Dear Mozilla: Fix Your Damn Browser Already

Firefox crash

Longtime Readers of this blog will be aware that I have been a fan of Mozilla for a long time. There’s nearly ten years of Mozilla advocacy tucked away in the JWM archives. I’ve been on the Mozilla fanboy train since before Firefox even existed — all the way back to the original Mozilla Suite’s Milestone 17 release, the first version after the Netscape exodus I used regularly, which Wikipedia tells me shipped on August 7, 2000.  That’s back when Bill Clinton was president.  So I don’t like that I have to write this post, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

And on the subject of Firefox as it exists today, the way I sees ’em is this: Mozilla, you need to fix your damn browser.

Firefox, on Linux at least, is busted.  It’s busted so bad that it’s painful to use.  And it’s been this way ever since Firefox 3 launched — three years ago.

The culprit, I believe, is the mechanism that modern versions of Firefox use to keep track of your bookmarks and browsing history.  Before Firefox 3, bookmarks and history were stored in separate places; your bookmark list was stored as an HTML file — an approach that went all the way back to the original Mosaic browser of the early 1990s — and history was stored in a custom database called “Mork“, whose design was memorably described by Jamie Zawinski in 2004 as “the single most braindamaged file format that I have ever seen in my nineteen year career.

As Zawinski’s testimony should make clear, working with those old tools was painful for the programmers involved, and as the browser grew in complexity the limitations they imposed became more and more acute. So for Firefox 3, Mozilla scrapped them both, replacing them with a new, unified system known as “Places.

The key shift that Places embodied was that instead of being scattered across multiple poorly-documented data stores, history data (including bookmarks) would now be stored in a single data store, running on the popular embedded database SQLite — which meant that all that data could now be queried in more or less the same way as any other relational database.  That opened up a whole new range of feature possibilities, such as Firefox’s Awesome Bar, which also shipped with Firefox 3; the Awesome Bar put your browsing history at your fingertips in a way that the old systems could never have supported.

Which was great! Until it slowly began to become clear that Places brought with it a bunch of problems of its own.  From Firefox 3 on, I began to notice that Firefox was hanging, and hanging a lot.  Worse, it was hanging more and more as time went on. And the hangs tended to pop up when doing something history-related, like clicking the Back button, or typing something into the Awesome Bar.

The culprit, as far as I can tell, is Places — or, more specifically, Places’ SQLite backend.  I’m not enough of an expert on either Firefox or SQLite’s internals to know which one is really responsible.  All I know is that, once you made the move to Firefox 3, you started to notice the browser getting slower and slower, and hanging more and more; and the advice you got on how to fix that kept coming back to suggestions like “use SQLite’s VACUUM command to remove empty space from your Places database” and “your Places database is fragmented; delete it and start over with a clean one“.

Which, not to put too fine a point on it, but what the hell? I’m running a Web browser here, not an Oracle cluster.  I shouldn’t need to be a freaking DBA to keep my browser running. And that’s not even the worst part; the worst part is that the only advice that really stops the problems — blowing away your Places database altogether and starting fresh — totally kills the value of the Awesome Bar. The Awesome Bar is awesome because it uses Firefox’s memory of your history to supplement your own; it helps you find sites you visited long ago and only vaguely remember now. Every time you blow away the Places database all that memory is wiped clean, which makes the Awesome Bar pretty non-Awesome.

Mozilla clearly knows these problems exist; mentions of them have popped up periodically in various Firefox blogs and forums ever since Places landed. And various people make noises about fixing them. But they never seem to get fixed. I’m on Firefox 7 now, and Firefox 8 is coming next month, and yet I’m still suffering from these painful performance issues that have lingered since Firefox 3.

That’s unacceptable.

There’s lots of great stuff coming down the pike in upcoming versions of Firefox. I find that I don’t really care about any of them anymore. What I care about is a browser that doesn’t require me to muck about with SQLite terminal commands, or manually erase history files every six to eight weeks.

A browser, in other words, that’s usable.  A browser that isn’t constantly hanging.

Can Mozilla deliver that browser? For the first time in almost a decade, I’m starting to doubt it.

UPDATE (December 20): Things have gotten better since I wrote this post, thankfully.



October 12, 2011
11:58 pm

I used firefox all the way til firefox2 was no longer supported. Actually, I used firefox2 even after it was no longer supported.. But, once html5 started chugging into existance I made the switch to opera as it is a nice fast browser that can be tweaked to look & feel like firefox2 but with lots more options. Then came along a firefox2 replica, not really but you may have heard of it: Midori. It does not have all the greatest extensions in the world but it has the basics of blocking images, js, disabling plugins etc.. And it just feels like firefox2 in most ways.

I realize you like awesomebar which I’ve never even seen.. but with firefox trying to play the chrome/chromium browser rapid release method it no longer is the stable browser it once was. It’s trying to be what google wants, not what the user wants. When firefox decided to implement some sort of anti-competition “safety” thing:

Which I’m sure everyone in their mother supports until they realize that ssl is as flawed as ____.

All I can write is: quit advocating for firefox and advocate for projects that are still community focused. Lotsa mainstream gnu/linux “community oriented projects” are just dumping on their community anymore, it’s blatant and hard to miss.


October 13, 2011
10:15 am

Could not agree more with you sentiment. I have been a long time supporter of Mozilla and the Firefox browswer, but back sometime in the last couple of months I have become way too frustrated with the constant getting slower and slower as it is ued and of the course the hang that always occurs at just the worse time. I still use it just a little bit, but I have moved on to other platforms while waiting for the fix to issues that has never come.

Jason Neal

October 13, 2011
1:42 pm

I made the jump to Firefox when it was in its infancy as well. It had the name Firefox, but it must have been the first version, because I remember upgrading to Firefox 2. As of Firefox 3, I started having problems as well. Completely different problems from you, but in the same genre. I noticed it was just generally slower than I was used to, and it would constantly hang and force me to kill it and restart it. And this is on Windows mind you.

I left Firefox eventually, and went to Chrome for a few months. Then I figured, maybe they updated Firefox and it’s better now. So I downloaded again, and ended up with the same issues, so I went back to Chrome which is where I still am to this day.

I’ve always loved Firefox, and never thought I would go to another browser, but their inability to fix their browser’s bugs and issues and left me no choice but to seek the best alternative until such time that they can get their act together and fix everything.

Chrome User

October 13, 2011
1:49 pm

Amen brother! All good software eventually goes to the proverbial $#!t.


October 13, 2011
1:50 pm

I left Firefox some time ago for Chrome because FF was so slow and Chrome finally supported extensions. I’ve not missed FF.


October 13, 2011
2:00 pm

VACUUM’s run automatically once a month now so you at least don’t need to do that. I have a 60 MB places file with around 100k history entries and 1000 bookmarks and I really don’t see any perf issues…

Idea Man

October 13, 2011
2:04 pm

I have an idea… Stop using linux you dork.


October 13, 2011
2:07 pm

This longstanding bug has been found and fixed in the past few weeks. There’s a workaround as well (use the Places Maintenance addon to properly index your Places database).


October 13, 2011
2:08 pm

I, too, have been with Mozilla for some time now… Back when Mozilla was a browser and Firefox was pre-1.0 (don’t remember how pre- though) and am rapidly losing faith in them to do things right… but I’ve come to require NoScript and AdBlock as basic security requirements. As soon as *any* other browser gets a halfway decent version of them, I’ll be switching.


October 13, 2011
2:19 pm


I have been using FF since 0.7 and loved it because it was starting so quickly and did not have so much mess around. I have left for Google Chrome, b/c its simply working. Would love to get a quick browser machine back and not this f***ing “development platform”


October 13, 2011
2:19 pm

Cross-browser bookmarks compatibility is the one reason I’m having hard time giving up on Firefox, otherwise, Chrome is certainly faster and better overall. The other issue is that bookmarks are not easily portable on cloud (don’t talk to me about delicious or xmarks – I prefer to keep my bookmarks to myself). What if I use Chrome most of the time at home but can’t if I’m using library or work computer? There are issues which are still unresolved in the browser world.

The bookmarks and the history is one of the least appreciated entity out there in the browser. This is mostly because of the delicious/xmarks/evernote hype, but those who prefer to appreciate the local History and the local bookmarks, the Firefox seems stuck in time with no upgrade at all. And if what you identify as a culprit for all these issues is true, than I think it is time to go chrome on firefox.


October 13, 2011
2:29 pm

Being a Firefox user and fan since its inception, I really can understand your feelings. I have had other related and unrelated problems too.
Now that this story is on Hacker News and elsewhere, maybe the guys at Mozilla will hear us.

Gian-Carlo Pascutto

October 13, 2011
2:33 pm

Vacuuming the database shouldn’t be needed – Firefox 4 and later do it automatically, see

Fragmentation of the database on disk was address in and should also be fixed or much reduced for Firefox 4 and later. (But note that if the file on disk is already fragmented, Firefox can’t fix *that*)

It’s true SQLite + Places caused some nasty issue after being introduced in Firefox 3, but as you can see above the issues that are understood were addressed.

If you still see bad performance, there might be some left. Firefox 7 includes Telemetry (advanced->general->submit performance data) which was added specifically to help track down problems like this one. Telemetry marks where users see bad performance and helps to figure out what the difference is between users/configurations where it happens and places where it doesn’t.


October 13, 2011
2:38 pm

I too sometimes experience “hangs” like you describe, but only on my netbook. Notwithstanding, Places and awesomebar are the features I love the most in Fx, and won’t switch anywhere else. P

Large issues do exist however, for example, I recently saw an open bug describing huge slowdown in Places queries with the history bar open.

Regardless of all of the above, I have become accustomed to using the browser in such a way that it works every time, never crashes, is fast enough, and has features no others have.

All things said, I believe this kind of “Places” optimization would be much appreciated in Firefox, similar to previous efforts of speedy JS and rendering, and current ones like memshrink.


October 13, 2011
2:39 pm

I’m also a long time Firefox user (since Phoenix) and I could not agree more. Thankfully the latest versions do seem to be fixing the speed issue. Finally. It’s only taken two or three years to do.


October 13, 2011
2:48 pm

Your post encapsulates one thing well – users of FOSS software sure can be an entitled, whiney bunch.

Look, you are entitled to your opinion, but not for other people to prioritize their work according to your pet peeves. I’m going to make a wild guess that the developers at Mozilla, and the various volunteers who actually do something on Firefox (rather than writing plaintive blog postings about it), are busy writing code. You’re not smarter or more productive than them, and until you contribute to their project you are entitled to a big fat nothing.

You _can_ help. One way is to write code in one of the many subprojects Mozilla has put forward. Another is simply to fill clear, well written bug reports.

You are getting a high quality product for nothing. Try not to have a misguided attitude about what it is, or who you are in relation to it.

Asa Dotzler

October 13, 2011
3:36 pm

We’ve been working on this. There were some big performance improvements in Firefox 6 and 7 and we’ve got a big hang fix that’s just about to hit in Firefox 8.

Can you grab an Aurora or Beta build and see if things are better?

– A


October 13, 2011
3:51 pm

Stop whining and use Chrome already, like everyone else with half a brain has been doing for years.


October 13, 2011
3:53 pm

I’m intimately familiar with SQLite. The problem is actually a Linux filesystem issue. In order to ensure durability SQLite needs to ensure data is physically on disk at various points. It does this by calling fsync() on the database file and in some cases on the parent directory.

The call is supposed to ensure all data associated with the file is on disk before returning. However the common Linux filesystems (ext3 and friends) turn an fsync call into a sync call – ie *all* data that is currently buffered is written to disk, not just for that one file. This takes considerably longer especially if you are doing other things, and also interferes with reads.


October 13, 2011
4:00 pm

I agree, Chrome is the way forward. FF has way too many memory issues to worry about. I left when 3.5 didnt improve anything and since my move to Chrome I’ve never once thought about changing browser again.


October 13, 2011
4:02 pm

Hudat, what you’re describing idealizes Open Source Software. The problem with Mozilla’s Firefox is now millions and millions of people use it, and performance issues that vary wildly are being described by people across platforms.

Yea… that sounds like a pretty damn good reason to complain to me. If you make the step to be massive in respect to the user base, do not roll out upgrades that hamper performance or introduce bugs. I don’t if you’re free or for pay. You don’t roll out broken or buggy features. Afterall, the community isn’t PAYING FOR THIS! Investors aren’t waiting for the next release to occur.

The author is extremely right about the fact that users should never be forced into DBA-style workarounds to manage SQLite which they don’t even see.
I’m glad to see FF claims to have fixed the issues, but that doesn’t devalue the author’s opinions or blog post.

Theodore Tso

October 13, 2011
4:26 pm

The fundamental problem with Mozilla is that it is trying to do database queries in its UI loop, and it wants every single piece of state safely on disk after every single click. This results in a huge amount of disk space to get written to disk as you visit every single click. Now I don’t know about you, but if my computer crashes, do I really care if everything up to the last click is safely on disk? I wouldn’t care at all if the last 10 or 15 minutes of browser history; I don’t care if the link colors are a little off due to a some history getting lost on a system crash.

Compounding this is the fact that SQLlite was never intended to be a high performance database. It was designed for portability, and ease of setup. Which is fine, but it means that SQLlite uses many more I/O’s and issues many more fsync()’s than would be strictly necessary. (In fact, Oracle doesn’t issue a single fsync operation on a transaction commit; it uses direct I/O instead.)

So even if Firefox manages to get rid of all of the various problems that cause its UI thread to block, this fundamental design mistake will cause them to do excess I/O’s, which burns battery and burns SSD write cycles. They would be much better off if they kept all of their state in memory, and 10-15 minutes, updated the on-disk database in a completely asynchronous fashion.

And if that means losing some history on a crash, is the fact that a user has visited one web site, but not another, really that important?

Marco Bonardo

October 13, 2011
6:17 pm

You don’t have a clear vision of the reality, but you don’t have to, since you are not expected to be working on this code. You are a user, you don’t have to care about implementation details, you care about performances and your everyday experience. That’s what we are interested in listening, after all.

After working for years on Places, I can’t come here and tell you “you are wrong”, so I will tell you “you were right”. You were right since initial Google’s implementation of Places was ambitious, but not really well done (indeed it missed the Firefox 2 train for that). But we’ve worked deeply on that, trying at the same time to give the less disruption to our users. I still use my database inherited from Firefox 3 (put some alpha number here), but performances have multiplied from where they were. It’s about 120MB, it has 140 thousands pages, two years of history and some thousands bookmarks, and you know what, it never gave me an issue or an hang, I never had to touch it with a SQLite manager, or the command line. And it helps me everyday in doing my job.
Others already told that most of the issues you point out are addressed, and more is coming, so I won’t talk about that.
What I want to say is that the problem was not moving to SQLite and the solution is not having fear of changes. Places issues were well known, the path to future improvements is well defined, that by itself is the best recipe to improve it.
I’m sorry that your experience is not good as is for other millions users, but that’s what we can work on, you can contact me and we can take a look at specific issues of your profile, we can convert this bad experience in a positive effort to improve experience of other users.



October 13, 2011
7:09 pm

Firefox has been slowly declining in performance for years. I don’t think it is any one particular problem, but rather a whole host of problems contributing slowly to a death by a thousand cuts. In my experience, firefox is the most bloated and slowest of all the modern browsers, and yes, that includes IE 9. They would need to go back and spend a serious amount of time focusing on performance before the browser will ever be usable again.


October 13, 2011
7:17 pm

This has been a problem for me on OS X as well. Every other week I have to clear my history to reduce the time it takes for Firefox to respond. Even closing the browser down can take a couple of minutes but that’s probably some other memory issue. I yearn for the days when Firefox was simple, that is, when they first separated it from those other clients in the suite.


October 13, 2011
8:19 pm

Confirming that this is why I switched to Chrome. I keep Firefox around for Elasticfox and not much else.


October 13, 2011
9:44 pm

I too, have been a FF supporter for a long time but was put off by it’s ridiculous start up time. Moved to chromium, I look back everyday and I am hoping to move back to FF, but chrome still runs smoother in many aspects.


October 13, 2011
10:02 pm


October 13, 2011
11:22 pm

You have to use Firefox Aurora with Hardware A and you will not want to use anything else. The work the developers have done in the past year is amazing. I also use Chrome but Chrome can’t really block scripts, web pages don’t look as nice, oh yea and Chrome is made by an advertising company! A lot of the crap on the web about Firefox is probably Google buying bloggers off OR “old school” FF users who don’t realize that the extreme measures Mozilla is taking is necessary to remain relevant. BTW Aurora is faster than Chrome so try it for yourself.


October 13, 2011
11:52 pm

What Roger said.


October 14, 2011
12:18 am

Glad you wrote this because I was thinking the same. FF used to be great. A lightweight, quick browser, that was actually a joy to use.

Now it is slow, always hanging, and constantly nagging about yet another update or upgrade. I’m looking for a lightweight, quick browser, that is actually a joy to use.

Seriously? Is it that hard just to have a web browser?

Ashik Salahudeen

October 14, 2011
1:03 am

I am a long time FF user too, and was getting annoyed at Firefox 3.5 or so. But ever since FF4 and Aurora builds have been around, I have had fewer and fewer issues. Nowadays my only complaint is the if i leave the browser running for a long time, it feels sluggish. But its okay, since I can restart the browser every one or two day. I really dont see the need for switching to Chromium (I use FF on Linux).

You should try switching to Aurora.


October 14, 2011
1:56 am

I’m a web developer and a long time Firefox on Linux user. I mainly use the unstable nightly builds and I really don’t have much issues with them. Additionally none of the other browsers has anything even close to the awesomebar, so I don’t see myself switching to anything else soon.

jay armstrong

October 14, 2011
2:40 am

I’ve been using the new FF 8 beta and have been extremely impressed. It’s very fast. It’s Chrome fast. Once I was able to remove the search box and get an addon to search multiple engines from the address box, it became my primary browser … for about a week. The new flash 11 crashes a lot in both Chrome and FF but in FF, it takes the whole browser with it. (Yesterday, it froze my entire dual-core, Ubuntu machine only by watching youtube in Chrome)

Even with this massive speed boost coming down the line, it’s still frustrating to have to restart the entire browser for every change/addition of an extension or theme. And the lack of “sandboxing” lets the whole browser slow or hang. Hopefully, those can be changed in the future.

Better Idea Guy

October 14, 2011
3:57 am

I have a better idea, STFU

Oliver Agar

October 14, 2011
4:31 am

Honestly Firefox has improved dramatically in all areas in the last six months to me, and now outstrips Chrome by far for my usage.

Chrome has tons of odd useability quirks (e.g. can’t tab between addressbar suggestions) which make it unwieldy to use, and Firefox’s extensibility is way beyond that of Chrome.

Your article bears no relation to my current experience of the browsers in question.


October 14, 2011
5:53 am

I have been long time user of FF, haven’t faced issues as described by you in recent time. I never cleared my history, cache, FF haven’t crashed. In fact I have smoother experience with FF.

Chris Drost

October 14, 2011
6:04 am

I know what you mean — that typing into the location bar suddenly stalls the browser for 30 seconds or so. For me it is basically a “one-time” error — the first time I type something recognizable, the system seems to be loading the database for a very long time; but after that, the system seems to be cool with it.

I will add that there needs to be a proper Kill Button for the Javascript thread, and it needs to be able to operate independently from the entire rest of the browser. Firefox is no longer consistently able to detect “hey this page seems to be working to hard” and to stop it dead in its tracks when it does.

In part this may be because the internal Monkeys have gotten more complicated, but in part this is probably due to a special Javascript guarantee. Javascript is an inherently asynchronous language but it makes the remarkable guarantee that it will be totally thread safe — the asynchrony will not cause race-condition bugs. This has traditionally included Javascript’s GUI — HTML+CSS — and therefore browsers seem to include page rendering alongside it.

So I guess the proper view is actually very close to a modern 3D video game, and I have the feeling that modern browsers don’t embody the proper separation. There should be an internal representation of the “world” (in this case, the document), and a “physics engine” (the Javascript thread) sitting atop it to animate it. The browser and rendering/layout engine then forms a “camera” which can wander around within the evolving space, on a separate thread. When the physics hangs, then the browser should be able to cut it off.

Also, Chrome gave this great idea of separating tabs by process, and as far as I know, this is not actually done by Firefox yet. It’s a bright idea that closing tabs should free memory.

Though it probably requires a rework of the system, I’m not sure why it’s not been done yet. The Mozilla Foundation always has the option of starting up an experimental community to redesign their browser from the ground up. It is probably their best choice if they want to stay very competitive.


October 14, 2011
9:57 am

“Firefox, on Linux at least, is busted. It’s busted so bad that it’s painful to use” – Using it for last 4 years on Ubuntu. Don’t think i had ever had any issue.
Is this a new kind of meme?

Miguel Dias

October 14, 2011
11:02 am

Who is the whiny here? Hudat…

You first say he is entitled to an opinion and then go on a rant about how he isnt entitled to an opinion? mozilla is not free, by using the search box we are paying mozilla, thats how they make their millions, so dont come all high and mighty claiming that we are all getting something for free, the same way chrome is not free, but besides that, everyone, i mean everyone! should have a right to their opinion, it doesn’t matter if its free, paid, stolen or dropped from the sky.

And in this case, well not too sure if “Places” is the culprit, but for sure a browser that was created to be simple and performance driven, hasnt been that for years now, im also am huge fan of firefox, but im using modern computers with multiple cores,ssd,loads of ram and whatnots and firefox still drags/crashes/hangs every single day.

And dont freaking tell me the same old excuses for years now, its the extensions fault, its a feature, you have to defrag places, you have to reeinstall… please chrome,opera,even ie8/9 showed that you can have a blazing fast browser with a modern computer filled with all sorts of add-ons and extensions, firefox just isnt that anymore!

Miguel Dias

October 14, 2011
11:16 am

Absolutely! All modern browsers are in a way or another “bloated”, ie9, opera, chrome are packed full of features and extensions, but they are all able to ride it out and still give excellent performance, and it kinda aggravates me a bit all these firefox fanboys and developers for years always giving excuses and saying its a minority, its always the best and fastest ever firefox, here are the charts and whatnot to prove it, and then i open chrome with 20 extensions and 4 tabs and its open and usable in 2 seconds, i open firefox with no extensions and 2 tabs (gmail and reader) and it takes 5 or 6 seconds hanging while its thinking, and thats when it doesnt go all 15 seconds and quits on me (and its kinda the same on my other computers on winxp/win7/ubuntu)…

All my friends have moved on to chrome and such, everyone in my office is on chrome, i only stay with firefox for firebug, and really if i need to just check a youtube video or my mail, i open chrome, i open chrome to use the freaking chromium calculator extension on chrome, thats how a browser should be, super fast opening, super responsive, super fast navigating! something firefox hasnt delivered in years.


October 14, 2011
11:37 am

Several months ago, I was close to giving up on Firefox, and in the case of my netbook, on which I do 99% of my browsing when I’m not in my office, I actually did switch to Chrome. Performance was horrible, and this was under Windows, not Linux, although I had similar issues with Linux as well… just not as bad. I experienced this problem with Firefox 3 and Firefox 4. I was running the nightlies for a long time, but I still had performance problems on my netbook (whereas faster machines didn’t have that problem, although the netbook is still a decent machine and plenty capable for running a web browser).

Anyhow, long story short, somewhere in the past few months it got better. Much better. I’m actually running the nightlies on Windows these days (UX 10.0a1) and it works just fine for me, and on Linux I’m running version 7, which is also fine. I’ve seen fewer bugs and crashes in months of running the Firefox nightlies than I did in an average week of IE6 (the last version of IE I used regularly… I know it’s better than it used to be, but who cares?)

I have no doubts you are complaining about real problems, but at least for me, those problems went away a long time ago.

Nonetheless, if Firefox is losing users to Chrome, it’s something they should address. This is what competition is all about and right now is the best time ever for web browsers. We have tons of choices and each browser is competing for users by becoming better, faster and more stable. I’m still a happy Firefox user, but I recognize the contributions brought about by the good work being done on Chrome, Opera and the other modern browsers.


October 14, 2011
11:53 am

I use firefox 7.0 all the time with ubuntu and xfce as the gui, xubuntu, and, I never have problem, no crashes, nothing, runs better than chrome!


October 14, 2011
3:15 pm

It’s pretty mind boggling that you people are having performance issues with a web browser on any even remotely modern PC. I can believe that SQLLite may be an I/O bottleneck, but noticeable performance issues? Something is wrong with your computer or config. A $300 Walmart PC can cold launch FF and load pages like the damn browser is running on a RAM disk.

I’d bet half these commenters are running Norton or some silliness like that.

FF user since Blake released phoenix on his blog.

Jason Lefkowitz

October 14, 2011
3:19 pm

Yeah, that’s it. I’m running Norton.



October 14, 2011
11:15 pm

It’s interesting how different people’s experiences are. Firefox on Linux has been rock solid for me since version 6, and matched or exceeded Chromium’s speed, for what I do anyway, when the Aurora channel hit 7. I don’t remember the last crash I had and only open Chromium occasionally to see if they’ve added sensible zoom levels yet. My wife finally gave up on Firefox because of constant slowness and hangs, and loves Chrome.

Jigar Shah

October 15, 2011
2:26 am

Yeh..i use every day…6-8 hours 🙂 Ubuntu. It works like charm. No issue…Its starts much faster..less instances of freezing….Looks like author is doing something unusual. Or we are not doing something usual…


October 15, 2011
6:32 am

These Problems become really obvious when Firefox is used on a machine with little resources.

I have a netbook with encrypted disk – it is almost impossible to use Firefox with history enabled. Or on my Android phone… Mobile Firefox freezes regularly for some seconds when doing history related actions.

Ionel M

October 15, 2011
10:40 am

I got 100mb places file and it works great, blazing fast. And it always finds the results I want (unlike Chrome).

Using windows7 though …


October 15, 2011
10:58 pm

Why Mozilla!?!
I do like the awesome bar thou, perhaps if they jumped to a more stable system?? Also the amount of resources Firefox can chew is amazing, suddenly it feels like a 8 wheeled monster truck that handles like a 1KB/s dial-up connection.

It might be on Firefox’s end? Perhaps it crashes when SQLLite takes to long or something????


October 15, 2011
11:00 pm

Firefox can chew almost 0.5GHz of CPU sometimes, that is a LOT! Also the RAM usage can be crazy.


October 15, 2011
11:02 pm

Oh and it’s worse when you are running another heavy application, eg I switch out of Minecraft to Google something.


October 16, 2011
9:40 am

Hmmh strange I yesterday switched to opera as my lovely old firefox 7 got slower and slower. especially on javascript intensive tasks it seems to hang for several dozen of seconds…


October 21, 2011
5:13 pm

Firefox is now worse that IE. Page loads are at 56K modum level now. It constantly hangs and gives page error messages. I’m over to Chrome.


October 24, 2011
5:22 pm

I love it when people say that it’s the user’s fault or a faulty pc with lack of resources that’s to blame for FF lack of performance. It’s so ridiculous. FF is a memory hog. It has been for some time. It doesn’t seem to matter if there is 1 GB of memory or 8 GB of memory. FF goes out of its way to hog up as much of that memory as possible. It makes my PC run hot for no good reason other than it is a resource hog. Yet I sit here with Chrome open with 12 tabs and plenty of extensions, and everything is running nice and cool. And Chrome doesn’t crash on me after a few hours. Seriously. Don’t you think that if the issue were extensions and/or lack of resources on the PC that the problem would extend to all browsers, not just FF? I love FF, and I would love to continue using that as my default browser, but I simply refuse to deal with the problems that it causes on my system. Hopefully, the developers will finally attend to this once and for all, and I’ll be able to return to FF. BTW, I have FF 8 beta with MemoryFox installed, and the thing still hogs resources.


December 9, 2011
7:20 pm


Even Firefox 8.0.1 is a memory hog, causes beach balling (OS X) (so the problem is not specific to Linux, to answer that troll up above)… Plus, Chrome loads much faster.

I’ve adored Firefox for years, but more rapid version releases mean nothing if all my Adobe plug-ins stop working, and to say nothing about nothing getting fixed.

Chrome might be the future indeed. IE is a joke…


January 7, 2012
3:34 am

mozilla fix your dam system no excuses why do other browsers work – so good bye mozilla


September 7, 2012
2:16 pm

I am using Firefox 15.0.1 on WIndows 7 32-bit and it sucks!! I keep getting (not responding) ALL the time.