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Firefox Lorentz Keeps Plugin Crashes Under Control

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the pleasant-fantasy dept.

Firefox 115

pastababa writes "A beta of the Firefox Lorentz project is now available for download and public testing. Eming reports Firefox 'Lorentz' provides uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when there is a crash in plugins. Plugins run in a separate process from the browser. If a plugin crashes it will not crash the browser, and unresponsive plugins are automatically restarted. The process-isolation feature has been in Google's Chrome from the beginning. Chrome sandboxes individual tabs, and the crash of one tab does not affect the running of the rest of Chrome browser. Firefox currently isolates only Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime, and Microsoft Silverlight, but will eventually isolate all plugins running on a page. Mozilla encourages users to test Firefox 'Lorentz' on their favorite websites. Users who install Firefox 'Lorentz' will eventually be automatically updated to a future version of Firefox 3.6 in which this feature is included."

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How is this new? (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797750)

Versions of Gnash have frequently segfaulted on my Linux box (the segfault is reported by dmesg), yet I've never had a browser crash because of it. I had thought that plugins were already isolated enough from the application as a whole.

Only as a side effect of being 32-bit (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797864)

No, this has not been the normal plugin architecture. When Linux moved to 64-bit, firefox was ported to 64-bit but all of the proprietary plugins were still 32-bit. The solution to this problem was to create nspluginwrapper which would run the apps in a separate process. It had some bugs of it's own, wasn't always reliable about letting you restart crashed plugins, and has itself crashed the browser on me, but it largely prevented plugins from crashing the browser as a side effect.

Older 32-bit versions of firefox on linux, and all versions on windows did not have this capability.

Re:Only as a side effect of being 32-bit (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797938)

Gnash has 64 bit version that doesn't use nspluginwrapper, and Flash has a 64 bit alpha (that works rather well).

Error 503 Service Unavailable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798208)

Goddamnit!! Fix it, you useless shits!!!

Oblig. Futurama (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799080)

Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!Fixit!

Fixit!Fixit!
---
System response: Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

"I'm sorry, whaaa?"

"Good news, everyone! I violated the 'postercomment' compression filter! Wheeee!"

Another oblig. Futurama (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799096)

Jam a bastard in it, you crap!

Re:Only as a side effect of being 32-bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798972)

But the point is that nspluginwrapper is what prevents plugins from crashing firefox. If you run the 64 bit version of flash, it will be able to crash firefox like it always did, unless you use this new thing from TFA.

Re:Only as a side effect of being 32-bit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799110)

Firefox plugins have been able to "voluntarily" use a subprocess for most activities for a long time - going back to netscape! They just need to, well, fork and exec a subprocess to do whatever they're doing. X11 even allows different processes to directly control subwindows as a design feature, though the subprocess could also talk back to the in-process segment of the plugin.

However, initially for performance reasons and later when that became a realtive nonissue apparently just due to laziness (and probably partly due to highest-common-denominator effects - windows not having decent fork/exec and X11 not being its native gui layer...), flash and java in particular didn't. (Java relatively recently started doing so, though java was never the real problem in the first place - flash was).

The difference here is that even if the plugin doesn't make its own subprocess, firefox lorentz is running the stuff in a separate process anyway. Which is a good thing given Adobe seems to be terminally incapable of writing a stable plugin for anything other than windows (and I have a notion that it only looks stable relative to windows stuff, linux and mac users have a much lower tolerance for random crashing).

Re:How is this new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797906)

Does this also keep Slashdot's 503 errors when trying to login under control?

Re:How is this new? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798122)

I am already logged in, but I get 503 errors whenever I try to view a user page.

Re:How is this new? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799102)

Same here. It's been happening since last night - around 14 hours ago, and it's quite irritating because it means that I can't see any of the replies to my posts. Without the ability to see - and reply to - replies, Slashdot becomes a one-shot discussion forum like OSNews or Digg. Please fix this soon!

Re:How is this new? (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799396)

Good. Maybe it will stop the moderators tendency to click on a UserID, and mod down every single one of a user's posts, simply because they don't like that user. (As some mods were doing Thursday and Friday.)

I was unable to post all day Friday because of a concerted attack. I posted about 5 messages, and then kept getting a "users of your karma cannot post..." message due to the damage caused against my ID by having all my previous messages marked "troll" or "flamebait" by a vicious A-hole Mod(s). I looked at the messages and while 1 or 2 might have deserved the -1 hit, most were simply me sharing information I found online with the users.

This same mod or mods was attacking other users as well, such as Mark-t.

Re:How is this new? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799742)

That's never happened to me on Slashdot - but it has happened elsewhere. I like to discuss or argue politics. Voicing a non-liberal opinion gets you banned on many liberal news sites.

Funny - the manics over at Fox just call me nasty things, tell me I'm a moron, then go their way. I've never been banned on a conservative, or even a neocon news site. Damn, I hate fascists.

Anyway - don't feel lonely. Stupid shit happens to other people too.

Re:How is this new? (2, Interesting)

mu22le (766735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799060)

I agree, my browser is already stable enough (all things considered). I wish there was a way to prevent flash from trashing 100% of my cpu for a stupid game.

Re:How is this new? (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799340)

There already is, run FreeBSD. After all something can't crash that isn't available.

Re:How is this new? (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799400)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I installed PCBSD not long ago. That motherfucker can't keep Firefox or anything else that uses Gtk running for more than 10 minutes at a time, right out of the box. It's swell.

This is all fine and dandy, (5, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797754)

but can it be extended so that plugins are not only run in their separate processes, but separate SELinux sandboxes as well?

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797896)

I'd prefer they run on a separate machine. Someone else's machine in fact.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798152)

On a Beowulf cluster, you can!

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798522)

As funny as it may be, it's actually possible with X and XEmbed. Even though X haters have been screaming for years that network transparency needs to go.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (3, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798770)

[quote]Even though X haters have been screaming for years that network transparency needs to go.[/quote]

Largely because they do not realise how useful it can be...

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799116)

Technically, you don't even need XEmbed, it's all in the core protocol. When you use Flash on FreeBSD, you do something similar. You run the Flash plugin in nspluginwrapper. This, in turn, runs in the Linux ABI compatibility layer, but communicates with the same X display as your native browser. The communication, I think, happens via pipes, but it could easily happen via sockets or even through the X server via event notifications.

There are lots of things wrong with X, and I'd love it if someone would design something better, but so far all of the X replacements have lacked a lot of the useful features of X11. Replacing X with something worse is not my idea of progress.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797916)

not sure, but I can definitely extend my nuts into your MOUTH!

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797924)

Firefox should just make it easier for you to start up different firefox instances, have them easily distinguishable and have them in different sandboxes.

That way you can use one browser instance for your banking (and whatever weird plugins, user agent etc your bank requires), another browser instance for facebook, one for "usual sites", and one for "default" (which is what opens when you accidentally click on email links).

Then you adjust your sandbox/risk exposure for a category of sites, not just plugins.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798048)

Firefox has the ability to set up different profiles [mozilla.com] . The different profiles can be started from a shortcut icon (each different if you want) with a command line switch.

What you are asking for is exactly what I use different profiles for. One profile for my girlfriend who doesn't like noscript and flashblock (I know, right?), and one for myself with many more plugins and user agents.

Granted, they can't run concurrently but it's a fair approximation of what you're looking for.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (2, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798950)

Well, why not just create two user accounts for your girlfriend and yourself respectively? That makes almost everything easier. Heck, you can even run them concurrently.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799846)

Because that's a lot of overhead for her occasional browsing, when she just wants to hop on my computer to do something on the internet.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798078)

Problem with that is Advertising and other things that you get you directed to nasty sites, when in a 'more trusted site' security context.

Your bank probably includes links or items imported inline from other websites. One of those sites might be less trusted or more prone to attack.

It also does nothing for your compromised Bank A site using XSRF/CSRF techniques against your browser to compromise your details with Bank B in your 'bank security' context.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1, Funny)

malevo (952162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797994)

With all the rage about cloud computing they should make the plugins run on the web.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798358)

We are working on that.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Plugins:PlatformIndependentNPAPI

It will require the plugins to be re-written to not use any system APIs but here is work on that as well.

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798898)

if they are in a separate process, they can be using a different selinux domain.
in fact, I'm already doing this with RSBAC (similar to SeLinux) with the preversions of this "lorentz" since a while.
Have been doing it using nspluginwrapper before.

Basically all plugins using the process separation have the separate role/domain (albeit same one) (so, plugins have 1 role/domain, browser another)

Re:This is all fine and dandy, (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798934)

Thanks for the search keyword provided in your post. Haven't paid attention to RSBAC which seems worth knowing.

This is all fine and dandy, (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799244)

but based on the subject, this message could be about anything.

so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797766)

lorentz is just one more thing that can crash. Am i right?

There's a plugin that can prevent plugin crashes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798444)

Something that can make Mozilla more stable...

It sounds like...

Quite a transformation!

Yeeaahhh!

Ugh, another Chrome story (-1, Offtopic)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797798)

Maybe you disagree with me on this, but from my perspective:

1. Firefox plugins rarely (in my case, never) crash.
2. Chrome is a beta browser, so I'm not going to use it for day-to-day tasks.

I'm tired of stories comparing Chrome and Firefox. Once Chrome reaches v1.0 and is considered by Google to be production-ready, then I'll care. Until then, it's an interesting tech-demo and nothing more.

No One Gives A Fuck About You (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797846)

Hey dipshit. The rest of the computing world doesn't what some random idiot on Slashdot like you has to say about what version number a browser is labeled with.

Chrome absolute destroys the STINKING PILE OF FAIL that is Firefox in speed, resource usage, stability, and every other possible metric with the single exception of Ad blocking versus hiding. And even that is soon to change.

So go right ahead retard and keep using your 'production-ready' piece of shit browser. No one gives a crap.

Re:No One Gives A Fuck About You (0, Offtopic)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797876)

Um, try posting again without using the "anonymous coward" checkbox and I might give a fuck what you have to say.

Re:No One Gives A Fuck About You (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797904)

Chrome sucks at privacy

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797862)

Eh?

Chrome sailed past 1.0 (on Windows) years ago. Look for the word "beta" in the About dialog (or anywhere else); you won't find it.

Even on Linux and MacOS, it's going to be released as a stable in a couple of weeks, and even that distinction is mostly a formality. And they haven't used the word "beta" in over six months, either (and are also in-step with the version numbering used for Windows builds).

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (1, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797884)

Point taken. They have sailed past 1.0 and, as far as I know, are up to v5.0. But look at:

http://www.google.com/chrome [google.com] and you'll see in capital letters (upper-right) that its definitely still in beta.

My point is, until Google itself thinks Chrome is ready-to-go, why should I?

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797934)

I have a dream that one day even on Slashdot, a site sweltering with the heat of trolls, sweltering with the heat of flame wars, will be transformed into an oasis of rationality and logic.

have a dream that software will one day exist in a world where it will not be judged by the version number or release status, but by the functionality it presents to the user.

I have a dream today!

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797946)

That's for linux version and mac which development started much later. On the windows download, beta doesn't appear unless except for the beta builds (dev versions). I'm pretty sure google redirects you on initial page load to the platform your browser says it is on. So yeah, for google, chrome is does have what they consider a stable release at least in the windows platform.

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798410)

So what? Maybe Lord Byron is using Linux? Why should he care that there are non-beta version for other OSs?

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797950)

They have sailed past 1.0 and, as far as I know, are up to v5.0.

It's clear they're trying to pseudo-legitimately get the highest version-numbered browser in existence, so they can have people going "Look ma, Microsoft has the Internet 9!" "Pshaw pa, Google's got the Internet 15!".

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798016)

You are a fucking idiot.

Chrome v5.0 is the beta, Chrome v4.1 is a full, stable release.

What you are saying is the same as if I were to say no version of Firefox can be compared to another browser because Firefox v3.7 is an alpha version.

Re:Ugh, another Chrome story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798342)

Chrome is currently past version v5.0.. and is stable

Will this completely prevent all crashes? (3, Informative)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797806)

Hmm, Google Chrome already handles plugins this way, but one flash-heavy site I know delivers a lot of streaming video and absolutely will crash either Firefox or Chrome in linux (I use Mint, mainly) without fail, if given enough time, Gnome or KDE. Crash as in the entire browser becomes unresponsive and must force-close. After it did this to Firefox a few times I tried Chrome, with the same result. Everything will be fine for a few minutes, sometimes up to an hour or so, then the whole browser will die. Haven't tried IE, tried Firefox with Windows 7 and had the same thing happen. I will certainly look into anything that prevents crashes for Firefox, since I strongly prefer it to every other browser I've tried, since most of the time it works perfectly.

Re:Will this completely prevent all crashes? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797952)

If you see the same problems in a development Firefox build, please file a bug report against Core::Plugins at bugzilla.mozilla.org. We'd love to figure out what's wrong and fix it.

Re:Will this completely prevent all crashes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798902)

The same applies to chrome beta's
chrome: http://dev.chromium.org/for-testers/bug-reporting-guidelines
firefox: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Bug_writing_guidelines
As much as i hate flash i would rather it sucked less: https://bugs.adobe.com/flashplayer/
I even tried getting you a link for IE but i had to sign up to view bug reporting guidelines: https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=11&ct=1270895789&rver=6.0.5286.0&wp=MBI_SSL&wreply=https:%2F%2Fconnect.microsoft.com%2Fcontent%2Fcontent.aspx%3FSiteID%3D136%26ContentID%3D1377&lc=1033&id=64416

If you don't file a bug report when you run into bugs on alpha/beta software you should be banned from using it!
If you don't file a bug report when using stable software and then complain on a geek site, you should be banned from using it!

Re:Will this completely prevent all crashes? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799428)

>>>one flash-heavy site I know delivers a lot of streaming video and absolutely will crash either Firefox or Chrome in linux

Which site is it? I'd like to try it myself to see if it does the same for me.

.

>>>(I use Mint, mainly)

Just curious - Why would I choose to use Mint Linux instead of, say, Fedora Linux?

Nice... but why (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797816)

Why didn't we have this stuff in the late nineties?

Re:Nice... but why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797844)

you are such a D-BAG! So much so that I'd like to teabag you!

Re:Nice... but why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798006)

Are you kidding? Were you around in the late nineties to know how simple and (by today's standards) slow computers and OS's were?

Re:Nice... but why (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799124)

We've had it on FreeBSD for a while, and on x86-64 Linux too. It's been possible on most *NIX systems, but the motivation for doing it has been the lack of native plugins, not stability. Both FreeBSD and x86-64 Linux run 32-bit Linux plugins via nspluginwrapper, in a separate process. If you go to a site that crashes Flash, it just crashes another process. There's a little bit more overhead - an extra process instance, IPC between the plugin and browser instead of just function calls - so browsers on other platforms, with their focus on speed-at-all-costs have not bothered with it, until Google did and now everyone wants to.

About time (1)

shovas (1605685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797824)

We've known about plugin crashiness for a long time. We're just now going multi-process for this?

Re:About time (2, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797842)

We've known about plugin crashiness for a long time. We're just now going multi-process for this?

Translating that to FOSS speak: We've known about plugin crashiness for a long time. This problem would never be fixed if it was up to me to fix it.

Re:About time (3, Informative)

zero-point-infinity (918349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797970)

Konqueror has run flash (and more generally nsplugins) in a separate process since before Chrome was even a rumour. I used to run Konqueror as my primary browser and when I stopped using it I was surprised to discover that other browsers didn't run flash as a separate process.

Using it now (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797832)

Let's see how it goes. The auto-restart of plugins should be good, but could also cause a plugin DOS.

Re:Using it now (5, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797854)

I didn't think it autorestarted plugins. They even provided a reason (probably the same reason Google did it)... current webpages will not expect plugins to restart. And because it's possible for Flash to make JS calls etc this could lead to side effects and page breaking, I think they thought it was just best to reload the page so JS restarts too. Of course I read this on a blog a few weeks back, they could have changed their minds?

It's simple (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797878)

try
{
        callpluginfunction();
}
catch (...)
{
        whoops();
}

Error 503 Service Unavailable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797922)

C'mon people! Let's get our shit together here

ASLR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797942)

Does this mean an attacker gets to try repeatedly to break ASLR, instead of just once?

Assuming, of course, that garbage like flash actually did ASLR.

No restart on plugin installtion/update? (5, Interesting)

deek (22697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797990)

Does this mean that, when "Lorentz" covers all plugins, we can install and update plugins without having to restart Firefox?

That would be a worthwhile feature. It's annoying having to restart the browser for any plugin changes.

Re:No restart on plugin installtion/update? (2, Informative)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798260)

Mmmm are you sure not talking about the annoying Extension (extensions as in adblock, betterprivacy) updates? Because I have almost never be annoyed by any plugin installation/update (Except when I installed adobe flash on windows, when it wanted me to restart all browsers to start installation).

Re:No restart on plugin installtion/update? (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799446)

I have.

For example when NoScript suddenly announces "update available" when I first start my browser. The problem is not the update itself, but the damage it causes to Firefox - it makes the browser lose all the tabs I saved when I last shutdown. Annoying.

Re:No restart on plugin installtion/update? (0)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798632)

Hey, at least it's not Internet Explorer where changing a plugin can result in restarting the OS!

***bad-dump-ting***

Thank you, and tip your waitress!

Re:No restart on plugin installtion/update? (3, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798782)

Ah yeah, that is one of the most irritating things I hate on firefox. Why would I have to restart the web browser after installing an extension like scrapbook? this is from the people who whined that you have to restart Windows for any reason...

What I would really like is an "extension profiler", that is, a program that let you check exact statistics of resources used by the different Firefox extensions. This way you could see which is the extension that is taking more memory or time and it may be a good tool to debug extensions when developing them.

Re:No restart on plugin installtion/update? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799010)

Plugins are not extensions.

minefield (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798004)

use minefield http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/

Yay! (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798030)

I crash Firefox several times a day right now. I leave it running all day and when I come back to the machine it's toast 9 times out of 10. I think it's a combination of Flash! and Java but other things seem to take it out too. I finally got pissed and found out more about how to look at the Firefox bug reports and am slowly trying to add more info to the ones that plague me! this one https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=537630 [mozilla.org] is a bitch for instance. If you want to see yours put this in the address bar -> about:crashes and it will show you what it has and hasn't submitted successfully. I've loaded this new code up and will take it for a spin on sites that normally trash me - so far so good though and it is handling session saver etc. just fine! Painless "upgrade"...

Re:Yay! (2, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798540)

I think it's a combination of Flash! and Java but other things seem to take it out too.

Did Yahoo! buy out Flash while I wasn't looking?

Re:Yay! (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799872)

So much for that - got up this morning and Firefox was toast again. No troubleshooting info available for them to dissect either which has been happening more and more often. I can say I was able to watch more video on Break and YouTube than I'd been able to watch in the past without issue so for that I'm happy. We'll see... Sadly IE is rock stable for me but I think if I pushed it nearly as hard as I do FF it too would fail - it has in the past.

x86_64? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798146)

and as usual no x86_64 build to be found.

Plugins, not extensions! (3, Informative)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798154)

Firefox currently isolate [sic] only Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight, but will eventually isolate all plugins running on a page.

The quote emphasizes that Lorentz affects only plugins, not extensions, a distinction that seems to be escaping many posters.

I've had flash behave pretty screwily short of crashing, so this might be nicer if it included a mechanism to manually stop & restart plugins. Perhaps it will expose API allowing other add-ons to do so.

The plugin that gives me by far the most trouble (on Windows) is Adobe Acrobat Reader. I can already restart that (by killing the process) without crashing firefox.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (2, Informative)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798166)

My earlier reading of the comments was unfair, the vast majority of posters seem quite clear on what a plugin is. Yay, slashdot!

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798746)

;p:The plugin that gives me by far the most trouble (on Windows) is Adobe Acrobat Reader. I can already restart that (by killing the process) without crashing firefox.

Why are you using the acrobat reader plugin?

I simply disabled that plugin in Firefox. Now, when I try to open a PDF with firefox, it will simply pass the file on to the separate Acrobat reader application (when you choose to open it). It works perfectly.

I really do not understand why so many people use that plugin. It only adds instability and insecurity to you browser.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (2, Funny)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798878)

The plugin that gives me by far the most trouble (on Windows) is Adobe Acrobat Reader. I can already restart that (by killing the process) without crashing firefox.

There are much better products even on Windows which provide the same functionality as Acrobat Reader. E.g. the built-in Remote Desktop is quite ok these days, and TeamViewer is very nice.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798918)

From your 4 digit, it seems you're suffering from Alzheimer.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (2, Funny)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799078)

Anything is better than running Acrobat Reader, even if it doesn't accomplish the same purpose.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799834)

MATLAB on a ram-constrained windows machine without root, at least for older versions. acroread you ran as you, so you could kill the process, but matlab ran a big chunk as admin which didn't go away. Finding that my memory had been swallowed by matlab made me like acroread, at least for a little while.

Re:Plugins, not extensions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799272)

I've been running 3.7alphadeltabravo for a couple months now and I long ago disabled this 'feature' as it was a memory hog.

Windows and Linux - not Mac (2, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798372)

There appears to be a download for Mac available right at the same link - but from the FAQ:

2. Why aren't multi-process plugins available on Mac?

Mozilla is working on making multi-process plugins available on Mac. Because of architectural differences, the code is not ready for beta testing.

Why processes and not threads? (2, Interesting)

waztub (1166611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798412)

Can anyone please explain to me why there's a need for completely new processes, as opposed to using threads?
I'm curious as to what's the difference, and where the thread mechanism "fails" here.

Re:Why processes and not threads? (5, Informative)

Cobra_666 (777517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798476)

Separate address spaces. When a thread crashes, the whole process goes down. If separate process dies, the browser should still be intact.

Re:Why processes and not threads? (3, Informative)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798982)

yeah that's also why chrome uses so much memory, and also, processes are be nature slightly slower to communicate since you can't just lock and access the memory. In practice however its peanuts, and on Linux its pretty much just as good.

anyways, using subprocesses for plugins makes complete sense. using them for tabs etc are just a way to work around the browser's instability. Rather have quick threads and non buggy code, than people just thinking a plugin went wrong while really, the browser is at fault. (Sure, you only lose the tab in that case, but still).

What about resource usage (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798602)

Crashes are a hassle for sure, but if you're lucky and don't have an unstable plugin installed, you rarely crash. What I tend to see is runaway memory and CPU usage that forces me to close the browser and start again.

Re:What about resource usage (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799030)

Has nobody attached a profiler and just let it go until this happens? Is it really that hard to find the cause?

Re:What about resource usage (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799368)

Find? No, it's not really the finding that's the problem it's that Flash is frequently the problem and Adobe doesn't seem to care enough to fix it. It's amazing how seldom Firefox crashes without some sort of plug in assist. Perhaps Adobe should just skip a step and just release a "crash the browser, annoy the user" plug in rather than wast time pretending that people want Flash.

Chrome's stability is oversold (2, Informative)

thaig (415462) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798630)

I'm using it now and I like it, but Chrome is not stable for me.

It's problem is that it gets "stuck" in flash in such a way that nothing on my system can use the sound card.

I can kill off all the tabs but there's still a chrome process running and until I kill that manually I can't play any music.

I find this an incredible nuisance. Firefox has the same problem but when I kill it it's gone - no processes left behind.

Re:Chrome's stability is oversold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799904)

I've been using the 10.1 flash beta (on Linux) for a while and for me it's even worse. Chrome completely locks up sometimes. When I kill the window Chrome continues to run in the background until I signal 15 the biatch with top. The problem is that Flash beta becomes a runaway process for some reason and chows down an entire cpu core. In Firefox when I kill the window it shows up in top as flashplugin, and I can kill that process by itself. For some reason in Chrome it shows up as a Chrome process and I have to kill the Chrome process entirely. It's sent me back to Firefox because I'm to lazy to revert my flashplayer (I'm still trying to figure out if it plays HD better or not).

Chrome sandboxing (2, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798774)

> Chrome sandboxes individual tabs, crashes of one tab does not affect the running of the rest of Chrome browser.

Will Chrome also restart sentences in the event of comma splices?

Re:Chrome sandboxing (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799082)

You pick up on a slightly misdirected interpunctuation (semicolon or even a colon would have been fine) but ignore the glaring grammar errors?

Re:Chrome sandboxing (1)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799114)

> You pick up on a slightly misdirected interpunctuation (semicolon or even a colon would have been fine) but ignore the glaring grammar errors?

Not so much "ignore" as "refrain from correcting in disgust". I'm only dedicated to drive-by snark to a point.

Automatic update? (1)

OutOfMyTree (810249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799032)

Well, I would gladly test this. But "automatically updated to a future version of Firefox 3.6"? I normally wait about a week for my critical extensions to catch up to a new release. Potentially a week without Tab Mix Plus? No thanks.

Will this completely prevent all crashes? Not now. (2, Informative)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799070)

Been running nightly 64-bit Firefox, automatically updated. I guess I got Lorentz a couple of nights ago, not sure when because I was traveling.

Now no Flash instances run, they take 30 seconds or more to "initialize" before they crash, and the entire Lorentz-enabled Firefox browser crashed on me once. It just suddenly and unexpectedly disappeared. It's been a year or more since Firefox crashed on me.

So at this point there are lots of bugs to shake out. Going back to vanilla 3.6.3 for the time being.

javascript freezes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799126)

While plugin process isolation is absolutely essential, per-tab/window process isolation is also highly desirable - it's incredibly annoying when misbehaving _javascript_ on one tab causes all other tabs to freeze (not crash). That's not a plugin issue, of course, but it shows that _both_ chrome's process-per-tab and firefox process-per-plugin-instance approaches are desirable

Oooolld!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799216)

has been in Google's Chrome from the beginning.

...and has been in UN*X versions of Opera probably since the dawn of time.

But what does Google Chrome does? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799640)

The process-isolation feature has been in Google's Chrome from the beginning. Chrome sandboxes individual tabs, and the crash of one tab does not affect the running of the rest of Chrome browser.

Geez thanks, I wouldn't know it without that, Now I can comfortably ready about something unrelated.

IE8 already has this feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31800136)

IE8 already has this feature!

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