Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Firefox 3.5 is unstable while viewing large pdf files

I an running Firefox 3.5 in Intrepid with 1 GB RAM. The new firefox does not hog much RAM but I noticed it is comparatively sluggish when a lot of tabs are open. This means that it is using the hard disk as its cache.
The trouble begins when I try to open a pdf inside Firefox using the Adobe plugin. For small pdf files it is stable. But for large ones Firefox 3.5 freezes outright provided I have quite some tabs open. And once frozen it becomes difficult to kill. The Firefox window disappears but the acrobat window lingers and refuses to budge. I tried to kill it in all possible manner. It turns out that the Firefox was still lurking in the background. Therefore, its child processes could not be terminated.
So i had to kill Firefox first. But for the Firefox, normal SIGKILL did not work. Have to brute force kill with signal 9. Then the acrobat window goes away like a nice kid.

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