FireFox memory usage

Kevin Oberman rkoberman at
Fri Sep 15 18:51:07 UTC 2017

On Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 11:05 AM, Don Lewis <truckman at> wrote:

> On 15 Sep, Eugene Grosbein wrote:
> > On 15.09.2017 18:35, 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.
> >
> > It leaks like female animal under Windows, too. This depends heavily on
> your
> > set of addons, though. For example, NoScript addon may provoke
> Javascript code
> > of sites to leak memory constantly retrying to get their garbage.
> > In such case, close/reopen a tab may help for some period of time.
> Javascript seems to be the culprit in my case.  I do run NoScript, but
> I'm pretty sure that I had memory consumption issues before I added the
> NoScript addon.  I keep a huge number of tabs open and I've seen Firefox
> consume 40+ GB of memory (I've currently got a lot of RAM and swap
> available on my desktop).  Firefox memory consumption is what finally
> motivated me to do a reinstall to switch from i386 to amd64 several
> years ago, and since then was the motivation for a couple of RAM
> upgrades.
> Very recent versions of Firefox seem to have fixed this problem for me.
> I think this was fixed in the version 54 to 55 upgrade.  I probably have
> 300-400 tabs open right now and Firefox memory consumption seems to have
> stabilized at a bit over 6 GB.  It's been running for the last eight
> days.
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I have also seen significant improvements in  both memory use and
responsiveness in the last couple of releases. I do use noscript, but still
saw major delay for no obvious reason for JavaScript heavy sites like
Google applications and Facebook. These appeared rather around v48 and
disappeared around v54.
Kevin Oberman, Part time kid herder and retired Network Engineer
E-mail: rkoberman at
PGP Fingerprint: D03FB98AFA78E3B78C1694B318AB39EF1B055683

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