolling through a web page; browser frozen; mouse clicking (despite being able to move the cursor around) and keyboard being unresponsive throughout the operating system... until the browser reaches the top or the bottom of the page, depending on which side I was scrolling to.

Comment:
I'm sorry to say that I can't seem to reproduce this bug on purpose; however it has happened on at least 3 occasions today alone (the day on which I installed the Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Linx beta 2).

Bug seems to be similar or same to Bug #470671; however, this is a different version of Ubuntu and Firefox altogether, so I saw fit to file it despite it.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
Package: firefox 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-21.32-generic 2.6.32.11+drm33.2
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-21-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: fglrx
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Apr 18 23:47:02 2010
FirefoxPackages:
 firefox 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
 firefox-gnome-support 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
 firefox-branding 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu3
 abroswer N/A
 abrowser-branding N/A
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Beta amd64 (20100406.1)
ProcEnviron:
 LANG=en_US.utf8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
SourcePackage: firefox

Dave Brady (matter-grey) wrote :

I have this problem as well. On my 32-bit laptop, and my 64-bit desktop. For at least the last 3 versions of Ubuntu.

cloudboy (whitecloudboy00) wrote :

I get the exact same behaviour described in this bug report. I thought I'd just give some additional information here.

The interesting thing is that it literally locks the whole system up. You'd think I could do something particularly since the mouse seems responsive and all commands made to either the keyboard or the mouse appear to queue behind the completion of the autoscroll operation. So for instance if I CTRL-Q Firefox or select any app with my mouse it will perform all of those operations as soon as the autoscoll cursor has reached the bottom of the page I started scrolling.

I can reproduce this consistently on pages with many images and seemingly at least one flash video using both 10.0.45 and 10.1 flash versions. I am running the latest updates on 10.04 upgraded from 9.10 (as opposed to clean install). Firefox is version 3.6.3. I can provide other information if desired.

Here are a few example pages that consistently produces this result given these operations listed below
http://www.sc2blog.com/2010/04/
http://abduzeedo.com/daily-inspiration-521

* enable autoscroll in Firefox if not already enabled (Edit->Preferences->Advanced->check use autoscrolling)
* go to the top of one of the example pages middle-click to enable autoscroll, move mouse down just slightly to start scrolling (I find faster scrolling speeds do not reproduce the problem)
* wait, noticing that no operation with a keyboard or mouse can stop the scrolling (be prepared to wait a while)

I find that you can start at say the first flash video and start scrolling up so that you don't have to wait as long for it to finish scrolling.

This page is an interesting counter example where there do tend to be flash videos over blog like content but I can not reproduce this problem with autoscroll: http://lifehacker.com/

Zill (iamzill) wrote :

I experience the exact same behavior on AMD64 Lucid with Firefox 3.6.3 and non-free flash plugin 10.1 r53.

I can reproduce it 100% of the time on slashdot.org when I click on any of the stories with more than 10 comments. As far as I'm aware of the page does not contain any flash content.

Thiago Teixeira (tvst) wrote :

This also happens to me. I assume it is related to the video drivers, though.

My reasoning for this is that
1) I can reproduce this bug not only in Firefox but also in Evince when scrolling through PDF files.
2) I can fix the issue like this:
  a) wait for the system to freeze
  b) press Ctrl+Alt+F1 (which is pretty much the only thing that works when the system is "frozen")
  c) wait about 5 seconds (required!!)
  d) then return to X with Ctrl+Alt+F7
  ==> RESULT: the system resumes working normally

My system:
- Intel Core 2 duo, running 32-bit Ubuntu 9.04
- ATI Mobility Radeon x1300 running the open-source drivers
- Compiz
- Firefox 3.6.3
- Flash non-free 10.1

Thiago Teixeira (tvst) wrote :

This also happens to me. I assume it is related to the video drivers, though.

My reasoning for this is that
1) I can reproduce this bug not only in Firefox but also in Evince when scrolling through PDF files.
2) I can fix the issue like this:
  a) wait for the system to freeze
  b) press Ctrl+Alt+F1 (which is pretty much the only thing that works when the system is "frozen")
  c) wait about 5 seconds (required!!)
  d) then return to X with Ctrl+Alt+F7
  ==> RESULT: the system resumes working normally

My system:
- Intel Core 2 duo, running 32-bit Ubuntu 10.04
- ATI Mobility Radeon x1300 running the open-source drivers
- Compiz
- Firefox 3.6.3
- Flash non-free 10.1

Thiago Teixeira (tvst) wrote :

Sorry for the double-post. I meant to correct my system version and ended up pressing the Post button too fast.

To clarify, my system is Ubuntu 10.04.

Kenny R (kenny-r) wrote :

I have this problem when autoscrolling on any page with heavy javascript and lots of content:
 - slashdot.org
 - cracked.com
 - the new google images (insane amounts of javascript)

Disabling javascript in firefox fixes it, so as a workaround I now use the noscript addon to blacklist every website that causes my browser to behave this way.

Rykel from Singapore (rykel98) wrote :

I am also experiencing this problem.

When Autoscroll is used, it would lock up the entire system, cause Firefox screen to go "dimmed" and nothing can be done further until the cursor has scrolled to the bottom of a webpage. It does NOT have to be a Flash website, so it is not a Flash problem.

Thank you.

Rykel from Singapore (rykel98) wrote :

I would like to report that Firefox 3.6.10 on Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) STILL exhibits this behaviour.

See if you can reproduce it too on the first page of http://www.modernhumanorigins.com. (today is Oct 11, 2010) Smooth Scrolling on or off makes no difference.

hhh (hhh) wrote :

I see this almost daily, either with Flash content or without, using Fx 3.6.10, .11 and .12. Usually it's unreproducible, if I close the browser (once the end of the page is reached) and then restart the browser the same page no longer causes a freeze.

There is a Bugzilla bug for this...
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=473132

Thiago Teixeira (tvst) wrote :

I still see this problem daily, even after a clean install of Ubuntu 10.10. However, things are even worse for me now: I used to be able to get out of the frozen state by simply pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1, waiting 10s, then pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 again to go back to X -- but now this doesn't work anymore. Instead, I have to go to Ctrl+Alt+F1 and run the following lines:

$ pkill -9 compiz
$ pkill -9 nautilus

I know it's very strange that I would need to kill Nautilus at all, but there it is. It doesn't work unless I do that too.

The result of the those two lines is that I can Ctrl+Alt+F7 back into X and start Metacity by hand to continue with my session. However, if I try to start Compiz instead I just get a screen where the only things visible are my wallpaper and the mouse cursor (which I can move just fine, but that's about it).

Sven Schuetz (nuke-gmx) wrote :

I have the same problem.
I also tend to the graphics driver.
But for me it does not work in both cases, the proprietary ATI driver and the open source driver.

What debug files messages etc. can we collect to get this resolved?

Pedro (pedro-rodrigues-86) wrote :

Same problem here, on Ubuntu 10.10 with Nvidia drivers

I encounter this on a daily basis and it is *hugely* annoying. The main 'trigger' as I see it is the length of the page; two sites where I see this is on Stack Exchange chat transcripts pages (example: http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/35/2011/2/25), which can be very long, and JavaScript Garden (http://bonsaiden.github.com/JavaScript-Garden/), a single page JavaScript language quirks reference.

Neither page have very heavy JavaScript. The bug is reproducible every single time when trying to use autoscroll on either of those site.

Sven Schuetz (nuke-gmx) wrote :

Fixed for me with FF4!!

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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