Extremely slow painting of launchpad.net bug details page with nvidia driver

Bug #605567 reported by Captain Chaos on 2010-07-14
This bug affects 43 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Firefox
firefox (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox

Launchpad.net bug detail pages are painted extremely slowly by Firefox on my machine. I'm running Ubuntu Lucid 64-bit, and I have the proprietary nvidia driver (from the Ubuntu repositories) installed, version "current". The machine has two 8800 GTX GPU's with 768 MB each, so the available graphics power should not be a problem.

It takes many seconds (sometimes tens of seconds) to draw the page, during which the entire computer slows to a crawl. Nothing happens on the screen during this time. Whenever I scroll the page up so that more of the page is revealed at the top of the screen, this is painted extremely slowly as well. Scrolling down (once the page is fully painted) does not produce slow-downs, so the problem appears to be with the content at the top of the page.

It appears to be an interaction between Firefox, Launchpad.net and the proprietary NVidia driver. I don't notice slowdowns like this on any other web page (including other launchpad.net pages). Other browsers, such as Chrome, draw Launchpad bug detail pages with lighting speed. And when I use the nv or nouveau drivers the problem does not appear either.

Since Chrome can paint the pages at fast speeds, Firefox should be able to as well, so I still think this is a Firefox problem.

If there is any way I can determine exactly what it is that is taking so much time and slowing down the entire computer, please let me know! Or if there is any other way in which I can help debug this problem.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
Package: firefox 3.6.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.04.1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-23.37-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-23-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Architecture: amd64
Date: Wed Jul 14 21:03:25 2010
 firefox 3.6.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.04.1
 firefox-gnome-support 3.6.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.04.1
 firefox-branding 3.6.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.04.1
 abroswer N/A
 abrowser-branding N/A
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" - Release amd64 (20091027)
SourcePackage: firefox

Captain Chaos (launchpad-chaos) wrote :

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101203 Firefox/3.6.13
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0b10) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0b10

Under Linux you cannot scroll the aforementioned URL - scrolling is extremely jerky while Firefox consumes 100% of CPU.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
Visit the given URL.
Actual Results:
Terribly slow and jerky scrolling.

Expected Results:
Smooth scrolling.

This problem exists both in Firefox 3.6.13 and 4.0beta10 with clean (new) profiles.

Opera 11 and Google Chrome 8 don't exhibit this problem.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0b10) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0b10
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100723 Ubuntu/10.04 (lucid) Firefox/3.6.8

Works fine for me

It's 100% reproducible when running on NVIDIA GPU with NVIDIA proprietary drivers.

This is the comment about that bug by AaronP, a Nvidia Linux Driver developer, maybe it helps:
" I took a look today, and it appears that Firefox is using an enormous pixmap that exceeds the GPU's maximum rendering dimensions, causing software fallbacks. While we will attempt to make it as fast as possible, performance would be greatly improved if Firefox would render using surfaces that fit within the maximum renderable dimensions."
Also see: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=152295

clayg (clay-gerrard) wrote :

This bug is much more recent than bug #223238 and describes my problem more accurately. The only way I could get the problem to go away was to uninstall the nvidia restricted driver.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0b11) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0b11

I was unable to reproduce issue with an integrated Intel card. Can someone having a Nvidia card confirm issue?

I can confirm this on nvidia.
I am running archlinux, firefox 3.6.13, xorg and nvidia 260.19.36 (on both GTX460 and GT240).
I have seen this for a long time but when i tested it now again i noticed that if i set a non-default zoom level the page is quick, perhaps this can be a hint to someone fixing this annoying performance problem.

I can confirm this bug, with my 8600m GT Nvidia proprietary driver version 260.xx - 270.xx, Firefox 3.6 - 4.0, Ubuntu 10.10, although for me it is much more obvious on this URL: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-mozilla-daily/+archive/ppa

I can also confirm that changing the zoom level to a non default one makes it much better or even go away completely.

NVIDIA 8800GT, 270.18 drivers, no matter which zoom level is set, page scrolling is very slow and jerky.

I can confirm this problem as well, on a NVIDIA 8800GT using the 260 and 270 drivers at least, but it has existed prior to them as well, as far as I know.

However the nouveau driver seems to handle the page just fine. Could it not be a driver problem after all?

Thank you for being so fast in verifying this issue.

Can you please test problem having the latest nvidia official drivers installed, just to make sure it's not driver related.

I am pretty sure most of us here used the latest official (260.19.36) when we verified this problem.

Considering Comments 5 to 10, I am changing resolution to New.

Can someone with a Nvidia card please perform a regression range?

I've no problem with the "open source" nv driver on Firefox 4 beta 1. I'll check with the nouveau driver later.

(In reply to comment #12)
> I've no problem with the "open source" nv driver on Firefox 4 beta 1. I'll
> check with the nouveau driver later.

nouveau driver doesn't have this problem according to people commented on nvnews.net:

ShiningArcanine wrote:
> I tried switching to the Nouveau driver on my laptop and it eliminated the lag issues

Yes, I can confirm this.

Artem, are you still able to observe issue?

(In reply to comment #15)
> Artem, are you still able to observe issue?

Yes, I'm now running NVIDIA drivers 270.26. Like NVIDIA developers said the problem is that:

"... it appears that Firefox is using an enormous pixmap
that exceeds the GPU's maximum rendering dimensions, causing software

and since they haven't yet solved it, the issue is still in effect. However it's worth mentioning that neither Opera, nor Google Chrome has this bug.

Funnily even relatively short web pages cause huge CPU spikes and slowness, like this one: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/hal/+bug/19556

BTW, scrolling is *not* necessary - Firefox takes up to 2 seconds just to switch to *any* page on bugs.launchpad.net, like this one: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/transmission/+bug/734615 - this web page is now only three-four screens long.

*** Bug 644275 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

same for me. using 260.19.36 with a GeForce 6200.

Xorg cpu usage goes through the roof, even when not scrolling

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0

build from mozilla.org.

Not limited to just launchpad, the "My eBay" page for me exhibits the same, to the point of being unusable

Cas (calumlind) wrote :

I agree with clayg that this is not related to bug #223238 so am removing it as a duplicate.

There is also an nvnews thread about this issue: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=152295

Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → High
status: Unknown → Confirmed

I opened a bug in Launchpad for this same issue:

@Michael the Launchpad bug, https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/605567 has already been raised and associated with this one.

Also I should make the point that I commented in LP605567 that the other bug reports (https://bugs.launchpad.net/firefox/+bug/223238 & Bug #490563 ) are not the same as this one due to bug age and narrow range of sites affected.

Can anyone check if 275.19 driver solve this issue?


From changelog:

"Fixed poor X driver handling of pixmap out of memory scenarios."

Jacopo Moronato (jmoronat) wrote :

It doesn't seem to solve.

275.19 did not solve this issue for me.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Ahmad Samir (ahmad.samir) wrote :

One hackish workaround is using this CSS rule for launchpad.net:
* {background-image: none !important;}

FWIW, I am not running Ubuntu, but I see the problem with other distros (Mageia and Fedora).

Cas (calumlind) wrote :

Just thought I would expand on Ahmad's workaround.

As it is only icon-sprites that cause the slowdown, the quickest solution was to disable all icon-sprites with an AdblockPlus filter for bug.launchpad.net:


However I wanted to still keep some of useful bug icons so instead I added the following to userContent.css in ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/chrome/ so that the most frequent but unnecessary icon-sprites were disabled.

@-moz-document domain(bugs.launchpad.net) {
.person {background-image: none !important;}
.team {background-image: none !important;}
.add {background-image: none !important;}
.download-icon {background-image: none !important;}
.bug {background-image: none !important;}

Xruptor Darkwater (xruptor) wrote :

This bug is exactly the same problem I was having with an issue I posted before.


Another thread related to my exact post and this thread is the following link.


I'm glad that I'm not the only one with this problem. I was going nuts trying to get this fixed.

tags: added: iso-testing

This bug still exists. With every update to FireFox this issue hasn't been addressed. It's only getting worse and worse. It seems the 2D painting is not properly functioning. This only occurs with Nvidia drivers. I've had to switch to another browser for the time being because browsing the internet has become unbearable on FireFox. Please this really needs to be looked at. Many people are affected with this problem.




cicoandcico (cicoandcico) wrote :

I think this bug is related to another problem I am experiencing with unity dash. When firefox is in fullscreen, and any launchpad page is opened, I can't open the dash with the "super" key. Opening another tab with another page solves the problem.

I can confirm the problem is still present on Ubuntu 11.10.
Firefox 7, nvidia driver 280.13, geforce quadro nsv140 m.

I can also confirm this bug still exists in Ubuntu 11.10. Nvidia driver 280.13 Firefox 7

Greylander (greylander) wrote :

I can confirm that Firefox 8, on Ubuntu 10.04 still has this bug.

The problem is so common for me that I just always expect it -- I do not think it matters at all what web page one is looking at.

I have chrome browser, side by side with this web page (this bug report page). Chrome scrolls smooth as silk and is extremely responsive. Firefox is jittery with much lag.

I can confirm that Firefox 8, on Ubuntu 10.04 still has this bug.

The problem is so common for me that I just always expect it -- I do not think it matters at all what web page one is looking at.

I have chrome browser, side by side Firefox, both on this web page (this bug report page). Chrome scrolls smooth as silk and is extremely responsive. Firefox is jittery with much lag.

Example of behavior: I use smooth scroll mouse wheel. Flick the scroll wheel, and maybe it zips up pretty quick halfway, that stops suddenly -- with the wheel still spinning fast. Do same in chrome and it scrolls all the way up (or down).

Generally speaking it is as if scrolling simply stops at random moments for up to 2-3 seconds (though about 1/2 second is probably most common).

Confirmed with Firefox 9.0.1, nvidia 290.10, Arch Linux.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Michael Kogan (michael-kogan) wrote :

Setting invalid for the Ubuntu package since the problem appears on Arch Linux as well.

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:


Debian 6.0.3
flashplugin-nonfree i386 1:2.8.2
iceweasel 9.0.1-1~bpo60+1

> flashplugin-nonfree i386 1:2.8.2

I meant nvidia-glx 195.36.31-6

David Schneider (dnschneid) wrote :

This is almost certainly due to the huge sprite sheet that Launchpad uses. As #32 mentioned, the 64x22031 sprite sheet
is to blame; disabling it using an ad blocker or equivalent fixes performance.

The new Dropbox design also triggers this bug, with the offender being this sprite sheet (64x30030):

As more and more web applications switch to sprite sheets to reduce page loading latency, this is going to spring up more and more.

Confirmed with Firefox 10.0.2, nvidia 295.20, Ubuntu 11.10.

Offending pages include Launchpad bug tracker, due to its 64x22031 sprite sheet
and the new Dropbox design, which features a whopping 64x30030 sprite sheet (which performs even worse than the Launchpad one):

As more and more web applications switch to sprite sheets to reduce page loading latency, new examples are going to become more frequent.

David, yes, it is the large sprite image, see bug #744808. But it isn't illegal to have one so, although Launchpad should change to one that's more square to work better in more places, Firefox/Nvidia could also improve for sites that continue to do legal things that work fine on other set-ups.

I can confirm this bug on another site as well, stackoverflow.com and a few others, especially those having a lot of active elements.

Ivo Anjo (knuckles) wrote :

I think this bug should be attacked in two ways:
1) try to work with firefox and nvidia to fix this and
2) fix launchpad. The bug is elsewhere, but launchpad being broken with the default ubuntu browser with pretty much the default configuration of any nvidia linux user is very bad usability. And yes, I could use nouveau, and have a worse experience everywhere else, as well as wasting more energy, but that's not a very good answer.

Confirmed for Firefox 11.0, Ubuntu 11.10, Nvidia 280.10.

And pre-confirming for Firefox 12.0 to 99.0.

What really drives me mad about this bug is that not only it doesn't get fixed for such a long time, but also I have the impression that firefox becomes a Windows-only browser. When I fire up Firefox on Windows XP, it is an extremely fast browser that does not leave anything to be desired.

pelm (pelle-ekh) wrote :

Confirmed with Firefox 12 on Ubuntu 12.04 Nvidia 295.40. Not happened with Nouveau driver for 12.04. Conclusion is that it's something with Nvidia propietary drivers.

hexafraction (rarkenin) wrote :

Works properly on Opera 12, no jerkiness at all, Windows, Linux with nvidia-common, or nouveau...

Ivo Anjo (knuckles) wrote :

@Robert: This is a firefox+nvidia proprietary linux driver issue.
Other browsers and drivers do not have it.

Am I the only one for whom this page http://blog.neverendingo.de/?p=125 exhibits the same problems? (Jerky scrolling and 100% CPU usage)

Is it the same problem or I should post a separate bug report?

(Firefox 14 beta10 here, NVIDIA 290.10)

*** Bug 671862 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

I'd say it's different and more related to the fixed background with semi-transparent div layered on top of it.

As a hint, changing the zoom level doesn't help whereas it helps in other testcases.

Mészáros Balázs (mbalazs81) wrote :

ubuntu 12.10 beta 1
firefox 15
nvidia 304.43

same problem, laggy firefox scroll

Bert Massop (bert-massop) wrote :

This bug still exists in Firefox 18 (Nightly), tested with NVidia driver 304.43.

Confirmed for Iceweasel 15 on Debian Wheezy, NVIDIA 304.51. Chromium runs just fine.

The bug still exists with Iceweasel 16.0.2 and nvidia-glx 310.14-1 on Debian GNU/Linux, apparently.

Well, this animal here is still running Iceweasel 10.0.4, but I think that doesn't matter.
Nvidia card yes (GeForce FX series). Running nouveau drivers, no proprietary ones.

What Artem said in his initial post, proved WRONG on my machine. I had IW 3.6.13 for quite a long time, and it always worked marvellously, even with "difficult" sites.

However: this has visibly changed once I decided to move over to a new libc and base system.
Since then, I recognize the following:

- Tab switching from $COMPLEX_SITE_1 to $COMPLEX_SITE_2 takes literally ages (up to 3 seconds)
(People claimed to cure this by applying the Ubuntu (!) version of libcairo 1.12.* (which, unline the current (!) non-testing Debian version does without server gradients) but frankly, that rather resembled some voodoo magic. No significant changes with that "tweak" on here, whatsoever.)

- Scrolling with Javascript-heavy sites is a nightmare.
I'll try to describe:

Site scrolling movement always seems to "hang behind" the mouse wheel. So you would press the mouse wheel *gently*, and with a decent delay, the page would scroll down resp. up. Yeah, it's like some satellite communication back in the 1980s :) You'd crack a joke, and 30 seconds later the person on the other end bursts out laughing :) It's very odd.

You would

Kevin Funk (kfunk) wrote :

Confirmed on Firefox 19.0 and NVidia 310.14. Is this ever going to be fixed? :/

Bert Massop (bert-massop) wrote :

It appears to be solved in Nightly 21.0a1, however introducing a rendering bug for my third test case.

Test cases:
1. https://www.dropbox.com/home (after logging in) - OK
2. this bug report page - OK
3. http://blog.neverendingo.de/?p=125 - FAIL (still jerky scrolling + rendering bug)

I am using NVidia 310.14 on Ubuntu 12.10 amd64.

Can confirm this bug too - for example after logging in dropbox.com
Using 64-bit Kubuntu 12.04 based distro, with KDE 4.10.1, proprietary Nvidia 310.14 drivers and Firefox 19.0.2
Actually I'm having this bug since forever - way before it was reported.
I can also confirm that changing zoom level makes the things better.

A quick workaround I've just come up with: install the "Default Zoom Level" extension, and set the default zoom to 101%.
This way, the zoom is barely noticeable, and the bug is gone...

I'm glad to have found this bug report. I've been having this problem for a long time now. I've exclusively used Firefox on Linux for so long that I had gradually become somewhat accustomed to it. I was frustrated with how slow it was, even doing simple things like switching between open tabs, but it's only when I use Firefox on another machine or in Windows that I notice that doing the same things is nearly instantaneous. It also seems much faster using Firefox in Linux on a machine with an AMD GPU. But my old laptop with an NVIDIA 8400M GS is so, so slow with Firefox...I really hope someone can fix this.

(In reply to Artem S. Tashkinov from comment #35)

http://blog.neverendingo.de/?p=125 is still incredibly sluggish, however launchpad pages now work fast.

Has launchpad been redesigned recently?

I wonder if we could not turn on tiling on desktop ? Or do this if we detect a nvidia/linux driver ?

(In reply to Julien Wajsberg [:julienw] (in MozSummit until next monday) from comment #44)
> I wonder if we could not turn on tiling on desktop ? Or do this if we detect
> a nvidia/linux driver ?

Tiling requires OMTC + layers acceleration. We have a lot to do before we get there. I recently tested OMTC+tiling on linux and it is very unstable.

These days there's been a lot of efforts put in turning on OMTC for desktop platforms (mac and soon windows). Electrolysis also requires OMTC. So we'll eventually get there on linux too but it's not a top priority for now. It's a great place for contributions, though. If anyone's interested, I can mentor contributions in this area.

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