Solving problems with Netscape

As we all know Netscape tends to crash or freeze very often. Crashes are characterized by Netscape window disappearing from your desktop and freezes by Netscape stopping responding to the mouse and keys and by not redrawing it's window.

If you solve this situation by killing Netscape window or just by exiting the X session Netscape will still be running in the background and consuming all the CPU time that it can. The computer will run every other process slower.

The best way to prevent these crashes is to disable java/javascript in the menu Edit/Preferences/Advanced. However this also cripples some web pages and so you may choose not to do it.

The best way to solve a crash situation is to go to a terminal window and type:
	ps uax | grep netscape
This will give you something like:
rsousa    9415  0.5 26.6 45060 33720 ?       S    02:46   4:11 /usr/lib/netscape
rsousa    9427  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        Z    02:46   0:00 [netscape-commun 
rsousa   12450  0.0  0.3  1240  500 pts/0    S    16:38   0:00 grep netscape
use the command kill to get rid of the rogue process:
	kill -9 9427
Where 9427 is the PID (process id number) and will be different every time. If the desktop stopped responding to the mouse you can either switch to another VT (virtual terminal), login and kill netscape or login remotely from another machine. To switch to a VT from a X session you use:
	Ctrl + Alt + Fn
To switch back to the graphical console (or between consoles) you use:
	Alt + F7
The number n chooses the VT you want (usually 1 to 6). Don't forget to exit your login session in the VT.

It is important that you kill your own processes since no one else can (except for root). Also it makes the computers much more pleasant to work with.

Though these instructions focus on netscape they can be applied to any other program that crashes and stays running in the background.

v0.3 10/24/2000 Rui Sousa