FireFox memory usage

Marco Beishuizen mbeis at
Fri Sep 15 12:53:32 UTC 2017

On Fri, 15 Sep 2017, the wise Andrea Venturoli wrote:

> Hello.
> I'm on 10.3/amd64 with firefox-esr 52.3.0.
> Since a few days my 4GiB desktop is crawling due to swap usage and 
> looking at top, I see FireFox using almost 7GiB of RAM (SIZE column), 
> 2.5 of which are "RES".
> I don't think this is normal, since I'm not doing anything fancy (i.e. 
> running webapps or opening tenth of windows/tabs).
> I've been using FF for several years and, while I recognize it's 
> constantly getting slower, more bloated and more resource hungry, I find 
> it hard to believe such a sudden rise in memory usage might be normal.
> One suspect I have is some kind of memory leak, since closing FF and 
> reopening the same sites I had opened before will drop the RAM usage to 
> under 1GiB.
> I'm lost at what to look at... I don't even know if it's an upstream or 
> FreeBSD problem.
> I start by asking if anyone else is seeing this and/or if anything in 
> the way it is ported or in its dependencies could be the cause of this.
> bye & Thanks
> 	av.

I also use ff-esr on an old machine with 4GB RAM. It starts with 2 
processes, one uses ~300MB (RES) and one ~150MB. It doubles in size quite 
quickly after some browsing (especially something like Facebook or 
Linkedin). When watching YT videos it grows to ~1GB. The SIZE column is 
~1.5GB here. Note that the only add-on I use is uBlock Origin.

Although I think these sizes have become quite ridiculous, I never saw 
memory usage that big. But I have to say I usually close FF if memory 
usage gets out of hand.

A political man can have as his aim the realization of freedom,
but he has no means to realize it other than through violence.
 		-- Jean-Paul Sartre

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