Investigating SIGABRT problems on Debian

3 days ago, after a Debian(squeeze/sid) upgrade on my laptop some programs started not to open. Specifically, pidgin and google-chrome were crashing while trying to open them. When I started them from a terminal the output was this:

[1]    3853 abort      pidgin
[1]    3882 abort      google-chrome

The first thing I checked was the updated packages, whether there was some culprit.
The upgraded packages included among others:

[UPGRADE] libk5crypto3 1.8.3+dfsg-1 -> 1.8.3+dfsg-2
[UPGRADE] libkrb5-3 1.8.3+dfsg-1 -> 1.8.3+dfsg-2
[UPGRADE] libkrb5support0 1.8.3+dfsg-1 -> 1.8.3+dfsg-2
[UPGRADE] libnspr4-0d 4.8.4-2 -> 4.8.6-1
[UPGRADE] libnss3-1d 3.12.6-3 -> 3.12.8-1
[UPGRADE] linux-base 2.6.32-23 -> 2.6.32-25
[UPGRADE] linux-headers-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem 2.6.32-23 -> 2.6.32-25
[UPGRADE] linux-headers-2.6.32-5-common 2.6.32-23 -> 2.6.32-25
[UPGRADE] linux-image-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem 2.6.32-23 -> 2.6.32-25
[UPGRADE] linux-libc-dev 2.6.32-23 -> 2.6.32-25
[UPGRADE] xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.9.1-4 -> 2:2.12.0+shadow-2

My first point of checking was the xserver-xorg-video package. I started searching the Debian bug tracking system for references of crashes with abort. Nothing. Then I tried to check the other “suspicious” packages with abort crash reports on the bug tracker…still nothing.
It was time for strace.

kargig@laptop:~%strace pidgin
open("/usr/lib/nss/", O_RDONLY) = 14
read(14, "\177ELF\1\1\1\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\3\0\3\0\1\0\0\0\0\30\0\0004\0\0\0"..., 512) = 512
fstat64(14, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=253328, ...}) = 0
mmap2(NULL, 268988, PROT_READ|PROT_EXEC, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_DENYWRITE, 14, 0) = 0xb58e3000
mmap2(0xb5920000, 4096, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_FIXED|MAP_DENYWRITE, 14, 0x3d) = 0xb5920000
mmap2(0xb5921000, 15036, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_FIXED|MAP_ANONYMOUS, -1, 0) = 0xb5921000
close(14)                               = 0
open("/etc/", O_RDONLY)      = 14
fstat64(14, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=79200, ...}) = 0
mmap2(NULL, 79200, PROT_READ, MAP_PRIVATE, 14, 0) = 0xb5ab7000
close(14)                               = 0
access("/etc/", F_OK)      = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/lib/swiftfox/", O_RDONLY) = 14
read(14, "\177ELF\1\1\1\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\3\0\3\0\1\0\0\0P\227\0\0004\0\0\0"..., 512) = 512
fstat64(14, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0755, st_size=251136, ...}) = 0
close(14)                               = 0
munmap(0xb5ab7000, 79200)               = 0
rt_sigprocmask(SIG_UNBLOCK, [ABRT], NULL, 8) = 0
tgkill(4027, 4027, SIGABRT)             = 0
--- SIGABRT (Aborted) @ 0 (0) ---
+++ killed by SIGABRT +++
[1]    4026 abort      strace pidgin

What immediately caught my eye was this line inside the output:
open("/usr/lib/swiftfox/", O_RDONLY) = 14
I have a 3rd party package called swiftfox installed, but why was pidgin trying to use this package’s library instead of the system one ?

# ldconfig -p | grep nspr4
ldconfig -p | grep nspr4 (libc6) => /usr/lib/ (libc6) => /usr/lib/swiftfox/ (libc6) => /usr/lib/

So the system package libnspr4-0d has installed its files in /usr/lib/ and has also placed a symlink from /usr/lib/ to /usr/lib/ For some reason though the /usr/lib/swiftfox/ appears before /usr/lib/ in the cache output for the library.
Checking out /etc/ directory, there was a moz.conf file containing the path “/usr/lib/swiftfox/“.
An “ldconfig -v” confirmed the finding:

/usr/lib/swiftfox: -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->
/lib: -> ->

Moving /usr/lib/swiftfox/ to some other location allowed applications like pidgin and google-chrome to start normally (and swiftfox still runs properly).

I guess that was my punishment for using 3rd party packages on Debian…

*UPDATE 23/11/2010*
Google chrome was crashing with some https:// sites with SIGABRT. After further investigation I had to delete /usr/lib/swiftfox/ as well.

Fixing image distortion on websites using Firefox/Iceweasel 3.5 on Debian testing with intel xorg driver

Lately I noticed some image distortion appearing on some websites using my laptop with Debian squeeze. Menus on swiftfox did not appear as they should, some logos appeared out of their place and there were artifacts and other annoying things. For example Planet Gnome looked like this:
When using iceweasel 3.0.12 everything looked fine. Then I followed a guide to install Iceweasel 3.5 from experimental to my system. Images looked distorted again. So there must have been a problem with the latest xulrunner….

After some googling I bumped into Debian bug #491871 – [965GM EXA] display corruption with xulrunner 1.9. Following post #67 on that thread I was able to repair my xorg.conf to something that fixed the image distortion. Now Planet Gnome looks like this:

Some info:

# apt-cache policy iceweasel xserver-xorg-video-intel xulrunner-1.9.1
Installed: 3.5.1-1
Candidate: 3.5.1-1
Version table:
*** 3.5.1-1 0
1 experimental/main Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
3.0.12-1 0
500 squeeze/main Packages
99 sid/main Packages
Installed: 2:2.3.2-2+lenny6
Candidate: 2:2.3.2-2+lenny6
Version table:
2:2.8.0-2 0
99 sid/main Packages
*** 2:2.3.2-2+lenny6 0
500 squeeze/main Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
Version table:
*** 0
1 experimental/main Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Firefox 3.0.11 to 3.5b99 migration glitch on certificate authority root files

I’ve recently migrated on my debian from iceweasel (firefox) 3.0.X to swiftfox (firefox) 3.5b99 and I noticed that I could not import any new certificate authority root files. When I used a new profile everything worked as expected, so it was something that had to do with the migration of my old version 3.0.X profile to the new, version 3.5. It looks like there has been a modification in the way firefox 3.0.X and firefox 3.5 handles cert8.db file inside the profile directory. As soon as I deleted the file and restarted firefox I could import new certificate authority root files just fine. Of course I lost the old ones I had imported in the past…

Switching from Iceweasel to Swiftfox on debian

I’ve bumped into an Iceweasel + adblock plus bug: iceweasel: AdBlock Plus (1.0.2) custom element hiding filters does not work
It looks like Iceweasel from the stable branch of debian (version 3.0.6-1) has a problem hiding elements from websites. That makes some parts of adblock plus useless and ads start appearing on various websites.
What’s weird is that the problem only appears on Iceweasel and not on official Firefox (as the bug report says).

My options were to either a) switch to a testing/unstable version of Iceweasel from debian, b) get a binary package from firefox website or c) get another custom version. I chose method c) and I got swiftfox. Since Swiftfox provides a nice debian repo it was really easy to install and test. The whole experiment got even more interesting since swiftfox provides builds for firefox version 3.5…

After a update-alternatives --config x-www-browser I was ready to test it.
Swiftfox 3.5b4 works great with adblock plus and it even feels a bit faster. I can’t really tell for sure though. The only addon I had to reinstall was firegpg.

My impressions are great so far and I think I will keep it, at least until the bug mentioned gets resolved somehow on the stable branch.