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Mulitiple Instances Of plugin-container.exe

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cheesedude2006
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:21 am

I am using Firefox 4 on Windows XP

I think I found a rather annoying bug in Firefox 4. It is spawning multiple instances of plugin-container.exe. Just visiting four or five websites, I now have 5 instances of plugin-container.exe showing in Task Manager. Each instance is consuming 4 to 5 MB of RAM even though I have Flashblock enabled. #-o

Does anybody know what is going on here?

Thanks for your help. :)

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:38 am

Multiple instances can appear when more than one plugin is invoked. First thing I would make sure of is that all your plugins are up to date.

I'm not sure what Flashblock does exactly. It may simply stop flash from running but the object is likely still in the page source which could trigger the container process. Again just a guess. BTW - 5M or 10M is nothing.
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Cheesedude2006
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:51 am

RobertJ wrote:Multiple instances can appear when more than one plugin is invoked. First thing I would make sure of is that all your plugins are up to date.

I'm not sure what Flashblock does exactly. It may simply stop flash from running but the object is likely still in the page source which could trigger the container process. Again just a guess. BTW - 5M or 10M is nothing.


Thanks for your reply. 5 to 10 MB is a lot on this old computer with only 256 MB of RAM. (Firefox 4 runs fast on it, by the way. Much faster than version 3.) Those 5 instances of plugin-container.exe are consuming 10% of the available memory. Even after disabling Flash in the Add-Ons window the multiple instances of plugin-container.exe continued to remain in memory. Firefox never got rid of them. Over time they did reduce their memory consumption to 2 to 3 MB each.

I manually killed all the plugin-container.exe instances in Task Manager. I then re-enabled Flash in the Add-Ons window and visited a bunch of sites with video (hulu.com, crackle.com, youtube.com, cnn.com, my local news website) and only one instance of plugin-container.exe was created. I was unsuccessful in reproducing the problem. If Firefox was intended to work this way with multiple instances of plugin-container.exe being created, I would have expected more than one instance to be created during my little test.

cheesedude2006
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:53 am

By the way, all of my plugins are up to date. The first thing I did after upgrading to Firefox 4 was to check for updates. There were none.

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 8:57 am

Multiple instances are created, I believe, for different plugins. They are not created when visiting multiple pages that use the same plugin like flash.

That is my current understanding. Will likely do some Googling once the flood on this board subsides from the release of FF4.
FF 40.0.3 - FF 41.0b5 - FF43.0a - TB 38.2 - TB 41.0b1 - TB 41.0a - Mac OSX 10.10.5 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
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Just Visiting
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 9:02 am

When is plugin-container.exe supposed to exit? I noticed the multiple instances as well (as with the OP) yet none are exiting even when I close all tabs/whatever and visit a no-plugins page.

cheesedude2006
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 9:24 am

It happened again as I was browsing the web with Flash enabled. 5 instances of plugin-container.exe were created consuming between 8 to 13.8 MB of ram each. That's consuming 48.6 MB of RAM on a computer with only 256 MB available.

With Firefox 3.6, the only time plugin-container.exe was created was for Flash. Every plugin I have is disabled except for Flash and the Flashblock extension. (I wish there was a convenient way to uninstall plugins and extensions I do not use!) I have to assume Flash is spawning plugin-container.exe. Firefox spawns plugin-container.exe only when Flash is enabled. Here is a picture of my Task Manager so you can see it:

Image

I have not yet seen any more than 5 instances of plugin-container.exe created. 5 seems to be the magic number.

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 9:37 am

@cheesedude2006,

Can't help you any more since I'm on a Mac, not Win, but I do have 16G of RAM :wink:

I personally have never seen more than one container process; may be that OSX is better at killing idle processes. I'll do some Googling and see if I can find out more in the next few days.
FF 40.0.3 - FF 41.0b5 - FF43.0a - TB 38.2 - TB 41.0b1 - TB 41.0a - Mac OSX 10.10.5 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
Computers I've used: IBM 7094/UNIVAC 1108/IBM 360/DEC PDP11/DEC VAX-11 780/DEC VAXstation 8000/Sun SPARCstation 2/Mac from 1984 to 2015

cheesedude2006
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 9:51 am

RobertJ, thanks for your reply again. I have confirmed that 5 instances of plugin-container.exe were spawned with Flash disabled. I don't know what is spawning it this time. The only Add-On or extension I have enabled is Flashblock.

This time, though, the memory use of the instances of plugin-container.exe ranges from 28 kb to 52 kb. Not much, but still, I don't want a bunch of unnecessary instances of anything running.

It's a bug I think.

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 11:00 am

I've gone through bugzilla and find no reports and as far as I can tell multiple instances are possible. What version of Win are you running?
FF 40.0.3 - FF 41.0b5 - FF43.0a - TB 38.2 - TB 41.0b1 - TB 41.0a - Mac OSX 10.10.5 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
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cheesedude
 
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 1:28 pm

RobertJ wrote:I've gone through bugzilla and find no reports and as far as I can tell multiple instances are possible. What version of Win are you running?


Thanks again for your reply. I had an account on this forum but forgot my old password so I just reset it and logged in.

I am running Windows XP. Service Pack 3, whichever the latest one is. Firefox 4 was upgraded yesterday from the then latest version 3.6.x.

Firefox is spawning more instances now. With every extension and plugin disabled in the Add-Ons Manager, Firefox eventually spawned 8 separate instances of plugin-container.exe. 1.5 hours later none of the instances have been killed by Firefox. Image is below.

Image

My assumption is that all extensions and plug-ins will appear in the Add-On Manager screen. Unless there is a way for sneaky spyware type extensions to function in Firefox undetected, which I doubt. I am also operating under the assumption that when Firefox says Add-Ons are disabled, they actually are, especially after Firefox has been closed and restarted.

With all Add-Ons disabled, I do not see any reason why Firefox would spawn an instance of plugin-container.exe, let alone eight instances.

There may not be any current bug reports, but I think maybe there should be one. I'm not the only one who has noticed this behavior. Someone else made a similar complaint in this thread. Maybe I'll head on over to make a bug report unless someone beats me to the punch.

Thanks.

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 1:42 pm

There may not be any current bug reports, but I think maybe there should be one. I'm not the only one who has noticed this behavior. Someone else made a similar complaint in this thread. Maybe I'll head on over to make a bug report unless someone beats me to the punch.


Can't hurt. Wonder if it has anything do do with you running XP. FYI - I have noticed that using something like imageshack will sometimes require the use of the plugin process; not sure why.
FF 40.0.3 - FF 41.0b5 - FF43.0a - TB 38.2 - TB 41.0b1 - TB 41.0a - Mac OSX 10.10.5 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
Computers I've used: IBM 7094/UNIVAC 1108/IBM 360/DEC PDP11/DEC VAX-11 780/DEC VAXstation 8000/Sun SPARCstation 2/Mac from 1984 to 2015

cheesedude
 
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 1:44 pm

RobertJ wrote:
There may not be any current bug reports, but I think maybe there should be one. I'm not the only one who has noticed this behavior. Someone else made a similar complaint in this thread. Maybe I'll head on over to make a bug report unless someone beats me to the punch.


Can't hurt. Wonder if it has anything do do with you running XP. FYI - I have noticed that using something like imageshack will sometimes require the use of the plugin process; not sure why.


The plugin-container.exe was running before I uploaded the second image to ImageShack. I can't imagine the Javascript engine would create an instance of plugin-container.exe. It never did in Firefox 3.6.

cheesedude
 
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 1:46 pm

There is a bug for Seamonkey where it creates a bunch of plugin-container.exe processes.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=635090

RobertJ
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Post Posted March 23rd, 2011, 1:56 pm

After reading this

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=633427

it appears that even if plug-ins are disabled the process spawning is triggered by removing LSO cookies that occur in plug-ins like flash. Apparently FF opens the plug-ins to clear the cookies. Not sure why I'm not seeing this on Mac. You might go to the above link and add what you are seeing on FF4 on XP.
FF 40.0.3 - FF 41.0b5 - FF43.0a - TB 38.2 - TB 41.0b1 - TB 41.0a - Mac OSX 10.10.5 Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
Computers I've used: IBM 7094/UNIVAC 1108/IBM 360/DEC PDP11/DEC VAX-11 780/DEC VAXstation 8000/Sun SPARCstation 2/Mac from 1984 to 2015

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