The Linux Page

Error "Couldn't load XPCOM." when trying to start SeaMonkey...

Today, I finally upgraded to SeaMonkey 2.49.1.

It was out on Nov 4, 2017 but I did not check for it any time sooner. Bad for me as there were some bugs in 2.48 that banks and such were warning about (oh and WordPress too...)

Anyway. I downloaded the new version. Extracted the files. Updated my icon with the new path. Click on the icon to open the browser. Nothing.

So I know that it is likely that it prints out some errors when nothing happens like that, so I went to my console and tried to start seamonkey in my command line window.

Indeed, errors were printed out in my console:

prompt $ cd ~/mozilla/seamonkey
prompt $ ./seamonkey
XPCOMGlueLoad error for file /home/alexis/tools/mozilla/seamonkey-2.49.1/libmozgtk.so:
libgtk-3.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Couldn't load XPCOM.
prompt $ _

As we can see, it says something about XPCOM and the fact that the mozilla library can't be loaded or something like that. Actually, the library loads just file (As far as the ldd and binary code is concerned.)

So after wasting like 1h looking for a problem with Gnome 3.x, I learned that I have 3.18 on Ubuntu 16.04. That's the current stock version. You could install 3.20 from a PPA, but that's not required. SeaMonkey (and FireFox) require 3.4+

So... what happened?

The default link to download SeaMonkey actually sent me to the 32 bit version. Yes. That was the 32 bits and it starts just fine up until it tries that XPCOM thingy and fails.

I looked into it and there is a direct access to all the releases available and I went in there to find the 64 bit version instead. Extracted the file. It runs like a charm. Absolutely no problems whatsoever. I'm glad I did not try to delete things and whatnot. That did not sound like it would be required, but many people have that drastic solution: delete your .mozilla folder (and say goodbye to all your bookmarks, etc.) and then try again. In my case, it would still fail since the 32 bit version just doesn't run on a 64 bit kernel. I'm not too sure why but don't really care. It's just sad that it defaulted to the 32 bit and the filename does not say one way or the other (only the folder does, but that's hidden when you click on the link!)

Oh well.