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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Firefox Memory Leaks

    I have a problem with FF 1.06 on WinXP, as the day goes by the memory usuage skyrockets, currently it is 302mb of my 1gb memory.
    The problem can be easily seen by opening Task Manager, closing and then re-opening FF, note memory usuage, then opening a few tabs, note the memory usuage, close all tabs and note the memory usuage - on affected systems all the memory is not recovered - and it continues to build over time.
    It also grabs an expotentially bigger share of the swap file.
    There are a number of 'fixes' for the problem lurking about the web, but none that seem to work, any one have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Resident Monopoly Hater
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    only solution I can see is to uninstall firefox and reinstall.

    If the problem persists, it will most likely be some XP component gone haywire and will require either a System Repair or a reinstall of XP.

  3. #3
    VoidMaster
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    This is all I have on this topic:

    Fix a memory leak in Firefox 1.0
    Firefox is supposed to dynamically release memory from its RAM cache to other Windows applications as needed. Unfortunately, Firefox 1.0 seems to consume more memory than it should, which hurts performance, when set to the default of 51200 KB (51 MB).

    To solve this, Firefox power users recommend limiting the memory cache using the Configuration Console. This frees up memory for other apps, speeding up everything to a greater or a lesser extent, depending on your machine and the applications you run. Here's how the trick works:

    Step 1. Type about:config into Firefox's Address Bar and press Enter.

    Step 2. Right-click any row, then click New, Integer. Type or paste the following preference name into the dialog box that appears (this is a hidden preference that doesn't exist in the Configuration Console until you create it):

    browser.cache.memory.capacity

    Step 3. Click OK, then enter the following integer number into the next dialog box, representing 16 MB of RAM for the cache:

    16000

    Step 4. Click OK to close the dialog box, then close all instances of Firefox and restart it.

    For a lengthy discussion of this option, see Mozillazine's forum topic 172041.

    AS a bonus this is useful:

    Move the disk cache to a faster or larger location
    Many Windows users like to locate their disk cache files on a separate hard drive from Windows. This can improve the performance of Windows or whatever program is using the cache, or it can free up space on a primary partition. (The disk cache should not be confused with the RAM cache described above.)

    To move Firefox's disk cache, use about:config to create a new preference. (This is another hidden preference that doesn't appear until you create it.)

    Type browser.cache.disk.parent_directory into the dialog box that appears, then click OK. In the Value dialog box, enter c:\folder, providing the foldername in which you wish the file to be located.
    It's not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable. The hundred-times-refuted theory of "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it - Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2005
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    Zqwerty

    Thanks for that detailed response - I will try the config setting, and go to the Mozilla page you mentioned.

    Further searching on my part indicates this problem will be at least partly solved in the forthcoming FF1.5.

    For others with the same problem; reinstalling acheives nothing.

    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    I have made the config changes and put the cache on a second drive and things have improved markedly, but the leak is still present but now manageable.

    There appears to be nothing for it but to close down FF reasonably regularly and re-open, there is no way I can continue to leave it open for days as has been my habit.

  6. #6
    VoidMaster
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    More info on this, apparently Flash is the culprit:

    http://fusion94.org/archives/2005/07...ox_memory.html
    It's not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable. The hundred-times-refuted theory of "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it - Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #7
    VoidMaster
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    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    And more still although I do not understand the significance of this:

    http://talideon.com/weblog/2005/03/js-memory-leaks.cfm
    It's not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable. The hundred-times-refuted theory of "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it - Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2005
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    6

    Default Re: Firefox Memory Leaks

    The javascript thing is interesting from the piont of view that it is well known that so many javascripts are really badly constructed and lead to memory leaks. Trouble is these dodgey scripts get used and reused like, well, a virus, and in a way I suppose they are.
    So I guess this begs the question as to whether the browser should assume when the script has run that garbage collection must be done and do it, and terminate any, and all listeners (in Flash and scripts). It is also true that badly programmed PHP and Perl scripts produce the same leaks.
    The problem of memory leaks I now find is not a new one for FF, it goes right back to the very first Mozilla days, and still is not fixed. Maybe Mozilla developers believe it is the programmes (Flash, PHP, PERL and more) and scripts which should be correct, and not thier problem. To my mind this is a head in the sand attitude and ignores the problems of the users of their product.

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