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Browsers

Started by Rich J, February 19, 2015, 11:00:26 AM

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Rich J

Hi All

Does anyone have a recommendation as to the best/better browser for Linux?

I've used Firefox for years but now I'm finding it a bit problematical, especially in the playing of youtube videos - buffering/stuttering and the like and audio out of sync.  I'm on Virgin cable, upgraded to 100Mbps so wouldn't expect the problem to come from there.......  More likely my ageing hardware would create a bottleneck.......   ::)

I've tried the well-documented 'tweaks' but nothing seems to improve it.  I read that Flash is now very out of date in Linux so wondered if there is a better alternative?  Or are there any other tweaks that you find work?

I had a look at Palemoon which is a sort of 'lite' Firefox but the development of that seems to lag way beyond Ffx itself.

Running Mint 17 Cinnamon at present on the main pc.

Cheers

Rich 

Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

#1
Whilst I still use Firefox (IMHO best browser out there)...

Chrome = most recent flashplayer, and will play html5 videos when youtube eventually ditch flash content.
(in fact Chrome should defualt to html5 videos on youtube, where available)

Chrome/Chromium and other browsers built on them are the only browsers that will use a different flashplayer than Firefox.

Another option might be to switch to a beta version of Firefox which also defaults to html5 youtube videos where available .. or opt for html5 content first on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/html5?gl=GB (https://www.youtube.com/html5?gl=GB)
and click the "Request the HTML5 player" button.
Now where youtube videos are available as both flash and html5, your browser should favour the html5 version
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chemicalfan

What graphics card do you have in your PC? Flash and web page rendering in general is pushing more and more onto the graphics cards nowadays, in order to "accelerate" them (in order to display even whizzier content on modern sites), but if your graphics card isn't all that, you may struggle on some sites that are using cutting-edge software tech. Just a theory...

Give Chromium a go on Mint, it's easily found on the Software Manager, can't hurt to try it

Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

#3
Chrome would be a better bet as it comes with pepperflash built in.
(that said, aura versions of Chrome/Chromium can have their own problems on certain graphics hardware :o )

If you decide to try Chromium, be sure to also install pepperflashplugin-nonfree and to make sure it's using pepperflash rather than the same adobe flashplayer as Firefox.

Just as a matter of interest, can you post the output from:
dpkg -l | grep flash
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Rich J

Hi both and thanks for the replies.

@ chemicalfan

[email protected] ~ $ sudo lshw -numeric -C display
[sudo] password for richard:
  *-display               
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: G86 [GeForce 8500 GT] [10DE:421]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation [10DE]
       physical id: 0
       bus info: [email protected]:01:00.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits  (My system is 32 bits - does this make a difference?)
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=nvidia latency=0
       resources: irq:43 memory:fa000000-faffffff memory:c0000000-dfffffff memory:f8000000-f9ffffff ioport:df00(size=128) memory:fb000000-fb01ffff
[email protected] ~ $

@ Mark

[email protected] ~ $ dpkg -l | grep flash
ii  adobe-flashplugin                          11.2.202.442-0trusty1                               i386         Adobe Flash Player plugin version 11
[email protected] ~ $

This Flash version is now well out of date  - I understand that Adobe gave up on development for Linux some while ago. 

I agree with Mark re: Firefox.  I was persuaded on to it way back in my XP days and have grown rather fond of it!  I'll run through the options you've both outlined and see how I go.

If you can think of anything that can maximise my graphics card, I'd be grateful!  This old box is still working very well with Mint on board so I see no reason to change it just yet!   ;)

Thanks again

Rich



Emegra

Hi Rich J
If you're having problems getting smooth playback with You Tube videos It might be worth trying smplayer you tube browser it seems to use a lot less resources than playing them from the youtube site, on an old laptop I was playing around with recently I was able to get smooth playback with smplayer that was unwatchable from the youtube site, you can search just the same and there's the added bonus of one click to download any video on to your hard drive, for me it's a far better youtube experience altogether.

If you do want to give it a try don't use the version in repos (it's broken) download the PPA from the website

http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/en/downloads (http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/en/downloads)

or if you want here's the PPA here


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smplayer smplayer-themes smplayer-skins




Good luck



Graeme

chemicalfan

Can you post the output of:
dpkg -l | grep nvidia

Don't worry about the 64 bits thing, it's describing the memory bus on the graphics card (the biggest & best cards are 384 bit!)

In terms of out-of-date flash - it still gets patches regularly as I see roughly weekly updates to the package. No idea what they are about as no changelog is posted  :(

Rich J

Quote from: chemicalfan on February 20, 2015, 10:00:01 AM
Can you post the output of:
dpkg -l | grep nvidia

Don't worry about the 64 bits thing, it's describing the memory bus on the graphics card (the biggest & best cards are 384 bit!)

In terms of out-of-date flash - it still gets patches regularly as I see roughly weekly updates to the package. No idea what they are about as no changelog is posted  :(

As requested -

[email protected] ~ $ dpkg -l | grep nvidia
ii  nvidia-331                                 331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4                                i386         NVIDIA binary driver - version 331.113
ii  nvidia-331-uvm                             331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4                                i386         NVIDIA Unified Memory kernel module
rc  nvidia-libopencl1-331                      331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4                                i386         NVIDIA OpenCL Driver and ICD Loader library
ii  nvidia-opencl-icd-331                      331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4                                i386         NVIDIA OpenCL ICD
ii  nvidia-prime                               0.6.2linuxmint1                                     i386         Tools to enable NVIDIA's Prime
ii  nvidia-settings                            331.20-0ubuntu8                                     i386         Tool for configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver
[email protected] ~ $



Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

I'm seriously surprised that graphics card is struggling with flash

Can you post the output from:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
preferably whilst playing a youtube video




On second look there might be some weird stuff going on with your nvidia driver setup.

nvidia-opencl-icd-331 should drag in nvidia-libopencl1-331 as a dependency, so quite why it's showing as "rc" (removed but config files still present) I don't know.
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Rich J

Quote from: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on February 21, 2015, 11:21:34 AM
I'm seriously surprised that graphics card is struggling with flash

Can you post the output from:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
preferably whilst playing a youtube video




On second look there might be some weird stuff going on with your nvidia driver setup.

nvidia-opencl-icd-331 should drag in nvidia-libopencl1-331 as a dependency, so quite why it's showing as "rc" (removed but config files still present) I don't know.

As requested -

[email protected] ~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor   : 0
vendor_id   : GenuineIntel
cpu family   : 15
model      : 6
model name   : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz
stepping   : 5
microcode   : 0x7
cpu MHz      : 2400.000
cache size   : 2048 KB
physical id   : 0
siblings   : 2
core id      : 0
cpu cores   : 1
apicid      : 0
initial apicid   : 0
fdiv_bug   : no
f00f_bug   : no
coma_bug   : no
fpu      : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level   : 6
wp      : yes
flags      : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 cid cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm
bogomips   : 6383.58
clflush size   : 64
cache_alignment   : 128
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

processor   : 1
vendor_id   : GenuineIntel
cpu family   : 15
model      : 6
model name   : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz
stepping   : 5
microcode   : 0x7
cpu MHz      : 2400.000
cache size   : 2048 KB
physical id   : 0
siblings   : 2
core id      : 0
cpu cores   : 1
apicid      : 1
initial apicid   : 1
fdiv_bug   : no
f00f_bug   : no
coma_bug   : no
fpu      : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level   : 6
wp      : yes
flags      : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 cid cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm
bogomips   : 6383.58
clflush size   : 64
cache_alignment   : 128
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

[email protected] ~ $

Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

If you start playing a youtube video, then whilst it's still playing open a terminal and run:
top
in the list, is the web browser using a VERY high amount of %CPU

and at the top is the figure for %Cpu(s) topping out around 100
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Rich J

Quote from: Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) on February 22, 2015, 03:08:05 PM
If you start playing a youtube video, then whilst it's still playing open a terminal and run:
top
in the list, is the web browser using a VERY high amount of %CPU

and at the top is the figure for %Cpu(s) topping out around 100

Firefox is the highest user but it seems to vary wildly and depends on the video.  Some clips are quite low (under 50%) and others up to 120/130%.  Would this reflect the particular image that is being rendered at that moment?  (To test, I've run a few compilation videos as these have large variations of quality of image)

Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

Here's the thing .. the adobe flashplayer for Linux sucks even more than the Windows one which is is to say it sucks a LOT.
(hence why I'll be VERY happy when it dies)

I've noticed on single core CPU's the load hit 100% when playing flash content and the video then start to falter as the PC cannot keep up with both the flashplayer and whatever else the OS is doing.

Dual core or threaded processors generally mitigate this by only giving a single core/thread to the flashplayer, so at least the rest of the system doesn't suffer too.

The thing that's making we wonder if this is the ONLY problem here is where you say it's only started happening recently .. the flashplayer shouldn't have slowed down "recently" because as you pointed out it's not really receiving updates beyond small bug fixes.

Are you sure this is a NEW problem that only started recently ?

We can try a couple of things if you like:-

a) try booting an earlier kernel .. did that help? .. if so, it's not flash that's slowing things, it's likely some kind of kernel regression .. we can make the "good" kernel the default

then if that makes no difference...

b) we can try an earlier version of flashplayer

and/or

c) try an earlier version of your web browser (or a different one altogether)

Can you try option "a" and let us know if that helped at all.
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Rich J

Hi Mark - I've run a few tests as per your suggestions. 

Loading earlier kernels didn't make any noticeable difference.  I enabled the 'html5 player' button (in the latest kernel) and this has improved things on most youtube clips and runs very well on the various tv players.  (Footy the other night was flawless). 

I had a look at Chrome (very good) but looks a bit 'bare-bones' in the appearance stakes - though I didn't devote too much time to its looks!  Also, I'm aware of the 'google snooping' issue with Chrome but I assume there must be a way of enabling privacy/no tracking?

Had a look at Midori and Qupzilla too but they are based on Firefox and run the same out-of-date version of Flash that Ffx does.

Installed smplayer as per Graeme's tip (thanks Graeme  ;)) and that looks a better option all round, for youtube at least.

Conclusions:  I reckon the problem lies in older youtube clips that have been heavily (possibly badly) edited before uploading and the newer ones (running on html5) are much better.  I'll give smplayer an extended run with youtube and see if it solves the problem and stick with Firefox for everything else for now. 

One thing though, you noticed this -

On second look there might be some weird stuff going on with your nvidia driver setup.

nvidia-opencl-icd-331 should drag in nvidia-libopencl1-331 as a dependency, so quite why it's showing as "rc" (removed but config files still present) I don't know.


Can I get those files re-installed or would it make no difference?

Thanks to all again

Rich




Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

Let's see what a simulated run of reinstalling the missing package would do.

What's the output from:
sudo apt-get install --reinstall -s nvidia-opencl-icd-331 nvidia-libopencl1-331
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