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Old 08-09-2009, 02:41 AM   #1
shawn
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Default Firefox

Anyone that has used Firefox for a while knows the browser is a huge memory hog and after a while "weeks/months" starts to slow down. Well I went into about:config and started looking around and found some entries that made me curious about their setting so I got onto Google and with some searching and reading forums that had intelligent conversations each item I needed knowledge on and here are some of the tweaks I made that have seriously speed up firefox again.


"Note: The next few tweaks you'll read can be changed in the "about:config" in Firefox. about:config is a js file that can be changed easily right from Firefox for anyone that doesn't know this already.
Just type about:config into the url bar of Firefox and a warning message will come up just to let you know you can screwup Firefox if you mess with some of the more volitile settings. Just click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button, yes it actually says that. You are in about:config which controls the settings for Firefox and ready to change whatever you choose to, but be careful."

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config.trim_on_minimize
I added this entry to about:config. What it does is when you minimize then maximize Firefox forces Windows to freeup memory and though not a lot it does work.

To add just right click anywhere in the about:config tab and choose New, then Boulean, then type in the box, config.trim_on_minimize ,then choose true when the popup asks if to set for true or false and your done.

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browser.cache.disk.capacity
I'm not sure what this was set at, I think maybe 512000. I now have it set at 64000 and it seems to have helped.

"Note: to change any of the values like I changed 512000 to 64000 above just right click on the item you want to change, then choose modify and a popup will appear and enter the value you want into the box then click the ok button."


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OK I know the browser history can be set in options but I set this in about:config with the other settings to do with history just to make sure everything was how I wanted it. Now before I show you the settings I found out something about Firefox I didn't like. I learned that even if you set the history for a certain number of days in the options the browser would still keep "site histories" to the amount of sites set in about:config which when I checked was 30000 and that is a lot of sites so I changed it to 100. I know 100 is really low but I can find a site again if I need to so basicallly I set it there since I probably won't visit more than a 100 sites in the 2 days the history is set for. Here are the settings I used

browser.history_expire_days I set this to 2
browser.history_expire_days.mirror also set to 2
browser.history_expire_days_min also set to 2
browser.history_expire_sites set to 100

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browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers
I set this to 1 which makes the browser store only 1 page in cache. The setting of 1 tells Firefox I only have 64mb of ram installed so it doesn't try to hog ram, I actually have 1.5gb but Firefox doesn't try to use it all now.

For all the setting for this just click the link below and the page has a chart and you can pick which setting you want for yourself.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.se..._total_viewers

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Not in the about:config tab but in the Firefox options I did this tweak. I greatly reduced the disk cache that I originally chose which was 200mb to 20mb and that has helped out also. Just click on tools then options then click on the advanced tab then choose the network tab. You see use up to *** MB of space for the cache, just put some number that is the the max you'll use in an online session and you should be fine for pages since Firefox keeps another separate cache for media like music or videos viewed.

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Disabling unused or lesser used extensions in the Addons will usually speedup Firefox also, so if you have a lot of them installed they can bring it to a crawl over time.




Just figured I'd pass on this info about my changes in this thread so I hope this helps you out if Firefox is dragging ass for you like it did for me.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:45 AM   #2
VT-Vincent
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I haven't had too many performance issues with Firefox, but it seems the majority of these tweaks handle cached information which I have the browser set to discard after each use. I actually don't even let it store cookies between sessions and I keep my disk cache set to zero.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:59 AM   #3
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Almost forgot

I found the entry for Recommended Addons in the addons window. You know the first tab in the addons window that shows 5 recommended addons. Well I found most of my best addons that way and thought 5 was a little low so I set it to 8 and I may raise it to 10 but if you want to raise or lower the number of recommended addons shown here's the setting.

In the about:config find

extensions.getAddons.maxResults

just right click on it, choose modify and add whatever number you want but remember if you put a number like 20 or some other high number you'll have to wait for it to all load which might take a while "I chose 8 and it loads fairly fast".
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT-Vincent View Post
I haven't had too many performance issues with Firefox, but it seems the majority of these tweaks handle cached information which I have the browser set to discard after each use. I actually don't even let it store cookies between sessions and I keep my disk cache set to zero.

So by setting you cache to zero you are using only ram right?

No cookies at all, how do you know which post you have or haven't read when you come here to ZD since that is stored in a cookie if I remember right?
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn
So by setting you cache to zero you are using only ram right?

No cookies at all, how do you know which post you have or haven't read when you come here to ZD since that is stored in a cookie if I remember right?
Right. The forum software ZD uses actually stores topic history in the user profile so when I log in, no matter what computer it's from, I can see the topics that have been updated since my last visit. Invision Board also uses the same method of storing that info. The only thing that is lost by discarding cookies are preferences for some websites that do not require a login, targeted advertisement info, and any saved username/passwords that are stored in cookies.

I've actually configured my preferences like this for many years for security and performance related reasons and I've seen few to no drawbacks. It's kind of like running in private browsing mode all the time.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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No cookies at all, how do you know which post you have or haven't read when you come here to ZD since that is stored in a cookie if I remember right?
It was the old boards that did that...if I remember. Pretty sure. :P
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The 9th Sage View Post
It was the old boards that did that...if I remember. Pretty sure. :P
Ohh, I remember. The pain of logging on through the school computers and having to guess which topics were new. All those times breaking through the school's firewall just to check 5 minutes of posts... Those were the days xD
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