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Thu, May 05, 2016 10:56 pm

MacBook Pro crash due to kernel panic associated with plugin-container

While I was working on a MacBook Pro laptop running OS X Yosemite (10.10.5) today, the system crashed. When it restarted I saw the message below:

Your computer restrated because of a problem. Press a key or wait a few seconds to continue starting up.

Later, when I had time to try to obtain some information on why it crashed, I checked the time it rebooted with last reboot.

$ last reboot | head -n 1
reboot    ~                         Thu May  5 12:26

When I looked for a crash report at that time in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports, I saw the folllowing file:

$ ls -l /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports | grep '12:26'
-rw-rw----@ 1 root  admin     7905 May  5 12:26 Kernel_2016-05-05-122657_GSSLA15122293.panic

So it seemed the cause was a kernel panic, which occurs when the operating system detects an internal fatal system error from which it can't recover.

At OS X: When your computer spontaneously restarts or displays "Your computer restarted because of a problem.", Apple states:

In most cases, kernel panics are not caused by an issue with the Mac itself. They are usually caused by software that was installed, or a problem with connected hardware.

To help avoid kernel panics, install all available software updates until Software Update reports, "Your software is up to date." OS X updates help your Mac handle the kinds of issues that can cause kernel panics, such as malformed network packets, or third party software issues. For most kernel panics, updating your software is all you have to do.

Apple has information on how to interpret what you find in the crash log for an Intel-based system, such as a MacBook Pro, at How to Read the Panic Log from an Intel-Based Mac. That article indicates that you can determine the task name from which the current thread orginated from the line that begins with "BSD process name corresponding to current thread". Examining the crash report, I saw the following:

$ grep "BSD process name corresponding to current thread:" /Library/Logs/Diagnos
ticReports/Kernel_2016-05-05-122657_GSSLA15122293.panic
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: plugin-container

When I checked for any currently running processes associated with "plugin-container", I saw the following:

$ ps -ef | grep plugin-container | grep -v grep
723184451   982   509   0 12:49PM ??        14:40.67 /Applications/Firefox.app/C
ontents/MacOS/plugin-container.app/Contents/MacOS/plugin-container /Library/Inte
rnet Plug-Ins/Silverlight.plugin -greomni /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Res
ources/omni.ja -appomni /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Resources/browser/omn
i.ja -appdir /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Resources/browser 509 gecko-cras
h-server-pipe.509 org.mozilla.machname.902074418 plugin
$

I was using the Firefox web browser, version 38.7.0, at the moment the system crashed, so that application appears to have, indeed, been the culprit for the crash. I had a few Firefox windows and many tabs open when the system crashed. When I logged in after it rebooted, I reopened Firefox and chose to restore the prior session, but the system did not crash again after that today.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

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