Browsers

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… ::slight_smile:

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 I read that Flash is now very out of date in Linux so wondered if there is a better alternative?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

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
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

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

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

Hi both and thanks for the replies.

@ chemicalfan

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ 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: pci@0000:01:00.0
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
richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

@ Mark

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ dpkg -l | grep flash
ii adobe-flashplugin 11.2.202.442-0trusty1 i386 Adobe Flash Player plugin version 11
richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

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! :wink:

Thanks again

Rich

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

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

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 :frowning:

As requested -

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ 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
richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

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 -

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ 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:

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

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)

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.

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

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

As requested -

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ sudo apt-get install --reinstall -s nvidia-opencl-icd-331 nvidia-libopencl1-331
[sudo] password for richard:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
libqupzilla1 libsimgearcore3.0.0 libsimgearscene3.0.0 libunique-1.0-0
Use ‘apt-get autoremove’ to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED
ocl-icd-libopencl1 wine wine1.6 wine1.6-i386
The following NEW packages will be installed
nvidia-libopencl1-331
0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 1 reinstalled, 4 to remove and 56 not to upgrade.
Inst nvidia-opencl-icd-331 [331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4] (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Remv wine [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4]
Remv wine1.6 [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4] [wine1.6-i386:i386 ]
Remv wine1.6-i386 [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4]
Remv ocl-icd-libopencl1 [2.1.3-4]
Inst nvidia-libopencl1-331 (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf nvidia-libopencl1-331 (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf nvidia-opencl-icd-331 (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

No idea why it would remove wine ???

I’d leave it for now, the problem seems more complex. I’d go with “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Edit: That output does suggest that you need to do updates though - fire up Update Manager and install the waiting updates

What’s the output from

sudo apt-get install -s nvidia-libopencl1-331

I do, on a regular basis - and every now and then I do an update through terminal… Mint updates have been coming thick and fast lately - sometimes UM will install a set then immediately say others are waiting, so possibly, UM isn’t functioning as it should? Would an uninstall/reinstall of UM sort this out? And which is the best way to do it - with terminal or Synaptic?

As requested -

richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $ sudo apt-get install -s nvidia-libopencl1-331
[sudo] password for richard:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
libqupzilla1 libsimgearcore3.0.0 libsimgearscene3.0.0 libunique-1.0-0
Use ‘apt-get autoremove’ to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED
ocl-icd-libopencl1 wine wine1.6 wine1.6-i386
The following NEW packages will be installed
nvidia-libopencl1-331
0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 4 to remove and 32 not to upgrade.
Remv wine [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4]
Remv wine1.6 [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4] [wine1.6-i386:i386 ]
Remv wine1.6-i386 [1:1.6.2-0ubuntu4]
Remv ocl-icd-libopencl1 [2.1.3-4] [nvidia-opencl-icd-331:i386 ]
Inst nvidia-libopencl1-331 (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf nvidia-libopencl1-331 (331.113-0ubuntu0.0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
richard@richard-Ei-306 ~ $

Do I need a reboot for this to take effect?