Firefox is a hungry mother!

Here I’m working with my humble Dual Processor, 2 GB RAM running Ubuntu 8.04.1, AMD64 edition. I was talking to a colleague / friend of mine and he told me that he (with his 7 GB RAM on a Mac OS) has his firefox eating some 750 MB. So I decided to see how much memory was firefox eating on my box. I run this command:

ps -C "firefox" -o pid=,vsz=,rss= | awk '{ printf "PID: %d, Virtual: %-.2f MB, Resources: %-.2f MB\n", $1, $2 / 1024, $3 / 1024 }'

And I got:

PID: 6223, Virtual: 778.06 MB, Resources: 403.70 MB

And I had just a couple of tabs open. So I said, ok, let’s start fresh. Here’s the same command with a firefox with just an about:blank, having just started up:

PID: 9139, Virtual: 462.02 MB, Resources: 56.34 MB

Nice to see resources drop, but Virtual is still at over 450 MB. Why oh why are you so hungry, dear firefox?

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9 Comments to "Firefox is a hungry mother!"

  1. Aug112008 at 2:30 pm

    dannybuntu [Visitor] wrote:

    Hahaha right you are. Firefox is not a hungry mother though shes an obese one.

  2. Aug112008 at 4:32 pm

    Dieter_be [Visitor] wrote:

    Do you know what virtual means?

    I has nothing to do with what the application actually uses. Even the resident memory (your 3rd number) includes the memory used by all the libraries that firefox uses (GTK et all)

    Imo memory management in firefox 3 is pretty strong. They did a lot of improvements regarding to leaks, fragmentation etc. Even while they do several fancy features (prefetching, – compressed – caching, the awesomebar) they keep the footprint surprisingly low. Of course you need to know *how* to measure and what the numbers mean.

  3. Aug112008 at 11:00 pm

    Steve [Visitor] wrote:

    I’ve dealt with a hungry Firefox as well. See below:

    But I think it may have been an addon that I had installed. I haven’t had this kind of thing happened for months now.

  4. Aug122008 at 12:21 am

    Derek Buranen [Visitor] wrote:

    Out of curiosity, was this with flash sites? I’ve had horrible problems with flash lately which seem resolved with today’s update, but I can’t vouch for memory usage yet.

  5. Aug122008 at 7:35 am

    mariano.iglesias [Member] wrote:

    @Dieter_be: Yes, I DO know what Virtual Memory is. DO NOT assume that you are the only one in the world who knows what they are talking about.

    @Derek: no, one static website, and a semi heavy-JS site.

  6. Aug122008 at 9:10 am

    Ali Servet Dönmez [Visitor] wrote:

    Although I’m not not expert by no means, shouldn’t you actually look for “Resident Memory”? I have lots of tabs open and it’s around 70MB in my case…

  7. Aug142008 at 8:47 am

    Miki [Visitor] wrote:

    Hola Mariano!

    I think like Ali, that Firefox memory usage depends on the available (is a good idea of course).

    In my Pentium IV, 1.7 GHz, 500Mb with a lot of tabs and more than 5 hours running:

    PID: 6159, Virtual: 327.58 MB, Resources: 130.54 MB

    Saludos desde España!!

  8. Jan062009 at 10:32 am

    Ged [Visitor] wrote:

    I run Fx on Ubuntu as well, and I was hitting 3.5 gigs just a few days ago :P . (That was just before it crashed, because there was no more memory to allocate :P ).

    I run ~60+ tabs, and run the browser for weeks straight, usually/often with the tabs divided between different windows.

    Or in other words – ‘me to!’ – I find Firefox to be quite hungry for my RAM. (It’s the main reason why I have 6 gigs of ram).

  9. Jun122009 at 5:06 am

    Karl [Visitor] wrote:

    I leave my computer running all the time during my work week, and by Friday firefox is normally using upwards of 1.5GiB of resident memory (out of 8 gigs installed). On my laptop with 1.5GiB of RAM, firefox will normally use everything it can leaving nothing left. It’s such a pig, but I can’t work without it (or rather firebug :D )

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