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Tweaking the firefox

I stumbled across some configuration tricks that make firefox behave better. These come from the links below, but here's the concise how-to.

Firefox saves the last 50 pages it browsed IN MEMORY. Because, you know, FASTER to display.
Firefox has a habit of prefetching pages from links it thinks you might click. (and they pile up in that 50 page bin)
It's possible to tell Firefox to garbage-collect its memory use when you minimize the browser, which makes it MUCH faster.
These three tricks are done as follows:

1) open a new firefox tab. enter "about:config" in the address bar.
2) say "Yes, I promise to be a good little drone and not break your settings, honest."
3) find the entry browser.sessionhistory.max_entries which is set by default to 50. click on it and it will let you enter a smaller number. 50 is almost certainly too large.
4) find the entry network.prefetch.next and click on it. Set it to False.
5) right-click in the about:config window and select New > Boolean.
Type 'config.trim_on_minimize' in the box that pops up. Press Enter.
Select 'True' and then press Enter.
6) close the about:config tab and restart firefox for best effect.

My firefox image is at 198264 K memory ... I minimize it.... it drops to 167400 K ... with six large-page tabs open. Closing the tabs, it actually reduces memory usage (which I haven't always seen in the past),
Restarting the browser and comparing to a fresh, same-screenspace-sized IE on a specific webpage, IE is at 39256 K where Firefox is at 23,367, a profound improvement over its previous piggish nature.

Seems like an improvement to me. Of course, time will tell whether this is better for a browsing experience.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
That's always been one of the more insulting things about IE, the fact that they got the perceived speed of opening correct where Mozilla and FireFox got it so wrong. On my system, clicking on IE gets me a window that starts to paint in about 15 seconds, it takes more like 60 with FireFox because it does so much crap before it eventually creates the first window.

Edited at 2009-05-29 05:07 am (UTC)
May. 29th, 2009 11:29 am (UTC)
Sweet! Thanks for the tips. 50 is way too many for me, certainly, I'm generally re-visiting fewer than ten per session.
May. 29th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The memory usage of FF has been probably my only complaint with it.
May. 29th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
I've found that SOME things are a bit slower, but I'd rather that than the memory leaking that I was seeing before.
May. 29th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
"Tweaking the firefox" sounds like a good euphemism for something. =^..^=
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )