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Old 08-02-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
pwabrahams
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Performance hit from plugin-container in Firefox


I was wondering why my laptop was running so slowly, and so I called top to find out where the resources were going. I found a process called plugin-container that appeared to be the culprit. So I did a googlesearch on that subject and found that plugin-container was introduced in Firefox 3.6.4 for the purpose of preventing plugin misbehavior from crashing the entire browser.

There's quite a lot of net-talk about plugin-container, but most of it pertains to the Windows environment. I tried the suggested fix (Linux version):
Type about:config in the URL bar.
Do a search on dom.ipc.plugins.
Set the properties for libflashplayer.so and libnptest.so to false.
It does seem to have helped with the performance problem, and plugin-container no longer has top billing in top.

However, plugin-container was introduced to solve a problem, so I suppose that this fix changes the status of that problem to "unsolved". For that reason I'm uneasy about this solution.

Does anyone have insight into this issue?
 
Old 08-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
David the H.
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I don't like the idea of disabling it either. The new container system is designed to separate out badly-performing plugins so you don't get crashes all the time. Disabling the container just puts you back to the unstable system that existed before.

I'm going to guess you've probably seen this page about it already.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Plugin-con...rocess_plugins

I sometimes get similar problems to you, but I've always blamed it on flashplayer itself, as I've had them even before the plugin-container was implemented. When I get a chance though I'll try to disable it and see if that helps. But I'm sure that over time any performance problems (with the container system at least) will get worked out.

One nice thing about the container though is that you can kill that process and it won't affect firefox itself. If it starts acting up, simply "pkill plugin-cont" and it should go away. Then you can reload the original page and it should re-spawn.

Last edited by David the H.; 08-02-2010 at 02:26 PM.
 
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #3
pwabrahams
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Pros and cons

Yes, plugin-container does something useful, but at a very high cost in system load. Assuming you haven't disabled plugin-container, just try running top in a shell window to see how much of the machine resources it's grabbing.

I hope that the Mozilla folks figure out a way to get the benefit at a more modest cost. Until they do, I'll take my chances with browser crashes and hangs on Flash pages.
 
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:00 AM   #4
nowshining
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwabrahams View Post
I was wondering why my laptop was running so slowly, and so I called top to find out where the resources were going. I found a process called plugin-container that appeared to be the culprit. So I did a googlesearch on that subject and found that plugin-container was introduced in Firefox 3.6.4 for the purpose of preventing plugin misbehavior from crashing the entire browser.

There's quite a lot of net-talk about plugin-container, but most of it pertains to the Windows environment. I tried the suggested fix (Linux version):
Type about:config in the URL bar.
Do a search on dom.ipc.plugins.
Set the properties for libflashplayer.so and libnptest.so to false.
It does seem to have helped with the performance problem, and plugin-container no longer has top billing in top.

However, plugin-container was introduced to solve a problem, so I suppose that this fix changes the status of that problem to "unsolved". For that reason I'm uneasy about this solution.

Does anyone have insight into this issue?
Thanks for the about:config fix. - was wondering how to turn it off as I had more probs when this was intro and added than I had before with crashes on flash items/etc.
 
Old 08-03-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
kwill
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The same problem occurs with Opera and Linux. In fact often several plugin-containers are running. They also take a trmendous amout of cPU usage. I am forever killinh them but some times they don't seem to want to die.
 
Old 08-04-2010, 04:20 AM   #6
nxja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill View Post
The same problem occurs with Opera and Linux. In fact often several plugin-containers are running. They also take a trmendous amout of cPU usage. I am forever killinh them but some times they don't seem to want to die.
perhaps run with flash off? opera has one of those drag custom buttons, that ends up in Ini.
in ff, i use quickjava extension, which now has (dis|en)able buttons for js, java, silverlight (i assume win-only), css, and img. disclaimer: i have not verified the effect upon plugins-container.exe (the exe for ff on win)
looks like current vesion 1.7.2 is not causing trouble:
http://www.google.com/search?q=site:...=100&as_qdr=m8
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%...ugin-container
 
Old 05-28-2016, 03:58 AM   #7
f.tuijn
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Angry

All these posts are from six years ago. I have been running Linux Mint 17.2 now for several months and over the last month this problem has reappeared and is getting worse. What is happening?
 
Old 05-31-2016, 08:53 PM   #8
kwill
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Hi,

Sorry for late reply.

I don't know that the problem ever went away completely. I have regularly been killing the process.

I have noticed over last few months that no browser* seems to clean up closed tabs. They just keep using more and more memory until even swap is full. System then is slower than a snail as it spends all its time moving stuff into/out off swap. Needs the browser closed and restarted to clean up the memory.

Opera 12 was about the best but Opera now is rebadged Firefox

Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:18 AM   #9
f.tuijn
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Thank you.
 
Old 06-01-2016, 05:53 AM   #10
f.tuijn
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I now maintain two terminals, one runs top, the other with kill -15 [PID plugin-container] and this one always on top. When trouble comes, firefox freezes, I use the kill -15 and the radio I listen to continues without any interruption.
 
Old 06-08-2016, 03:14 AM   #11
f.tuijn
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Further "research" shows me that plug-in container is allergic to BBC Radio 4 and sound from the BBC News website. Trouble might ensue within minutes if I start BBC Radio 4 immediately after starting Firefox but can take a few hours if I go there later. I seldom look at other BBC sites. So I will now reduce my use of these sites sharply.
 
Old 06-25-2016, 06:53 AM   #12
f.tuijn
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Some last remarks:
The recent Linux Mint update seems to have little improvement.
If I delay starting BBC Radio 4 for about a quarter of an hour after starting Firefox I get no or very little trouble.
Starting the Dutch broadcaster www.BNR.nl immediately doesn't give any trouble.
 
Old 06-26-2016, 10:30 PM   #13
kwill
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I have been trialing Vivaldi, an independent successor to Opera.

It doesn't seem to use Plugin-container but just like the other browsers it doesn't free memory after shutting a tab. So you are soon out of memory and then swap. It does have the "save session" like Opera used to so that saving a window and then closing the window claims back the memory. You can then get the window back with the tabs.
 
Old 06-28-2016, 08:54 PM   #14
BCarey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill View Post
I have noticed over last few months that no browser* seems to clean up closed tabs. They just keep using more and more memory until even swap is full. System then is slower than a snail as it spends all its time moving stuff into/out off swap. Needs the browser closed and restarted to clean up the memory.
Firefox by default caches pages that you have visited (8 per tab). To change this behavior go into about:config and change the Browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to a low number, like 0 or 1. It made a big difference for me.

Brian
 
  


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