Monday, October 16, 2006

Improve Memory Usage in Firefox!!

A lot of people complain about Firefox hogging their RAM.Firefox sometimes can take more than 100 mb of RAM.Now this is not a bug. It’s part of the cache feature of Firefox. This ‘feature’ is how the pages are cached in a tabbed environment. To improve performance when navigating (studies show that 39% of all page navigations are renavigations to pages visited less than 10 pages ago, usually using the back button), Firefox 1.5 implements a Back-Forward cache that retains the rendered document for the last five session history entries for each tab. This is a lot of data. If you have a lot of tabs, Firefox’s memory usage can climb dramatically. It’s a trade-off. What you get out of it is faster performance as you navigate the web.
You can manipulate settings in “about:config” to drop the memory usage as long as possible and to increase the speed at which Firefox loads sites. Below is how to do this. Please take note, please tell your friends. Because i’m pretty sure us fans of all things not Internet Explorer are really tired of millions thinking Firefox has a bug when it doesn’t, and users feel hopeless in their want to use Firefox, but not deal with the memory issues.

Kill the amount of RAM Firefox uses for it’s cache feature
Here’s how to fix it:
1. type “about:config” (no quotes) in the browser.
2. Find browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewer
2. set it’s value to “0″

Increase the Speed in Which Firefox loads pages
1.Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return.
Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:
Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30.

This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0″.

This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. If you’re using a broadband connection you’ll load pages faster now
More options for your about:config (you might have to create some of these entries by Right Click –> New– > Interger or String

network.dns.disableIPv6: set “false”
“content.notify.backoffcount”: set “5″
“plugin.expose_full_path”: set “true”.
“ui.submenuDelay”: set “0″ (zero)

Kill RAM usage to 10mb when FF is minimized
This little about:config hack will drop Firefox’s RAM usage down to 10 Mb when minimized

1. Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
2. Right Click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
3. In the box that pops up enter config.trim_on_minimize. Press Enter.
4. Now select True and then press Enter.
5. Restart Firefox.

I hope this makes a few people’s browsing experience a bit better with Firefox and debunks a myth about their being a bug.


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