A Warning: Firefox Hogs Drive Space With Crash Reports

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A Warning: Firefox Hogs Drive Space With Crash Reports

Postby Spearmint2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:40 am

Disk Analyzer in Mint 14 MATE showing the amount of drive space the crash reports from Firefox was consuming.



https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Mo ... 20Reporter
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/fi ... owser-perf
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/legal/pri ... h-reporter

From Mozilla:
Viewing reports outside of Firefox

If you can't use the above method because Firefox crashes when it starts, you can also view the reports in files on your computer with the following steps:

Crash reports are stored in ~/.mozilla/firefox/Crash Reports/

The Crash Reports folder will contain two subfolders: pending and submitted. submitted contains reports that have been submitted, while pending contains reports that have not. Each file in these folders represents one report.

Viewing crash reports

To view your crash reports from within Firefox:

In the address bar, type about:crashes and press Enter. A list of links to your crash reports will appear.

Not so. Only a list of your SUBMITTED CRASH REPORTS will appear. You will not be told of how many pending crash reports you also have hogging space on your hard drive. You can see your Health Report in "about:healthreport" or click on Help and choose it there. I checked in Firefox Preferences (under the Edit section of browser) and in the Advanced section at the Data Choice tab, I did have the Crash Reports enabled.

I clicked to have all reports removed, the result was an unresponsive script warning, (seen in image above) which I clicked to continue 3 times before giving up and stopping it. At that point I then disabled the Crash Reports in Preferences section mentioned above.

I did peruse one crash report and a lot of it was involving lib*.so files in Linux. I don't know if they were Linux system files, or library files placed there by Firefox.

After I disabled Crash Reports, I restarted Firefox and went back to the about:crashes page, and this is what it reported;

Submitted Crash Reports
No crash reports have been submitted.

I then ran the Mint Disk Usage Analyzer again. The amount of space used by Mint file system had dropped from 6.7 GB to 4.7 GB and the Mozilla Crash Reports area showed all the Submitted crash reports were gone, but there was still 757 MB of space devoted to Pending (Crash Reports) folder, so it seems ONLY the Submitted crash reports were removed by Disabling Crash Reports in the Preferences of Firefox, or inspite of the script error it removed them when requested anyway. This means 40% of the used drive space area was by Firefox Crash Reports. That's unacceptable.

The upshot of this is, you get to store a lot of Crash Reports data for Firefox browser on your system if it's enabled and may still store some in the Pending Crash Reports even if you Disable Crash Reports for Firefox. It will take some time before I know if the Pending Crash Reports continues to grow. I went to the pending reports folder and it had 14,866 files in it. I removed them all but 4 files.

There's also no way I saw to force send Pending Crash Reports to Mozilla. Even if you did, the data just seems to get shoved over from the Pending folder into the Submitted folder, so no space saving that I can determine. Most of those files in the Submitted folder were Network Packet Capture with a "dmp" file ending, and associated text file with "extra" file ending. The text files in the Pending folder indicated flashplayer.so file had caused most of them. I'll remove and maybe later reinstall that, but this is about Firefox being a Drive Space hog.

Others who have seen drive space disappearing quicker than expected might want to check those folders in Firefox too, run that Disk Analyzer, drill down into any area with high drive usage to find unnecessary drive space hogs on their system.

Using Firefox 22.
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