Reduce Firefox 1.5 Memory and Resource Useage
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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This thread at gives some good tips on how to reduce the firefox memory footprint. Obviously, a lot of these should by default be switched off, not on. This is one problem with geeks, with high end systems, making decisions about what average users, with low end systems, will experience.

That thread is continued in memory useage thread.

Sometimes there are some pluses to the commercial approach, like MS uses, where you support the lowest common denominator, not the highest. I've been seeing these types of absurd memory useage more and more, in firefox 1.5 linux it's not uncommon to see the firefox numbers get significantly higher than 100mB after browsing for a while. I use a lot of tabs too, with tab browser extension, but it's still silly.

Other users are reporting ram use of up to 1 GIGABYTE!! which is simply absurd, and absolutely unacceptable. It does not, and should not, take anywhere close to that number to cache any number of webpages if done well, so clearly it's a problem in the caching/history programming at the most basic level, much as the firefox devevelopers refuse to admit this to either themselves or to anyone else.

But, luckily for us, these issues are very easy to fix, with just some simple changes to default settings on firefox and extensions.

I'll report on which of the below steps seem to trim the memory consumption most effectively.

:: Quote ::
1. Don't use adblock- uninstall it and use adblock plus.
2. Use fewer extensions.
3. Make firefox give up memory when minimized and take longer to un-minimize: go to about:config. Right click on blankness and tell it to make a new boolean. Call it config.trim_on_minimize , set it to true.
4. Disable prefetch: go to about:config. Search for prefetch, you'll find network.prefetch-next. Double click it to turn it false if it is on.
5. Disable fast back and forward : about:config, search for viewers, find browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers, set it to 0 to disable fast back and forward.
6. Limit the memory cache: about:config, new integer, browser.cache.memory.capacity, set it to the memory in KB you want to limit the memory cache to.
6. Don't use the firefox preloader.
7. Once in a while, close the browser completely and re-open it.
8. Support the adult industry and buy some DVDs instead of opening so many images in your browser

I completely forgot about that absolutely aweful prefetch feature, whoever put that on by default needs to have their head examined. It's decisions like that that push away average users, and give more experienced users headaches until they figure out the source of the problem.

Currently, this is what I would do, since the above is a bit extreme, and most steps are not necessary:

  1. type about:config in your firefox address bar
  2. in the filter box, type in 'prefetch'.
  3. Click on the item that appears, and select 'toggle' if it is set to true. The desired setting is 'false'
  4. Type in 'sessionhistory' in filter bar.
  5. Change 'browser.sessionhistory.max_entries' value to 10 by right clicking and selecting 'modify'
  6. Change 'browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers' to 1, the same way.
  7. If you are using 'session manager', open up the session manager options.
  8. On the 'General' tab, make sure that it is set to 'discard current session' at shutdown.
  9. On the 'Undo Close' tab, set the remembered tabs to 10, unless you have a reason to set it higher.
  10. Make absolutely certain that the 'persistence' item is set to never, otherwise it will begin to get more and more bloated over time.
  11. If you are using adblock, remove adblock, after exporting your filter list, and install adblock plus, then import your exported filters.
  12. If you are using the dreaded 'tab browser extension', uninstall it and change to Tab Mix Plus.
  13. If you are using both tab mix plus and session manager, turn off the session handling components of tab mix plus to avoid conflict.
  14. If you are on KDE, and have foolishly installed gtk2-engines-gtk-qt get rid of the damned thing, apt-get remove --purge gtk2-engines-gtk-qt instantly. If you insist on using it, please don't waste anyone's time on forums or irc asking for support about slow or buggy firefix issues. [hint - you can install it, open up all your gtk based apps, which will then get the kde display settings, then remove --purge it. The settings will stick.]

And that should do it for most users.
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Status: Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Be aware that if you tweak these that a couple of them will trash your history completely (as in it disappears wholesale). If, like me, you get to sites you use a lot by typing the first few letters etc. into the addy bar, you don't want to delete the history....

PITA - what I get for not thinking first.
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Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Location: upstairs
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:: vkaryl wrote ::
typing the first few letters

keywords to the rescue!

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