Firefox & pkill - Inseparable Friends?

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Every one in my company knows about pkill, an obscure Linux command because we use Firefox (we are 100% Linux based) as the default browser. What is the relation, you ask? The answer is simple.

Firefox often hangs. The symtoms are varied, a busy icon which never rests, a web page which never opens even though it opens fine in Opera etc. However the solution is always the ever simple - pkill.

Just type:

pkill firefox

This unceremonously kills Firefox so you can start it again. And chances are it will work fine, at least for some more time till it hangs again. And then remember - pkill.

Don’t you love Firefox? Over time you will get used to them like we all got used to buggy Windows releases and GPF’s, we humans are very adjustible.

Note: pkill is a Linux command to kill a linux process by name. A sister command is pgrep which allows you to grep for running processes.


September 2, 2008: 11:45 am

Ummm… why is it do you think that you have this problem? I have used and deployed firefox to thousands of machines, for many more years than I care to count - lets just say I started doing it when it was called “Phoenix”. I have had crashing issues with earlier versions (pre 1.5), but it was almost unanimously due to a plugin - not FF itself. Recent crashes have been very rare, and in every single instance it was a badly-written third party plugin to blame.

Try starting FF in “safe mode” and see if that fixes your crashes. If so, turn off all your plugins and start turning them on one by one. Find the one that crashes the app. Remove it. Be happy. If you can’t remove it, live with it and file a bug report against the plugin. And beware of Flash - badly written Flash has been the culprit more often than any other crash I have experienced.

Sorry if I seem a bit crass, but it is unbelievable to me that someone is still experiencing massive, repeatable crashes and hangs with FF after 1.5 - on any platform.

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