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Re: long time firefox & thunderbird problems

On Sat, Aug 15, 2009 at 6:48 AM, Jan
Danielsson<> wrote:
> Hello,
>   I've been having problems starting firefox and thunderbird for a long
> time now (over a year). Sometimes it gets worse, and sometimes better.
> But with the current iteration of drivers, X, dbus, firefox and
> thunderbird, it's a half-hour job to get them working. In fact, I'm not
> certain I can get them both running at the same time.
>   The sympoms are: When I start firefox or thinderbird, I always get a
> process. Sometimes I get an icon in WindowMaker, but it doesn't always
> happen. And sometimes I get a really small empty window. Once they
> [firefox & thunderbird] start behaving this way, it's virtually
> impossible to start them (pkill thuderbird or pkill firefox, and then
> attempt to start them again).
>   I found a way to make it easier to start them: I start gimp (and
> sometimes quit it again), and then start firefox/thunderbird, and
> they'll start. Once they've started, I can quit them and restart them
> again, as long as I don't push the system too much.
>   I've have two primary suspects: Video drivers and/or dbus.
>   I know from past experience that dbus is a huge source of problems.
> Previously, I had some gtk programs crash on start. I found out that if
> dbus isn't run as a daemon, it will start a dbus user process -- which
> doesn't work properly and may case crashes. I installed dbus as a
> daemon, and I could run those applications which previously kept
> crashing on startup.
>   When I run thundebird or firefox I get this:
> gauss$ ps aux | grep dbus
> jan     12959  0.0  0.0  15020   1596 ?     I    12:07PM 0:00.00
> dbus-launch --autolaunch 342e6f0eae07e7a1b3d628884a5f0efe --binary
> jan     25544  0.0  0.0   9992   1564 ?     Is   12:07PM 0:00.00
> /usr/pkg/bin/dbus-daemon --fork --print-pid 5 --print-address 7 --
> dbus    28999  0.0  0.0   9992   1692 ?     Is   11:58AM 0:00.00
> /usr/pkg/bin/dbus-daemon --system
>   Is this normal?
>   I should note that this problem suddenly appeared a long time ago.
> Prior to that point, firefox and thunderbird worked perfecty, all the
> time. It was a software upgrade (firefox/thunderbird)  which spawned the
> problems. Since it was such a long time ago, I can't remember the exact
> versions, but it may have been firefox 1.0.x and thunderbird 1.0.0, or
> perhaps firefox 1.5.x, or so.
>   I've used practically all versions of firefox and thunderbird from
> the 1.0 versions in pkgsrc, and been using various versions of netbsd 3,
> 4 and 5 on three different computers.
>   I've been sighing to myself for all this time, done my "launch
> gimp"-trick, and accepted that it's how computers are supposed to work
> nowadays. But now it's practically impossible to start firefox and
> thunderbird.
>   Please read this before replying with the Standard Responses:
>   - No, it's not broken profiles. I've tried with fresh profiles.
>   - Yes, the memory chips are ok. I've had this problem for a _*long*_
> time, and on two different systems. ONLY thunderbird and firefox are
> affected. And I have run memory checks on the affected systems.
>   - Yes, I have increased the number of available file handles.
>   Any tips are welcome.

I remember a tiny and blank window used to show up in firefox on osx
as like an off-screen controller or something.  Using gimp to remedy
your problem makes me suspect something in your gtk environment more
than your firefox/thunderbird environment.

Have you tried ktruss-ing your invocation of firefox and seeing where it stops?

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