WebGL Issues

I'm using Cesium (b13) to develop an application for a customer that has very limited access to software updates. They're currently running on Firefox 10.0.12.

I've confirmed that Cesium works on MOST computers with this version of Firefox, but with some, the graphics driver is blacklisted. As a workaround, I can go into about:config in firefox and set webgl.force-enabled to true.

Then, for MOST computers, this is enough to get Cesium working, but, for some, there is a black bar that appears at the top of the page which squashes the Cesium globe/sky display. This is unfortunately a show-stopper, since click events are registered as if the globe is covering the whole page, but the globe is actually displayed on only part of the page, if that makes any sense. So when the user clicks on the page, they are always clicking below where they think they are, due to the rendering issue.

I imagine the best solution would be to update the graphics card drivers. This is not possible right now. Any ideas for another workaround here?


Hi Jon,

I’m going to take a pretty hard line here. Maybe some other folks will be more understanding.

Firefox 10 reached the end of its long-term support in mid February (http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq/). That means it doesn’t receive any more security updates. People should not be running it anymore, end of story.

If you’re developing a new application built on Cesium, which will presumably take multiple months, and the customer still expects to be running Firefox 10 at that time, I don’t even know what to say to that.

We’ll accept pull requests with reasonable patches, of course.


Jon, I’m one of those “more understanding” people Kevin alluded to, so I’ll see if I can provide some thoughts.

First, Kevin is absolutely correct, Firefox 10 was retired and Firefox 17 is the new Extended Service Release (ESR). Using Firefox 10 at this point is simply a really bad idea. I understand that this may be out of your control, but it’s not possible to overstate that it’s a bad idea. You can read all about their strategy here: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq/

Assuming you are stuck with 10, then you only have two real options.

  1. Firefox blacklists drivers specifically because they are bad drivers. There’s nothing Cesium can do to fix that problem. That being said, it’s possible that updating the drivers could simply fix the problem. This would be my strongest recommendation to try first. Any time you are working with 3D, relatively recent video drivers are almost always a necessity.

  2. Update the video card (with its latest drivers).

If neither of these 2 options is possible (or doesn’t fix the problem), then it’s unlikely we can fix the problem on our end either. To provide some additional guidance, we would absolutely have to know what the hardware and OS is. If you could provide any warnings/errors generated in the dev console, that could also help point to something specific. Finally, if they are willing to try Firefox 17 just to see if it works, I would recommend that as well (but it’s likely the driver/card is the source of the problem.)

I wish I had better options for you. I totally know what it’s like to be on a project with unreasonable constraints where customers want new capability, but won’t update their other software to get it. I hope you can get something working and if you have any additional info, we’ll provide as much guidance as we can. But there’s probably not much we can do unless logs point to a specific problem in Cesium’s code.