Firefox  not wroking well on Ubuntu Linux

Posted on 2010-08-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
I get overlapping text and out of context graphics in some pages  also very slow scrolling while windows are maximized. I'm on Ubuntu 10.0 and Firefox 3.6.8
Question by:narce100
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Pieter Jordaan
ID: 33470211

Do you see any spikes in CPU or memory usage when you scroll the page?

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 33472522
I'd suspect your video driver. What graphics card do you have in your machine?

Regards, Tobias
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

torimar earned 2000 total points
ID: 33473882
Hi narce100,

here's what I know about your case:
1. Scrolling issues most always denote problems with the graphics card drivers, TobiasHolm is very right about that;
2. You recently dist-upgraded from Ubuntu 9.10 to 10.04; a lot of modifications and improvements especially regarding graphics drivers have been added to Ubuntu in this last version step;
3. You have an ATI graphics adapter; unfortunately, there are known issues with ATI on Linux, and these issues have not been resolved so far;
4. You recently installed new ATI drivers on your system; they obviously did not do the trick.

I suggest you download a Ubuntu 10.04 live CD and boot your system from it. Check extensively whether there are scrolling or other graphics related issues.
Here come my suggestions; I'm afraid they're somewhat radical, but they should help you get things fixed once and for all.

a) The live CD ran fine and smooth; no detectable graphics issues:
Consider a re-install from scratch. This will ensure the graphics driver problems that may arise with 10.04 and can be solved using the Ubuntu documentation are not turned into an unresolvable mess by old settings and driver remnants taken over from previous Ubuntu versions.
Reinstall from scratch and use these community guides to set up your graphics drivers properly:

This will help you get your system back to its present operational state:
-- backup your complete /home folder, including hidden files
-- if you run a webserver, backup the web's root folder
-- follow these instructions to save a list of all your installed packages, so you may reinstall them with just one command:

b) You ran into graphics/scrolling issues on the live CD as well:
Consider replacing the ATI adapter by an Nvidia driven one. Unless your adapter is top-notch and you want it so, gfx cards are quite cheap. Nvidia has better support for Linux. As to the installation, it may be a lot easier to get the system going with Nvidia after removing all ATI drivers altogether than it would be to sort out a mess of old and new ATI drivers.
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Author Comment

ID: 33481095
These ae the specification for the video card I have:

ATI Technologies               FireMV™ 2200 card

Hardware • Intel® Pentium® 4/Xeon®; AMD Athlon® 64/K7/XP or
• 128 MB of system memory; 256 MB or more for best
• Motherboard with available X16 lane PCI Express™
slot and correct chipset driver or available PCI slot, as
• CD-ROM drive (required for installation software).
• Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 1 (or higher).
• Windows® XP Home or Pro with Service Pack 1 (or
Monitor • High-resolution MultiSync or multi-frequency monitors
or other VGA monitors.
• Digital flat-panel (DFP) displays or digital CRT

It works fine in windows XP but I also believe this could be the problem in Linux. I have the CD with drivers for windows but don't have any related to Linux.
My computer is a DELL 520 with 2GB ram.

Author Comment

ID: 33481143
I don't see any bug spikes or changes under system monitor when I scroll.

Author Comment

ID: 33481159
Another thing is that the problem happens specially when I have windows maximized
LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 33481818
Well, you have a large monitor (25"), hence possibly a pretty large standard screen resolution. Maximize a window under such conditions and then scroll: that is exactly where a gfx driver that is either not the correct one for the hardware its running on, or badly programmed, will start to stutter.

In your last thread, arnold linked to the original ATI drivers that should work for your hardware (https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/ati-driver-installer-8.25.18-x86.run); in your closing remark you then said that you had found another driver which enhanced performance. Obviously, none of these did the trick in the end, otherwise you would not have started another question on the same topic.

You could certainly try to sort out your drivers following the Ubuntu documentation. Check the two links I provided above:

But most of what is said here applies to clean installations, I'm afraid; there is no guarantee it will work just as well for a dist-upgraded installation with its possible mess of old and new, generic and proprietary drivers plus possible remnants of all of these somewhere in the system.

You did not yet comment on the performance of a live CD.

Author Comment

ID: 33481948
After booting with the CD the overlapping problem was gone, and so did the scrolling is just slower than when booting from the hard drive; at this point I will install from scratch and load the drivers again. I will keep you posted.

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