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Old 05-23-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Firefox performance

I've been seeing some serious performance degradation in Firefox lately and I'm hoping someone out there has some tips, cures, etc. that I can try. I first saw this on 29.0.1 but, thinking it might be something introduced in the 29.x.x series, I dropped back to 25.0.1 and I'm seeing the same problem.

Background: I typically have three browser windows open (in different virtual desktops) with each sort of dedicated to a certain use (one for news articles, for example). Each browser will have multiple tabs open.

A while back I was curious about why FF seemed to slow to a crawl under certain conditions. It didn't always slow when a lot of tabs were open. I did find that when I issued
ps -ef | grep -v grep | grep firef | wc -l
the thread count seemed to be a decent predictor of when I could expect FF to run slowly. Thread counts above 45 seemed to be a threshold that when exceeded would see FF running very slowly. It used to require a large number of open tabs to get a thread count that high. (I once counted nearly 100 across 5-6 windows but that was a one-time occurrence. Yeah, I know... that was a little out of hand. Lesson learned.) Closing down some tabs would usually eliminate the bad performance. Lately, though, I find that the FF thread count is up in the 60-70 range even though I have less than 10 tabs opened.

Is this ridiculous thread count a result of more JS being thrust onto my system by various web pages? I can't put my finger on any specific web site but I seemed to notice the new crazy-high count after some sites "upgraded" their site appearance.

BTW: I am scouring the web for FF + javascript tips but thought I'd float the question here as well to take advantage of LQ's awesome knowledge base.

Is there something I can do in FF's "about:config" to deal with this? A while back I'd relaxed NoScript's filtering to avoid having to reload badly done web pages 2-3 times to gain basic functionality. I've tightened it down so that it blocks even more but it hasn't reduced the skyrocketing FF thread count.

Do I need to look for a multi-socket motherboard and load it up with 8-core CPUs to get FF to run less sluggishly?

Any tips on dealing with FF slowness will be welcomed with open arms.


Old 05-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #2
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I have noticed this, too, and so have scaled back to FF 24.5 ESR, on both Mac OSX and Linux.
Old 05-23-2014, 12:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JWJones View Post
... have scaled back to FF 24.5 ...
I still have 24.0 (and older) tar archives available. All I have to do is untar and move a symbolic link to try out one of those. I'm currently seeing 58 threads with 10 tabs open. It was up in the upper 60s a while ago.

Maybe it's just me but FF seems flakier and more brittle since they made the big version jump a year or so ago.



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