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(too) many Firefox process and too much memory used

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Eldkatten
 
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 2:24 am

Hello,

I'm using Firefox Version 59.0.2 (64-Bit) on a Windows 7 64bit machine. Since Version 58 or so, but definately since Version 59, there are serious performance issues which I didn't observe with earlier versions.

First, after I start Firefox, there are four Fiefox processes in the Task Manager list. I restricted Firefox to one "content process", so what are the other three processes do?

More important, Firefox uses up the entire free memory after a while. That results in excessive paging, thus harddrive activity, often rendering the entire computer unusable. This occurs even when Firefox just sits there without being used. That means, when I start Firefox, the "largest" process is at about 240 MB (the second largest process as well, and as said, I wonder what this one is actually doing), and when I check after one or two hours without having used Firefox in the meantime and usually when I recognize a significant performance loss using other programs and lots of harddrive activity, the largest Firefox process is at over 1 GB, which in total means using up 85 - 90% of the machine's memory.

Why is this? How do I prevent Firefox from chewing up memory, even if it isn't doing anything? And why did this prodigal memory use appear with the latest versions?

Kind regards

LIMPET235
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 2:41 am

Not really a bug as such.
Have you tried Firefox' Safe Mode yet?
> http://kb.mozillazine.org/Safe_Mode

Moving to Firefox Support...
Ancient Amateur Astronomer
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Eldkatten
 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2018, 12:31 pm

Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 2:53 am

Hello,

yes, sorry, I noticed that I issued this in the "Bugs" section first after I had posted it, was meant to be "Support". Sorry, first post.

I started Safe Mode, but can't tell yet what effect it has memorywise. The first thing I notice is that I now only have three Firefox processes. Where did the fourth one go?
I'll have to check on the memory use in an hour or so.

If the memory usage doesn't run away in Safe Mode, what would be the next step to fix this in normal mode?

Kind regards

LIMPET235
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 3:05 am

Hi,
It's possibly due to an extension or Hardware Acceleration or ?
The KB article has a few hints etc., on what the causes may be.
Ancient Amateur Astronomer
Win-7-HP/Intel® DualCore-2.0GHz/500G HDD/4 Gig Ram/550Watt PSU/350WattUPS/Firefox-20.0-57.0/T-bird-2.0.0.24/SnagIt-v10.0.1/MWP-7.11.0.
RadioYachting. (Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

Eldkatten
 
Posts: 12
Joined: April 2nd, 2018, 12:31 pm

Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 8:40 am

Hello,

ah, "KB" = KnowledgeBase ;-) Thanks.

In Safe Mode Firefox seemed to be fine, but I was impatient and did the following, according to "Reducing memory usage - Firefox":
- browser.cache.memory.capacity = 0
- browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers = 0
- image.mem.min_discard_timeout_ms (I had to add this) = 2000 (2 s)

After that and several hours of idle and usage as well, Firefox seems to have stopped greedily grabbing memory. In normal mode, that is.
I don't worry about any performance losses caused by those settings, only if Firefox doesn't make my computer run out of memory all the time.

Still I have four (normal mode) Firefox processes. Minus one "content process" it leaves the question what the other three processes are actually doing. At least one of them treats itself to a quite big chunk of memory of its own, and is not affected in that matter by any settings, as far as I can see.

Kind regards

therube

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Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 8:48 am

FF "Quantum" is multi-process, so it is expected to see multiple processes from a single "instance" of FF.
There used to be a Pref to disable multi-process. Don't recall if it still exists?
Even if you could disable it, it may or may not make a difference in operation?
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LIMPET235
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2018, 9:09 am

Hi,
You can see what my Firefox v57 uses in this thread as a comparison.
ref; > viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3039589

WIN7 tops out at around 3.5 Gig RAM or so.
See if this page helps with your Q? re; the multiple processes...
> https://medium.com/mozilla-tech/a-quant ... b7174b3c12

&, here's the site to keep an eye on the latest version's Release Notes.
> https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/releases/
Ancient Amateur Astronomer
Win-7-HP/Intel® DualCore-2.0GHz/500G HDD/4 Gig Ram/550Watt PSU/350WattUPS/Firefox-20.0-57.0/T-bird-2.0.0.24/SnagIt-v10.0.1/MWP-7.11.0.
RadioYachting. (Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

Eldkatten
 
Posts: 12
Joined: April 2nd, 2018, 12:31 pm

Post Posted April 4th, 2018, 5:40 am

Hello,

still not sure whether I was able to fix this matter. This morning I saw one Firefox process having gained over 1 GB memory again. I deactivated Adblock Plus and Flash Video Downloader, leaving only NoScript active. Otherwise no plugins active. I'll see if this helps.

Still I'd like to know what causes this new behaviour. As said I see this maybe since version 58, definately since 59. Why is it that Firefox started to grab large amounts of memory until the machine it's running on is completely stalled? Why am I forced now, with the current version, to fiddle around with settings I didn't even know about before? Or if this new behaviour is caused by plugins and extensions and/or things like "Hardware Acceleration", what makes those modules go berserk concerning memory use?

I mean, something grave must have changed, and I am not really satisfied with tips and tricks, because I get the impression of having a sleeping beast in my system, which is just controlled by the means of some settings, but might wake up at any time and feast again on my machines memory. Thus I'd really like to know what's behind that new memory-hunger of Firefox.

Kinde regards

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