Firefox 39 crashes on startup or within a few seconds on Precise/x86

Bug #1471949 reported by Chris Coulson on 2015-07-06
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox (Ubuntu)
Chris Coulson
gcc-4.8 (Ubuntu)
gcc-mozilla (Ubuntu)
Chris Coulson

Bug Description

This is blocking publication of Firefox 39.

The build for x86 on 12.04 currently crashes on startup, or within a few seconds of startup. It's basically unusable. An example crash report is:

Unfortunately, despite the warning in the PPA description for, ordinary users are still installing pre-release packages from it.

It works on all other releases and on Precise/x86-64. I did test Firefox 39 with this toolchain when it was still the nightly version whilst preparing the switch to GCC 4.8, and it worked fine.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu Precise):
importance: Undecided → Critical
status: New → Triaged
Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

I've tried this now with binutils 2.24 from Trusty (which produced a good build), and also the gold linker in Precise and I get the same issue. So it looks like this is specific to the compiler.

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

This broken build is also responsible for

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :
Download full text (7.2 KiB)

The crash occurs because js::ScopeCoordinateName returns nullptr. The only way it can do that is if |id| is zero at

Unfortunately, it works fine in a debug build.

I added a "MOZ_RELEASE_ASSERT(!JSID_IS_ZERO(id))" after so I could crash Firefox when this happens and catch it in gdb.

At the point we hit this assert in gdb, |sc| has already been optimised out. However, by examining the incoming bytecode:

(gdb) p *pc
$2 = 136 '\210'
(gdb) x pc+1
0xb68b2e2: 0x00000000

... we see that this is a JSOP_GETALIASEDVAR instruction and the |slot| argument is 0x000000. After adding some printf's to, I verified that no properties with slot=0 ever exist.

I added further asserts in js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::emitScopeCoordOp() and verified that this instruction sequence was not being emitted here. After creating a small helper function to scan the bytecode at various stages in BytecodeEmitter, I managed to narrow the point at which this instruction sequence is emitted to js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::emitNameOp().

Here, at

        if (!pn->pn_cookie.isFree()) {
             MOZ_ASSERT(JOF_OPTYPE(op) != JOF_ATOM);
             if (!emitVarOp(pn, op))
                 return false;
         } else {
             if (!emitAtomOp(pn, op))
                 return false;

... despite |op| being equal to JSOP_GETALIASEDVAR, this code calls emitAtomOp() because the "if (!pn->pn_cookie.isFree()) {" check evaluates false. This is wrong - it should be calling emitVarOp().

Changing the MOZ_ASSERT at the top of js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::emitAtomOp() to a MOZ_RELEASE_ASSERT verifies that we hit this. In gdb:

(gdb) f 1
#1 0xf58099bf in emitAtomOp (op=<optimised out>, pn=0x825bc60, this=0xffffa408) at /home/chr1s/src/firefox/build-area/firefox-39.0+build5/js/src/frontend/BytecodeEmitter.cpp:1071
1071 return emitAtomOp(pn->pn_atom, op);
(gdb) p pn->
$2 = {level_ = 255, slot_ = 4, static FREE_LEVEL = 255}

So, the correct branch is taken. Which means that |pn| is invalid.

In fact, it goes wrong in js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::tryConvertFreeName(), just here at

                    JSOp op;
                    switch (pn->getOp()) {
                      case JSOP_GETNAME: op = JSOP_GETALIASEDVAR; break;
                      case JSOP_SETNAME: op = JSOP_SETALIASEDVAR; break;
                      default: return false;

                    JS_ALWAYS_TRUE(pn->pn_cookie.set(parser->tokenStream, hops, slot));
                    return true;

If I add a "MOZ_RELEASE_ASSERT(!pn->pn_cookie.isFree());" just before the "return true", then we hit this in our broken build. T...


Karlchen (karlchen) wrote :

Hello, Chris.

Today the ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa has brought me firefox 39.0+build5-0ubuntu0.12.04.2.
On Mint13 32-bit xfce, based on Ubuntu 12.04.5 32-bit, the reported problem seems to have been solved.
Firefox 39.0 started up without crashing.
Thanks a lot for all your time and efforts.


Daniel (hackie) wrote :

Same problem on an up-to-date ubuntu trusty. Now I downgraded from firefox:amd64 39.0+build5-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 back to 38.0+build3-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 and everything works again

darko (darko) wrote :

Thanks for all infos..!

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Note, this bug isn't fixed but we have worked around it by building Firefox with -fno-tree-pre, which disables the optimization that breaks it.

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Building Firefox with the gcc-4.8 package in trusty-updates also produces the same broken build, so it's a regression between 4.8.2 and our build of gcc 4.8.4

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Building with a vanilla gcc 4.8.4 does work though. It turns out that the svn-updates.diff patch that is applied to our build of gcc introduces the bug - so it's a regression between 4.8.4 and 4.8.5

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Here's the disassembly from a good build with vanilla gcc 4.8.4. It's basically identical, but it contains 3 extra instructions that are missing from the broken build.

   0xf57fe991 <+1729>: mov 0xa0(%ebp),%edx
   0xf57fe997 <+1735>: mov 0x84(%esp),%esi // %esi now points to |pn|
   0xf57fe99e <+1742>: add $0x18,%edx
   0xf57fe9a1 <+1745>: cmpl $0xfe,0x28(%esp) // Compare |hops| with 254 (FREE_LEVEL - 1)
   0xf57fe9a9 <+1753>: mov %al,0x2(%esi) // Calls pn->SetOp(op)
   0xf57fe9ac <+1756>: mov 0x34(%esp),%eax // %eax now contains |slot|
   0xf57fe9b0 <+1760>: ja 0xf57fea10 <js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::tryConvertFreeName(js::frontend::ParseNode*)+1856> // Jump if |hops| > 254
   0xf57fe9b2 <+1762>: cmp $0xffffff,%eax // Compare |slot| with 0xffffff
   0xf57fe9b7 <+1767>: ja 0xf57fe9f9 <js::frontend::BytecodeEmitter::tryConvertFreeName(js::frontend::ParseNode*)+1833> // Jump if |slot| > 0xffffff
   0xf57fe9b9 <+1769>: mov 0x84(%esp),%esi // %esi now points to |pn|
   0xf57fe9c0 <+1776>: shl $0x8,%eax // Left shift new |slot| value by 8-bits

// These next 3 instructions are missing in the broken build
   0xf57fe9c3 <+1779>: mov $0x1,%edi
   0xf57fe9c8 <+1784>: movzbl 0x28(%esp),%edx // %edx now contains |hops|
   0xf57fe9cd <+1789>: mov %dl,0x20(%esi) // Save |hops| in to |level_| in pn->

   0xf57fe9d0 <+1792>: mov %eax,%edx // %edx now contains |slot|
   0xf57fe9d2 <+1794>: movzbl 0x20(%esi),%eax // Load |level_| from pn-> in to %eax
   0xf57fe9d6 <+1798>: or %edx,%eax // %eax now contains the bitwise-OR of |level_| and new |slot| value
   0xf57fe9d8 <+1800>: mov %eax,0x20(%esi) // Save the new values to |level_| and |slot_| in pn->

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

In particular, the fix for is the culprit

Karlchen (karlchen) wrote :

Which gcc version do the Mozilla developers use, because it seems as if their builds of Firefox 39 do not crash right on startup or within a few seconds thereafter.
Would it not be acceptable for the moment to drop back to using gcc 4.8.2, till the bug introduced by gcc > 4.8.2 has been fixed?

Changed in gcc-mozilla (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Changed in gcc-mozilla (Ubuntu Precise):
status: New → Fix Committed
importance: Undecided → Critical
Changed in firefox (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
assignee: nobody → Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson)
Changed in gcc-mozilla (Ubuntu Precise):
assignee: nobody → Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson)
Matthias Klose (doko) on 2016-05-06
no longer affects: gcc-4.8 (Ubuntu Precise)
Matthias Klose (doko) on 2016-05-06
no longer affects: gcc-mozilla (Ubuntu Trusty)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gcc-4.8 - 4.8.5-4ubuntu3

gcc-4.8 (4.8.5-4ubuntu3) yakkety; urgency=medium

  * Fix libjava testsuite with dejagnu 1.6, taken from the trunk.
  * Fix PR rtl-optimization/68955, PR rtl-optimization/64557, taken from 4.9.
    LP: #1471949.
  * Bump standards version.

 -- Matthias Klose <email address hidden> Fri, 06 May 2016 19:03:29 +0200

Changed in gcc-4.8 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Fix Released
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