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Fixing Firefox's memory leak (January, 2005)

Posted on 01/24/2005 3:04:40 PM PST by Terpfen

I noticed a few Firefox threads here have people complaining about how much memory Firefox takes up. This is a known memory leak, and the Mozilla guys haven't gotten around to fixing it for whatever reason. But there's no reason your Firefox should take up 70,000K in memory, so here's how to fix that memory leak and keep Firefox from bloating up.

1. Open a new tab. Type "about:config" without quotes into the address bar and hit enter/click Go.

2. Right-click anywhere, select New, then Integer. In the dialog prompt that appears, type:

browser.cache.memory.capacity

3. Click OK. Another dialog prompt will appear. This is where you decide how much memory to allocate to Firefox. This depends on how much RAM your computer has, but generally you don't want to allocate too little (under 8MB), but if you allocate too much, you might as well not do this. A good recommended setting is 16MB. If you want 16MB, enter this value into the dialog prompt:

16384

(Why 16384 instead of 16000? Because computers use base-12 counting. Thus 16 megabytes = 16384 bytes. Likewise, if you want to double that and allocate 32MB, you'd enter 32768.)

4. Click OK to close the dialog box, then close all instances of Firefox and restart. If your Firefox still uses the same amount of memory, give it a few minutes and it should slowly clear up. If that fails, try a system reboot.

Hope I did a service to some FReepers today.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: browser; firefox; mozilla
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1 posted on 01/24/2005 3:04:43 PM PST by Terpfen
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To: Terpfen

Most helpful. Thanks.


2 posted on 01/24/2005 3:07:08 PM PST by My2Cents ("I look to two things: First to God and then to Fox News.")
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To: Terpfen

Thanks!


3 posted on 01/24/2005 3:11:01 PM PST by Tarpaulin (Look it up.)
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To: Terpfen

>>>>Because computers use base-12 counting.

No, computers use binary.


4 posted on 01/24/2005 3:18:37 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Common Sense is an Oxymoron)
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To: Keith in Iowa

Yeah, but memory allocation is still done in base-12, and that's what this thread's about.


5 posted on 01/24/2005 3:28:51 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Terpfen

What exactly do you mean?


6 posted on 01/24/2005 3:37:16 PM PST by John0309
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To: John0309

What do you mean by what do I mean? *confused*


7 posted on 01/24/2005 3:39:10 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Terpfen
Everything in computers is base 2 - binary. It's all based on bits & bytes & powers of 2... 8 bits to a byte...
2^8    2^7	2^6	2^5	2^4	2^3	2^2	2^1
256    128	64	32	16	8	4	2

thus - 1MB = 1024 bytes = 2^10 and so on...

8 posted on 01/24/2005 3:45:40 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Common Sense is an Oxymoron)
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To: Keith in Iowa

Odd, I was always under the impression that allocation uses base-12.

Ah well, thanks for the correction.


9 posted on 01/24/2005 3:53:45 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Terpfen


Sorry Terpfen, he is right. It's all based on binary. That is why on and off are represented on power keys with zero and one ( 0/1 ).


10 posted on 01/24/2005 3:55:11 PM PST by Riddick (<---------- Red state guy stuck in a barely blue state.)
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To: Terpfen

You might be thinking of hexadecimal... which is base 16.


11 posted on 01/24/2005 3:59:04 PM PST by ken in texas
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To: Terpfen

I'll try it, see if it makes what's good better!


12 posted on 01/24/2005 4:52:31 PM PST by Solamente
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To: Terpfen
Great input. Thank you for sharing.
As pointed out, elsewhere, 1k = 210 which is 1024 bytes X 16= 16384; same answer, different route...
13 posted on 01/24/2005 7:05:12 PM PST by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen, ignorance and stupidity.)
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To: Terpfen

There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.


14 posted on 01/24/2005 7:08:50 PM PST by Drango (To Serve Man.....IT'S A COOKBOOK!)
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To: Drango

There indeed are. (I know enough to get THAT joke.)


15 posted on 01/24/2005 7:09:42 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Terpfen

Doesn't hurt to give it a try, but I think all this is going to do is force Firefox to swap pages out to the page file. You may notice an increase in hard drive activity.


16 posted on 01/24/2005 7:12:13 PM PST by Doohickey ("This is a hard and dirty war, but when it's over, nothing will ever be too difficult again.)
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To: Terpfen

Firefox bump for later reference


17 posted on 01/24/2005 7:13:12 PM PST by Nowhere Man (We have enough youth, how about a Fountain of Smart?)
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To: Terpfen

Is there a problem with Firefox using 70 megs when you have 256? I haven't noticed any performance issues.


18 posted on 01/24/2005 7:13:26 PM PST by ez (Let the tolerant tolerate my intolerance!)
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To: Doohickey

I've been using it for a while and don't hear or notice any additonal activity. YMMV, of course.


19 posted on 01/24/2005 7:14:24 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: ez

Generally, it's bad whenever a program chews up more memory than it needs. 70 out of 256 is pretty damn disproportionate, IMO.


20 posted on 01/24/2005 7:16:21 PM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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