2

I freshly installed Xubuntu 14.04 on an old desktop machine. Running both firefox and firefox --safe-mode ends up with a crash report before browsing GUI is loaded.

Then I tried using Midori and Chromium and got almost identical problems. Midori was able to show GUI before crashing while chromium had pretty much the same issue of crash w/o GUI.

Before Xubuntu, I tried Lubuntu 17.10 and it also had the same issue with both Firefox and Qupzilla.

And also before that, I tried Ubuntu 16.04 with Firefox and again crash on startup.

How can I resolve this?


Note: I am able to install/update packages and software with terminal and Software & Updates.


Note 2: I am able to browse web using elinks.


Note 3: I have Windows XP on another partition in that same system in which I can run Firefox 47 without a problem.


Terminal run results for Xubuntu 14.04

firefox:

user@user-System-Name:~$ firefox
ExceptionHandler::GenerateDump cloned child 6237
ExceptionHandler::SendContinueSignalToChild sent continue signal to child
ExceptionHandler::WaitForContinueSignal waiting for continue signal...
user@user-System-Name:~$ 

firefox safe mode:

user@user-System-Name:~$ firefox --safe-mode
ExceptionHandler::GenerateDump cloned child ExceptionHandler::WaitForContinueSignal waiting for continue signal...
6256
ExceptionHandler::SendContinueSignalToChild sent continue signal to child
user@user-System-Name:~$ 

midori:

user@user-System-Name:~$ midori
Illegal instruction (core dumped)
user@user-System-Name:~$ 

chromium-browser:

user@user-System-Name:~$ chromium-browser
Illegal instruction (core dumped)
user@user-System-Name:~$ 

vmstat; lscpu | grep 'Flags\|Model':

user@user-System-Name:~$ vmstat; lscpu | grep 'Flags\|Model'
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- ------cpu-----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa st
 2  0      0 429708  43664 351792    0    0  1744    22  263  679 18  7 65 10  0
Model:                 10
user@user-System-Name:~$ 

lscpu:

user@user-System-Name:~$ lscpu
Architecture:          i686
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                1
On-line CPU(s) list:   0
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    1
Socket(s):             1
Vendor ID:             AuthenticAMD
CPU family:            6
Model:                 10
Stepping:              0
CPU MHz:               1833.066
BogoMIPS:              3666.13
L1d cache:             64K
L1i cache:             64K
L2 cache:              512K

vmstat; lscpu

user@user-System-Name:~$ vmstat; lscpu
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- ------cpu-----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa st
 1  0      0 335048  44380 443048    0    0   709    27  193  339 14  3 79  4  0
Architecture:          i686
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                1
On-line CPU(s) list:   0
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    1
Socket(s):             1
Vendor ID:             AuthenticAMD
CPU family:            6
Model:                 10
Stepping:              0
CPU MHz:               1833.066
BogoMIPS:              3666.13
L1d cache:             64K
L1i cache:             64K
L2 cache:              512K

sudo lshw -c cpu:

user@user-System-Name:~$ sudo lshw -c cpu
  *-cpu
       description: CPU
       product: AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2500+
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
       physical id: 4
       bus info: cpu@0
       version: 6.10.0
       slot: SOCKET A
       size: 1833MHz
       capacity: 2250MHz
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 166MHz
       capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce
cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse syscall mmxext
3dnowext 3dnow vmmcall
user@user-System-Name:~$

cpuid | grep 'physical address extension'

user@user-System-Name:~$ cpuid | grep 'physical address extension'
      physical address extensions            = true
      physical address extensions           = true

Also ran memtest on grub resulted 3 times: *****Pass complete, no errors, press Esc to exit*****.

  • 2
    I'd suggest running them in terminal, and copying the text messages into the question. (I just ran firefox in this way on my box; i saw lots of message including warnings & minor (extension) errors that don't impact operation). I suspect yours will contain many clues as to your problem... – guiverc Dec 24 '17 at 0:09
  • 1
    vmstat; lscpu | grep 'Flags\|Model' (to show some memory & cpu info). I think the browsers are crashing because of something else in your system. – guiverc Dec 24 '17 at 0:34
  • 1
    I agree with @guiverc. I had an issue with my system where the browsers were the only things that would crash as it turned out I had bad memory in the system. – Terrance Dec 24 '17 at 0:48
  • following @Terrance's comment; I'd test your memory. If you have grub operating it may be an easy option on boot; if not your Ubuntu install media can do it (I tried and when icons appear @ bottom bottom I hit enter; selected language then had a menu with memtest; if too slow you'll get to 'try or install' question) – guiverc Dec 24 '17 at 1:07
  • 1
    Unfortunately with my memory bring bad, memtest didn't show me any errors. I had extra memory from another computer that I tested it with. – Terrance Dec 24 '17 at 2:33
2

No good news I'm sorry

The illegal instruction is because the browser engines (eg. webkitgtk) are coded to require SSE2 which doesn't exist on your cpu, hence the 'illegal instruction' (you only have SSE)

Yes I know it runs firefox under XP, but its an old version without security updates, and whilst you may be able to run older versions of browsers on your machine on Ubuntu (with work), I'd not recommend it for security reasons.

The machine is still good for many uses, but I'd avoid browsing on it due to CPU not having SSE2 unless you're happy with lynx or w3m which don't require SSE2.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot for your help. I've learnt a lot from this. – Nae Dec 25 '17 at 11:54
  • Just to be clear, it is insecure to use Firefox 47 that requires SSE in XP too right? – Nae Dec 25 '17 at 11:56
  • Yep [insecure]; not because of the SSE instruction set, but because firefox 47 doesn't have security-updates and is insecure; let alone XP CA-certificates being very out-of-date (they were last updated 2014!) I'd NOT let XP access the internet; though if you had POS enabled letting it access the web may be safer but I'd still not browse with it (POS terms aren't browsers so general certs as used with browsing aren't that important!) – guiverc Dec 25 '17 at 11:59
  • I am not familiar with the POS abbreviation, what does it stand for? – Nae Dec 25 '17 at 12:03
  • Is it as in money transaction? – Nae Dec 25 '17 at 12:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.