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Massive memory leaks

 8:27 pm on Feb 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know what's causing Firefox to bloat up and use all available memory in a Windows 7 version?

This has been going on with the last few versions and I think FF 8/19 are possibly worse than ever.

I can reboot the browser and it opens all my tabs up with minimal usage, but if you have anything in a tab that updates or refreshes, like a webmail interface or twitter, it will soon bloat to over 1GB in a day or more.

Why can't they fix this?



 11:16 pm on Feb 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

The past few days my Ubuntu machine has died two or three times for no apparent reason, which is very unusual. It occurred to me today it MAY be since I upgraded to V-10.

I also noticed a slow-down and extra paging over the past few weeks, which may take in the past couple of FF versions as well.

If your memory bloat applies to linux as well, that could be the reason. I currently have 7 windows open, total of about 100 tabs, which is about normal and seldom cause a problem before. :(

Or it could be something else. :)


 12:06 am on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

:: insert boilerplate about how In The Old Days, memory leaks of any size were the cardinal programming error ::

As I write this, the browser is drawing 116+ MB. Nine other applications-- some of which don't even have windows open-- are at 10+. Memory Usage Getter itself-- the program giving me this information-- is just under 30. (Also 23% of the CPU even though it's just sitting there with Auto-Refresh turned off.)

Gotta say that 1G seems a bit over the top, even for modern computers. Out of curiosity I opened Firefox (8.1 for Mac). Instant 168 MB just sitting there. That is, more than the closely related browser I'm actively using.

:: further boilerplate about walking to school barefoot in the snow ::


 10:51 pm on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ubuntu updated FF from 10.0 to 10.0.1 today and hence I re-started firefox.

Whether this update fixed any memory problem or whether I'm wrong about why linux crashed I don't know but with all windows dropped to the task bar except this one (19 tabs open) FF is running approx 40% of memory and there is about 45Mbyte free memory out of 1G and 2G swap space out of 3G.

That is about normal, from recollection. I usually have quite a few things open, mostly small but including Thunderbird, two or three copies of a programming editor (Kate) and three RDP windows.

If Ubuntu dies again I'll post.


 10:10 pm on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

After further checking it's almost certainly a backup app killing the machine, not firefox. Sorry.


 12:22 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Work PC is Win7 with FF 10.0.1 - haven't noticed memory hogishness. I'll track, log and report back.


 5:36 pm on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Firefox memory usage:
74,008k 8:16am
227,528k 9:33am
146,664k 10:03am
215,168k 10:38am
247,780k 11:03am
277,056k 11:30am
297,380k 12 noon
366,364k 12:30pm

Extensions: ColorZilla, Firebug, Page Speed, #*$!, Show Me More.

Plugins: Adobe Acrobat, Google Update, Java Deployment Toolkit, Java Platform SE, Microsoft Windows Media Player firefox, Realnetworks Chrome Background Extension Plug-In, Shockwae Flash,Windows Activation Technologies.

In the past some here at WW have posted similar massive leaks posts. A few reported that backing up their bookmarks, noting extensions & plug-ins and then reinstalling cured their issue. Extreme? Yes, but for them it was effective :-)


 10:58 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why can't they fix this?

That's a good question. I posted something similar on another thread here having multiple tabs open the browser kept eating memory till eventually had to restart it. Seems js or flash pages may cause memory leaks (depends on the side scripts code, timers allocating resources for instance) and to be sure it wasn't some extension I switched off all extensions and saw the same problem. I saw no problem when I blocked js btw.

They could have a switch for memory allocation, a report of how much memory each page/tab consumes etc. and if you switch off a tab it should release the associated memory allocated, but I doubt they segment the memory resources like this, not yet at least.

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