Re: f8: PC dies while using firefox

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On Mon, 2008-04-28 at 07:04 -0500, Renich Bon Ciric wrote:
> Hello,
> 
> I've been experiencing, lately, some total freezes. The computer just
> dies:
> - The mouse won't respond.
> - The keyboard won't respond.
> - X can't be restarted
> 
> The only option is to hard-reset. Once done, firefox looses most of it's
> configuration options and sessions. It doesn't loose field history,
> history and bookmarks.
> 
> I have the following addons:
> 
> - Google sync
> - Google toolbar
> - Google notebook
> - Facebook toolbar.
> 
> I've experienced problems even without these. Tried removing flash with
> no luck...
> 
> Anybody experiencing the same problems? Any idea of what's the problem?
> 

Okay a similar thing has happened with me twice recently. I left my
laptop running F8 ( 2.6.24.4-64.fc8 x86_64 kernel)  on with Firefox,
with multiple sites opened, Evolution and maybe some small applications
like a xterm. When I came back after 4-5 hours, I found that the system
was frozen and I could not access it either through the GUI where I was
working or through any of the consoles. None of the keys or key
combinations were working. I could ping it from the other system but
could not access it through SSH also and was forced to switch off the
power and reboot it.

In the both the instances, after rebooting the system I examined the
system monitoring graphs I generate using a program called systemgraph
and discovered that over a 3 hour period:

1. The physical memory used increased to 2414 MB out of a total of 2508
MB (as shown by free command). I have 2.5 GB of RAM installed.

2. The swap used had increased to 1999.32 MB against the available swap
space of 2047MB.

3. The CPU context switches had increased to a maximum of about 54,000
per second as compared to the average of about 4500-5000. Similarly the
pages in and out had increased to about 1700 and 2300 per second against
the average values between 20-30 per second.

4. The disk I/O also showed a 100 times increase and the load average
also increased manifold

5. However, there was no significant change in number of processes or
number of open files.

I tried to find out if there was any data regarding resource utilization
by various processes during this period but could not find any and
therefore I was unable to pinpoint the cause and was suspecting some
kernel bug. But looking at your mail, I think it could be firefox which
is causing the problem. However, no idea why. Maybe someone can explain
this.

--
Manish

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