Solving the frikking BadPixmap Firefox/Thunderbird crash on Debian Woody

Okay, you’re running Debian Stable 3.0 (it’s also called woody, or Linux 1958). Because this distribution is older than yer grandpaw, you have the firefox and thunderbird backports from installed.

However, you’re not happy, because these otherwise fine packages crash more often than you can open a window (in fact, that’s what makes them crash, for example thunderbird’s login window or the find window in firefox). In fact, you’re downright homicidal. Even admiring your brand-new mullet in your hand-mirror is not cheering you up!

You scratch around in the logs and find many messages like this:

Gdk-CRITICAL **: file gdkpixmap-x11.c: line 218 (gdk_bitmap_create_from_data): assertion `window == NULL || GDK_IS_WINDOW (window)' failed

and like this:

The program 'mozilla-thunderbird-bin/mozilla-firefox-bin' received an X Window System error.
This probably reflects a bug in the program.
The error was 'BadPixmap (invalid Pixmap parameter)'.

You google, but find only requests for help concerning this problem; not an answer in sight. That’s why I’m writing this up, for the other two of you Debian 1958 users with this problem. HI THERE!

Add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb gnome2.2/

and do an apt-get update and upgrade. Make sure your X is upgraded to 4.2.1 and your GTK to 2.2.4.

As far as I could see, the root of the problem is with libfreetype6 and libpango weirdness in the stock Debian Woody. This upgrade seems to fix it. It will probably break bunches of other things… :)

3 thoughts on “Solving the frikking BadPixmap Firefox/Thunderbird crash on Debian Woody”

  1. One last tip: if you’re having the “My Firefox crashes when I want to print” problem, try deleting the .lpoptions in your homedir and restarting Firefox. This solved it on my setup.

    strace is sometimes very useful. :)

  2. Hmm .. whack
    Tried that .. but its doing the same thing.
    I got the same stuff, woody with a backport of firefox.
    However, I’m missing the essesntial mullet and hand mirror.

  3. Thanks for posting the fix. I did have a hard time finding any response. After reading your suggestions I thought I’d try loading the debian woody GLUTG3.7 package and the popup window crash problem seems to disappear. It still complains about the gdkpixmap-x11.c file, line 218 though.

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