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Chacham's Journal: Mozilla crashing 13

Journal by Chacham

I think I figured out why Mozilla crashes on me so often. Basically, it handles java poorly, and the kernel kills the java_vm processes when it runs out of memory. When it kills the processes, mozilla goes bye-bye too.

Now to figure out what's eating all my memory. Without much running, my system is using 180MB, but top doesn't show what's using it (when sorting by memory usage). Any ideas?

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Mozilla crashing

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  • bet ya that slashcode is eat'n it up :)
    EVIL SLASH!!!

    Nah really...do a ps aux
    check your processes and see if there is
    something fishy go'n on there...
    then (I'm presuming linux here)
    go searching for a rootkit on your box :)
    run'n tripwire I presume? check logs for peculiar activity...

    maybe shut down X and check your mem usage
    easier to figure out what's be'n eaten up...
    init 1 =)
    then go to work...

    --Huck
    • bet ya that slashcode is eat'n it up :)

      mysqld and apache weren't running.

      go searching for a rootkit on your box :)

      Actually, I wouldn't know how to do that.

      run'n tripwire I presume? check logs for peculiar activity...

      Nope.

      maybe shut down X and check your mem usage

      First thing I did! :-)

      init 1 =) then go to work...

      Umm.... no.

      Thanks for the ideas though.
      • I'm no expert, although I have been root'd in previous experiences under Redhat 6.4 and 7.0.

        I found them by checking time/date stamps on directories/files using the 'ls' command.(before I knew about tripwire)

        I believe the command was:

        cd /
        ls -r * | ls -ltc * | grep "July 15"

        once again...not a guru here so command may be a bit different I don't have everything memorized and would try it out until it worked using various arguments...but I believe it was that command...notice the pipes if you don't know about them...one of the most useful CLI items out there.

        I grep'd for July 15 because I presume this is when you noticed the suckage of memory...
        it was some ghetto IRC bot can wuftp server the gimps installed on my machine after root'n...

        So, I hope you DON'T find a rootkit, but if ya do, your binaries directories would most likely be infested...usually this was the first file screwed with... wherever the 'ls' command is located.. /sbin maybe? and the time-date stamp was off from all of the others...oddly enough the rootkits i've encountered weren't smart enough to 'touch' the files they modified.

        --Huck
        • The memory usage has been around for a while. I just didn't care too much.

          Just dselected chkrootkit. Nothing detected. Thanx for the idea! I really appreciate the information.

  • What else are you running? What services.

    Also, linux memory usage reporting is... Not entirely what we'd think. For example, my box is reporting that it is using in the neighborhood of 500 megs. I only have 512 installed with a 512 swap partition. But before I upgraded, running the exact same software, I still had about 10% free memory.

    • What else are you running? What services.

      Well, I just tried giving the output of:

      $ ps axhf -o args

      but: "Lameness filter encountered.
      Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted."

      Oh well.

      I'd be happy to email the information to you.

      • You probably could, but I'm not certain that I'm the best person to ask. Honestly, the best way to check is to listen for disk thrashing. If the disk isn't constantly reading/writing swap pages to memory, you should be okay. Personally, whenever I've been in doubt, I just buy more ram:)

        This is not to say that Mozilla might not be a memory hog or leaky. I know that older version of Netscape were horrid in that respect.

        If you want to email me, knock yourself out. But I might not (probably won't) have the answers you are looking for.

        • Mozilla is a memory hog. But after I killed it, the memory was still used. So, I wasn't sure it was using it all. If you know how to check that, I'd be happy.

          As for emailing yuou, I may do that later today. I have to leave in a minute, and I still want to check something first. Another set of eyes ios good, and I'd appreciate the help, even if it is fruitless.
          • Possible explanation(s):

            When you killed it, it left some straggling processes? Navigator 4.? did this unless you killed the right process.

            It still pages the memory, and it won't be freed until you open up something else, and that memory gets flushed?

            Unless you are providing a highly important service, or are married to uptime, or something like that, here is my only partially informed idea on what to do:

            restart machine. Let run for 5-10 minutes without doing anything. Check memory usage with top or free. This should give a reasonable baseline. Start mozilla. In a terminal, 'watch free'. That will keep updating the output of 'free' every 2s. (Although I guess you could use top. I just never really needed the detail of top.) go browse the web, hit some non-java sites, etc. Watch counters. Then hit some java sites hard.

            Oh, if you do type 'free', the bottom row is interesting. Linux will swap to RAM first, then disk. If you have a fair amount of disk swap available, that's good to know.

            Anyway, I'm now at work, and have a couple of machines to look at. Our router machine at 32 megs physical. Less than 1 meg is free. Current uptime is only one week. Prior to that, it ran in this state for 240 days. It only runs the necessary firewall stuff and a squid proxy.

            The other box is our does everything server. 250 out of 368 (?) megs ram used. 2 GB swap partition with about 40% used.

            I'm also running all sorts of different distributions and kernels on all of these machines.

            If I were worried about RAM, I'd definately try to establish a baseline, so that you know what 'normal' is for your machine. Also look for straggling processes.

            • When you killed it, it left some straggling processes? Navigator 4.? did this unless you killed the right process.

              I run both Communicator and mozilla. I prefer mozilla, but it won't run hushmail, so I keep Communicator around for that, my other slashdot user, and for flash sites.

              Generally, mozilla crashes. Though Communicator eats memory like IE4. Though killing it freed about 100 meg, there was still over 150 meg on the machine that I am wondering who claims it.

              It still pages the memory, and it won't be freed until you open up something else, and that memory gets flushed?

              Is there a way to force a flush?

              Unless you are providing a highly important service, or are married to uptime,

              Married to uptime, yes. :-)

              17:25:09 up 128 days, 3:12, 0 users, load average: 0.14, 0.08, 0.15

              If I do need to restart the box, I'll keep that in mind. In the meanwhile, I think I'd like to keep poking around for it.
              • I don't know if there is a userspace app that lets you flush. That just jumped way out of my league:) I thought I read something about that somewhere, but that was just to flush the r/w cache for the hard disk.

                I know how you feel about uptime...

  • Every Flash site I visit causes Mozilla (1.0) to abruptly disappear. I haven't investigated it much, 'cos I don't miss it really!

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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