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Facebook and Firefox
I think FB is chewing up system resources

 11:44 am on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that if I leave a Facebook page up in FF (signed in) that my system resources rise in 4KB increments very quickly - not steadily but over time they keep going up even if I don't do anything. By the end of the day FF shows some insane amount of system resources consumed. Is it just my setup, normal for Facebook, have others seen this?



 5:12 pm on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Firefox has all sorts of memory leaking issues, I shut mine down the other night when it finally started to go supernova with almost 500MB of memory being consumed with only 2 tabs open.

Of course FF hadn't been closed in days and I had run all sorts of stuff, but they have some real issues with associating resources to specific tabs and performing cleanup.

What I've been told is that FF Add-Ons can actually cause some of the resource leaking problems and I think that's about the lamest excuse I've ever heard, but it's possible.

Easy way to find out some day, let's dump all the add-ons and see if it's still leaking resources :)


 5:14 pm on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

FYI, there are certain types of AJAX operations that seem to consume small chunks of memory that are never discarded with every update, perhaps that's what was going on with Facebook?


 6:53 pm on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

So totally agree. I had, and still have, a problem with FB from time to time, it corrupts the Microsoft Kernel Wave Audio Mixer [webmasterworld.com]. According to the feedback in that thread, it's the Flash ads killing it, but I still have no solid solution. I have to keep uninstalling and reinstalling that system resource.


 2:58 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have to keep uninstalling and reinstalling that system resource.

Are you kidding?

How in the heck does flash cause you to reinstall a resource?

Rebooting won't clean it up?


 3:38 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

No, it doesn't, apparently. Per the other thread, basically I just lose all sound, and on investigation the MS Kernel wave mixer appears as disabled. I uninstall it, run add new hardware, it re-installs it without requiring a reboot and all is fine. No one seems to have any info on this peculiarity so I'm presuming it's just something with my system.

It's definately Facebook though, and only sometimes. I'll visit the FB page, and if I get one of those CPU-to-the-roof hangs, the mixer will always be DOA.


 5:23 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

SO the long and short of it is I have to live with it.


 1:07 pm on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you running the FireBug extension by chance? You can right click on the icon in the lower right of the browser frame and suspend it when you are not using it (version 1.3.3).


 10:49 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I came here to report the same thing.. I've finally cracked up with it and am 1 step away from changing my default browser (apart from the web dev tools part ;))

However I can report, it's not just FB, I noticed it more and more since recently joining Twitter, but it's also not just Twitter either - I've been visiting/learning/browsing a lot of these fancy-doody Ajax sites and some of them just set the CPU off into overdrive. Last night I shut down FF and it took nearly 25 minutes to shut down properly and then reload :(

I used to only shut FF down once or twice a week, regularly having 30-40 tabs open.. these last few months it got steadily worse until this week was having to reboot it once or twice a day even if only 5-10 tabs open!

Don't know if it will help any, but I've now split up my profiles and have removed all my web dev add-ons (including Firebug) to a separate profile as I know they are a culprit at times, and this morning just surfing with Twitter and WebmasterWorld open with only related add-ons on this profile, it's better so far, but still prone to locking up for minute or so, especially on opening an Ajaxy/development/design site, and I'm keeping them to one at a time.. grrr

I'll see how the rest of the day goes to see if the leaks build up as quickly


 3:35 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

i do'not discover this problem!


 5:50 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

let's dump all the add-ons and see if it's still leaking resources :)

Memory resources consumption got so bad that I did just that, and the problem went away.

Am now in a process of testing each Add-On a week at a time to discover the culprit(s). So far, NoScript + British English Dictionary are clear. Web Developer is next.

Currently, FF v3.0.10 + NoScript + Dict is typically ~100,000 kB. That seems high to me, but the point is that it does not continually creep upwards.

The add-ons under suspicion, waiting to be tested, are:

    Live HTTP Headers
    Web Developer


 6:51 am on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had to change firefox to chrome due to memory problems. It was eating 700MB of memory only 15 minutes after I turned it on. And I had just two add-ons installed - the webmaster toolbar and firebug. Crazy.
Now I use firefox only to perform website checks. Chrome is way better for web surfing.


 12:44 pm on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Coop - no Firebug here. I do have Web Developer, Adblock Plus, Roboform, All-In-One-Sidebar, Java Quickstart, SEO Quake(s), and ReminderFox


 1:17 pm on Jun 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yeah, FF always consume up my memory. It's a big problem even now version 3.0.11. I have about 30 add-ons installed, including firebuy, web developer, adblcok plus, roboform, seo quakes and some others. The adblock plus I think is most suspicious!


 11:46 am on Jun 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>Java Quickstart

This could very well be your issue. It's the first thing I turn off after installing the JRE. Also, in your windows installation(s) if you look into your Add/Remove programs and you have more than one version in there, uninstall all of them. Grab the latest version/download of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Sun/Java and load from scratch. Next, follow the instructions in this thread to turn off java quickstart [webmasterworld.com].

I never let Java do it's own update either. I allow it to check and tell me if a newer version is available for download and then follow the same procedure. Uninstall the old version, download and install the new version and then turn off the quickstart.


 2:43 pm on Jul 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

@coopster To expand: I would only remove all updates of the *current* version. Then reinstall only the latest patch version of the JRE.

Reason: on PC's used for workplace java applications the earlier 1.x and 2.x versions of JRE might be required. Their absence breaks some applications. I've seen it personally with some Compaq/HP and Dell management apps.


 4:04 pm on Jul 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

firefox ... memory problems ... I had just two add-ons installed - the webmaster toolbar and firebug

In spite of previously suffering the identical memory-comsumption bug as yourself, and having now re-added both `Web Developer' & `Firebug' (and `NoScript, `British English Dictionary', `Live HTTP Headers' + refspoof), and with 11 tabs open, memory is at 120,000 KB.

I've still got `YSlow' to test, but it looks like this wretched memory bug either comes from a different source, or that recent updates have fixed it.

>>Java Quickstart
Disabled on my system before + after.

  • FireFox 3.0.11
  • British English Dictionary 1.19
  • Firebug 1.3.3
  • Live HTTP Headers 0.15
  • NoScript
  • refspoof 0.95
  • Web Developer 1.1.6


 2:01 pm on Jul 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

YSlow is the culprit.

After a *very* long test of Firebug--with no problems--YSlow was re-enabled on Fri Jul 24 as the final item to check. Within an hour or so, with 10 tabs opened, all the old symptoms returned. Mem usage was 300,000 MB, which is 200,000 MB more than before. I disabled it this afternoon and everything is hunky-dory again:- after an hour, 12 tabs and 90,000 MB.

These are the current versions:

  • FireFox 3.0.12
  • YSlow 2.0.0b3

Everything else is as previous post. Each add-on was progressively enabled on top of previous items.


 1:34 am on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

An addendum to the above:

Assuming that FF 3.5 must be thoroughly debugged by now I upgraded to it.

Lordy, but all the old symptoms reappeared (delays, slow scroll-bar... everything indicating low memory/continual paging to hdd). This time Task Monitor did NOT indicate any problems. FF Safe Mode did not help.

Trying to finish some work I hung on for a while. It was unworkable. Finally decided that I must downgrade back to 3.0 - at that moment an `urgent security upgrade' appeared (3.5.3). After installation all the symptoms vanished.

Not a word in the Release Notes about fixing this problem. Indeed, the blame for all slowdown-symptoms is placed on Add-Ons or Extensions (normally true, as notated above).

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