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Originally posted by Megaman X I think this is a lighter as you can go with a fully featured browser. By that, I mean, capable of running java applets, flash, etc. You may also try something like dillo:
Galeon is a little lighter on ram than Firefox. You can also change the amount of ram Firefox uses for cache or even disable it so it only caches to disk.
To disable caching to ram open about:config then look for browser.cache.memory.enable toggle it to false.
To change the amount of ram caching uses change the value of browser.cache.memory.capacity
A lot also depends of the extensions and themes you are using. Try running Firefox with a clean profile:
On Linux or Mac, start Firefox with the the -profilemanager switch, e.g. ./firefox -profilemanager (this assumes that you're in the firefox directory).
The memory statistics in Linux can be misleading if you do not know how to read them. There is a utility that does take out the guess work. It is called pmap. Type pmap -d pid_of_program | tail -n1.
Firefox takes about 28 MB of memory (I think) but I downloaded a binary version (It may have been compiled as static) instead of compiling in Gentoo. Mozilla uses about 17 MB and I think it was compiled using shared libraries. Probably if I download and compile Firefox with shared libraries, it may take less memory.
The difference between static and share programs during loading. Static programs already contain all the libraries, but they consume more memory. Shared programs do not have any libraries built-in, so they have to load or check the libraries if they are loaded before running itself. Usually shared programs will be slow when first being used. After the second time used, shared programs loads quicker.