Bug #10883


New Firefox 60 esr crashes on multitabbing

Added by Cristian Achim over 3 years ago. Updated over 3 years ago.

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When trying to open a new tab or a new window in Firefox it crashes with the following output when started
from the command line:

branco@openindiana:~$ firefox
2 [Parent 1965, Gecko_IOThread] WARNING: Failed to launch tab subprocess: file /jenkins/jobs/oi-userland/workspace/components/web/firefox/firefox-60.6.1/ipc/glue/GeckoChildProcessHost.cpp, line 524
3 [Parent 1965, Gecko_IOThread] WARNING: pipe error: Broken pipe: file /jenkins/jobs/oi-userland/workspace/components/web/firefox/firefox-60.6.1/ipc/chromium/src/chrome/common/, line 694

The new tabs/windows are almost always unresponsive and unusable.

Actions #1

Updated by Michal Nowak over 3 years ago

Cristian, it may be that you are low on swap.

Did you have a chance to read my post to openindiana-discuss mailing list?

Make sure that you have enough swap. If Firefox suddenly stops, pkg or Thunderbird crash or other processes report memory errors or fork() problems, check if you have enough swap available for reservation by:

$ swap -sh

Optionally extend swap to match your memory requirements, e.g.:

$ zfs get volsize rpool/swap
$ pfexec zfs set volsize=24g rpool/swap
$ pfexec reboot

Personally, I had to extend swap space to 24 GB. My physical memory to swap ratio is now 2:3.

You can limit Firefox memory usage by following (2) below.

2) As Firefox uses parallel threads, peak CPU load may be higher (though the benefit is that things get done faster).

By default Firefox uses up to 4 content threads. You can limit CPU and memory usage by explicitly lowering the amount of content threads used:

Preferences -> General -> Performance -> uncheck "Use recommended performance settings" -> set "Content process limit" to lower number

If it didn't help, provide information about your physical RAM and swap. Also gather output of swap -sh around the time it starts to misbehave/crash (e.g. for i in `seq 1 60`; do swap -sh; sleep 1; done).

Actions #2

Updated by Cristian Achim over 3 years ago

I get the following error in the terminal just opening a fresh Firefox google search window and opening one of the
search results by right click->open in new tab:

[Parent 2510, Gecko_IOThread] WARNING: Failed to launch tab subprocess: file /jenkins/jobs/oi-userland/workspac/components/web/firefox/firefox-60.6.1/ipc/glue/GeckoChildProcessHost.cpp, line 524

This certainly doesn't hit any memory limits. The request to open the search result url in new tab completes though,
after some delay.

On the other hand when I watch the memory usage with 'swap -sh' I can see that Firefox consumes reserved memory on the
order of 1GB per content process which is outrageous for my 4GB RAM machine. I don't remember having such issues in
Ubuntu when using Firefox 60. And even for beefy machines RAM can be used elsewhere instead of being reserved.

Anyway thanx for your answer. It seems I'll have to fiddle with the content process options.

Edit: opening tabs from a google search results page no longer throws an error in the terminal when limiting the content processes count to 1.

Actions #3

Updated by Michal Nowak over 3 years ago

  • Category set to OI-Userland
  • Status changed from New to Rejected
  • Assignee set to Michal Nowak
  • Target version set to Hipster
  • % Done changed from 0 to 100
  • Tags deleted (needs-triage)

Unfortunately, with 4 GB RAM Firefox 60 absolutely can trigger memory problems. I am afraid we can't do much on the Firefox side. Note that Linux has different memory model to illumos, so comparison usually does not fly. If you are interested in details, see The take away message is that having a lot of swap is necessary for the system to work reliably.

To give an example with Firefox 66 (WIP): I have 16 G of physical memory, 24 G of swap, but only less then 1 G of swap available...

Closing the issue, but feel free to comment further here or on openindiana-discuss mailing list.


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