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[solved] firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-15 18:26
by ticojohn
I am running Debian 10.6, XFCE desktop and the lightdm display manager. After a recent system upgrade I noticed that the mouse pointer "spins" for up to a minute after launching Firefox. I tried all the usual things like disabling plugins and extensions, etc etc, but nothing helped, although starting in sfafe mode did not exhibit the spinning mouse pointer. What I did find was that editing /usr/share/applications/firefox-esr.desktop and changing StartupNotify=true to StartupNotify=false eliminated the distraction.

I changed it about a week ago and have not seen any abnormal behavior. Does anybody know of any issues with changing that variable?

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-15 18:55
by Head_on_a_Stick
ticojohn wrote:Does anybody know of any issues with changing that variable?
Your change will be over-written when the firefox-esr package is updated. Copy the .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications/ and edit that instead.

EDIT: and if "safe" mode fixes the problem then the cause is one of your extensions or a setting change you have made in FF.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-15 19:12
by stevepusser
Does it take that long for FF to become fully active, as in loading the home page? Then the spinner may just be reflecting reality.

I've noticed that FF can take longer to load the more I use it over the months. The usual fix is to try and clean out the cruft in the ~/.mozilla folder, but back it up first.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-15 19:21
by Head_on_a_Stick
I find clearing the cache can help with startup times but my SSD is so fast it doesn't make that much difference :D

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-15 20:48
by stevepusser
I think ticojohn might still be using a spinny spinny drive, if I remember correctly, so optimizing the folder may help. But I don't think Bleachbit's feature for that should be done without backing it up first.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-16 14:22
by ticojohn
stevepusser wrote:I think ticojohn might still be using a spinny spinny drive, if I remember correctly, so optimizing the folder may help. But I don't think Bleachbit's feature for that should be done without backing it up first.
No, I have a SATA SSD. Firefox loads really fast, and is usable during the time that the pointer is spinning. I just find the spinning wheel to be a distraction.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-16 14:29
by ticojohn
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
ticojohn wrote:Does anybody know of any issues with changing that variable?
Your change will be over-written when the firefox-esr package is updated. Copy the .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications/ and edit that instead.

EDIT: and if "safe" mode fixes the problem then the cause is one of your extensions or a setting change you have made in FF.
Thanks for that feedback. I have disabled and/or uninstalled extensions and addons but it had no effect. I uninstalled and then reinstalled Firefox so I would think that any config changes that I might have made would have gone away. Also, I download Firefox and put it in a directory. Running from that directory exhibits the same issue. Interestingly, if I invoke firefox-esr from the command line the spinning pointer is not there. Maybe the easiest thing to do is to edit the firefox icon that I have on the xfce panel so that it simply launches firefox-esr and doesn't launch by way of the firefox-esr.desktop file. That would eliminate any issues with the file being overwritten when updated.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-16 14:33
by ticojohn
stevepusser wrote:Does it take that long for FF to become fully active, as in loading the home page? Then the spinner may just be reflecting reality.

I've noticed that FF can take longer to load the more I use it over the months. The usual fix is to try and clean out the cruft in the ~/.mozilla folder, but back it up first.
Thanks stevepusser, I may try that.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-16 14:43
by ticojohn
stevepusser wrote: I've noticed that FF can take longer to load the more I use it over the months. The usual fix is to try and clean out the cruft in the ~/.mozilla folder, but back it up first.
Interesting. I just looked at the ~/.mozilla folder and noticed that there were two (2) key database files, key3.db and key4.db
That seems kind of strange. I don't know,yet, if that may be part of the problem. I moved the key3.db file to trash and checked that all my logins work, so I assume that the key3.db file is unnecessary. I will store it somewhere for safekeeping until I am absolutely sure it isn't required.

Re: firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-16 14:52
by ticojohn
VIOLA! Thanks to all that the offered suggestions but mostly to stevepusser. I don't know where the second key.db file came from, probably operator error, but removing the key3.db file solved the problem. Will mark this as solved.

Re: [solved] firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-18 12:32
by trinidad
If you delete the key3.db file you will not be able to fallback to old login info from previous versions of Firefox you ran before your upgrade. I believe the cutoff was FF 55. Make sure you have all the old info you want entered into upgraded FF before you delete the old file. I had the same issue on Debian 9.9 a few upgrades ago.

TC

Re: [solved] firefox-esr 78.3.0 annoying spinning pointer

Posted: 2020-10-19 13:30
by ticojohn
trinidad wrote:If you delete the key3.db file you will not be able to fallback to old login info from previous versions of Firefox you ran before your upgrade.
Thanks. I made sure I had everything I needed before deleting the old key.