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Author Topic: Make Firefox 3 load faster  (Read 21483 times)
f0dder
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« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2009, 10:07:06 AM »

Does it make page rendering faster too?

(I'm content with loading time).
Nope, it doesn't - except if your page rendering time, for some reason, would be dependent on disk I/O smiley. This could happen if you have the habit of opening a lot of tabs at the same time. But that wouldn't really be rendering time that's improved, but simply firefox not stalling, waiting for disk I/O for the internet cache.

I find that actual rendering speed in FF is just fine, some people like reducing the "initial paint delay" but I'm not a fan of that.

As for using portable FF, it might give some (small?) amount of additional loading speed, since there's a whole bunch of stuff in the firefox program files folder. I find that with internet cache and profile on the ramdisk, a "cache-hot" startup of FF (ie., not the first start after a computer reboot, but shutting down firefox and re-opening) takes a bit less than a second.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 10:10:54 AM by f0dder » Logged

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edbro
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« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2009, 10:18:18 AM »

I went to the extremes of moving my entire firefox profile and browse cache to a ramdisk smiley (one that saves it's content to an imagefile when the computer it shutdown/rebooted, and with regular automated backups in the unlikely case I should have a windows crash or power glitch).
f0dder, which ram disk app do you use? I plan on testing the Farstone product recommended by gpetrant but I'd like to know about others that do automatic saves.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2009, 01:00:29 PM »

Hmmmmm don't know about load time since I haven't booted since install, but this Minefield seems to surf in snappy fashion!  AddOns seem to work thanks to Mr Tech. I'm using March 31 daily build.  So far it seems pretty stable.  Seems to be a bit less lag time when loading a page than FF 3.1 beta 3. Just started using it but so far I see no reason to stop. smiley

Edit: did a reboot.  First thing after I got desktop I ran Minefield.  Subjective time I'd say it came up in about 10 seconds!!  I think I'm gonna' like v. 3.6! smiley

Edit: guess I see why it's called Minefield.  Just wasted 3 hours trying to get favicons to work. Somehow I got into this thing where I could not put FF 2.x back on the machine.  It just wouldn't let me install any addons.  Had to put 3.1 beta 3 on as the only FF browser.  Really weirdy. Prolly shoulda' stuck with 2 as per my original plan!! Sheesh!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 04:29:12 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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gpetrant
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« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2009, 01:33:05 PM »

Out of curiosity how many tabs do you usually have open when you open Firefox?

Normally one (I built my own start page from which I navigate to my fav sites),  occasionally three to four (during the Add-ons update process), rarely eight to ten (when I need to invoke session restore).

I don't use a ram disk (yet) but I would think that initial page loads would not be affected. Subsequent page loads that use the cache would be able to access that cache faster, thus a faster page load.

I don't see the advantage of using Portable Firefox. I plan to implement this idea but I will put the FF profile in ram to see if it helps much.

Yes, page loads do get faster for the very reason edbro points out.

I use the portable version of Firefox because it's completely self-contained and hence easier to load the whole thing into my RAM disk.  Also, someday, I'd like to sandbox it within my RAM disk for security purposes (I haven't come across a way which would block it from accessing my system files (theoretically, speaking).  There are unidirectional USB firewalls which block traffic to a USB drive, but I haven't found any bi-directional ones yet.)

Suggestion: Give the portable a try with your RAM disk.  You'll still have your original browser(s) of choice (I do).  If it doesn't live up to your expectations, simply nuke the RAM disk (including the .img file) and everything will be gone completely. 

Portable Apps:  http://portableapps.com/
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edbro
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« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2009, 01:52:06 PM »

Also, someday, I'd like to sandbox it within my RAM disk for security purposes (I haven't come across a way which would block it from accessing my system files (theoretically, speaking).  There are unidirectional USB firewalls which block traffic to a USB drive, but I haven't found any bi-directional ones yet.)
You can place a Sandboxie container on the ramdisk that will allow you to run FF in a sandox.

Personally, I take a different route. I use Returnil so that my entire system drive is effectively sandboxed. Same concept as the ramdisk - turn the machine off and you are right back to where you started from.

You have convinced me. I think I will try the portable FF on the ramdisk instead of just the profile. I just need to manually turn on the cache that the Portable FF turns off by default.
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dantheman
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« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2009, 03:39:58 PM »

This ram disk looks kind of good. Any opinions favourable or not?
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edbro
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« Reply #56 on: March 31, 2009, 03:50:58 PM »

This ram disk looks kind of good. Any opinions favourable or not?
I saw that one earlier when I Googled for a freeware ramdisk. But, it doesn't look like it will automatically save the image like Farsoft. If I'm going to run Firefox in ram then I will want to save the image every so often. If I save a bookmark, I want it to be there tomorrow.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2009, 06:22:54 PM »

Out of curiosity how many tabs do you usually have open when you open Firefox?

Normally one (I built my own start page from which I navigate to my fav sites),  occasionally three to four (during the Add-ons update process), rarely eight to ten (when I need to invoke session restore).

I guess this tweak isn't for me. I normally open FirefoxPortable with 25+ tabs minimum.
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edbro
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« Reply #58 on: March 31, 2009, 08:17:08 PM »

Well, I installed Farsoft Ramdisk and put Portable FF on it. I compared it to my normal FF on hard disk.
5.5 seconds for Portable FF to load from ram
6.5 seconds for FF to load from HD.

Not enough of an improvement for me to buy the ramdisk software and to give up that memory. Has anybody else done a comparison?
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f0dder
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« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2009, 12:26:24 AM »

edbro: loading FF is only part of the story - what you really need to compare is browsing around, having lots of tabs open (and stuff like opening all the links from "view unread posts" in background tabs, then surfing the main tab while the background tabs are loading.

Putting portable FF on the ramdisk probably also meant you put a pretty clean install on the ramdisk? That means no huge & fragmented *.sqlite files, and not a lot of internet cache files?
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edbro
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« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2009, 06:26:04 AM »

No, I installed Portable FF but replaced the generic profile with my current profile. So, it was an apples to apples comparison.

I ran with it for a while but honestly, I couldn't notice much of a difference.
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f0dder
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« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2009, 09:27:52 AM »

OK.

Can't say I get a huge improvement here, but it's noticeable - YMMV. urlclassifier3.sqlite and places.sqlite are both ~23MB, and I used the SQLite VACUUM on both a couple of weeks ago.
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« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2009, 10:58:30 AM »

You can place a Sandboxie container on the ramdisk that will allow you to run FF in a sandox.

Personally, I take a different route. I use Returnil so that my entire system drive is effectively sandboxed. Same concept as the ramdisk - turn the machine off and you are right back to where you started from.

You have convinced me. I think I will try the portable FF on the ramdisk instead of just the profile. I just need to manually turn on the cache that the Portable FF turns off by default.

Thanks for the suggestions, edbro.  I've read very positive reviews of both products, but never thought of trying sandboxie in a ramdisk. 

Also didn't know portable FF turns off caching by default.  I think mine is caching (it has a cache folder which grows and shrinks over time).  How do you enable it, if it isn't?

This ram disk looks kind of good. Any opinions favourable or not?

I did try the freebie from QSoft.  It's a basic ramdisk driver with a GUI.  You install it as you would any driver.  It does have an imaging component, but I couldn't get to work for me.  Although free, I prefer the commercial products for their flexibility, ease of use, and overall polish.

If money were no object, I'd probably either go for the RamDisk or RamDisk Plus from SuperSpeed, or DiskBoost from Everstrike. 

The difference?  RamDisk Plus and DiskBoost are much more flexible and have more features (i.e. you can create more than one ramdisk at a time, encrypt ramdisk content, password protect image files, etc.)

For a simple single ramdisk, FarStone is my choice. 

RamDisk and RamDisk Plus:  http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php
DiskBoost:  http://www.everstrike.com/ramdisk/
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Shywolf
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« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2009, 11:53:50 AM »

From the Portable Apps site:
Quote
Disable Cache - Cache is disabled by default because on most drives, cache will actually slow Firefox Portable down. If you've copied in a local profile or enabled it, you can disable it within the Options window.

They disable it to prevent the constant read/writes on a USB drive. USB drives have a limited number of r/w's.

I think I remember being able to set the cache during the install. In any case, it appears that if you copy in your own profile like I did, then the caching setting will go with it.
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gpetrant
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« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2009, 12:58:48 PM »

Thanks.   thumbs up
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Shywolf
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« Reply #65 on: April 01, 2009, 02:40:35 PM »

I guess this tweak isn't for me. I normally open FirefoxPortable with 25+ tabs minimum.
Whoa!! That's some heavy tabbing.  What I'm still trying to find out is why it's written in stone that the back button has to reload the page.  I don't fathom what the cache is there for if you can't reload stuff you just downloaded 3 seconds ago when you hit the back button.  Very strange design.
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« Reply #66 on: April 01, 2009, 02:53:27 PM »


Whoa!! That's some heavy tabbing.  What I'm still trying to find out is why it's written in stone that the back button has to reload the page.  I don't fathom what the cache is there for if you can't reload stuff you just downloaded 3 seconds ago when you hit the back button.  Very strange design.


That debate or question has been asked on mozillazine and other related places for years, going back to the mozilla days. Never understood it.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #67 on: April 01, 2009, 03:35:19 PM »

I guess this tweak isn't for me. I normally open FirefoxPortable with 25+ tabs minimum.
Whoa!! That's some heavy tabbing.  What I'm still trying to find out is why it's written in stone that the back button has to reload the page.  I don't fathom what the cache is there for if you can't reload stuff you just downloaded 3 seconds ago when you hit the back button.  Very strange design.

Nah, that is the minimum tabs I allow FF to have or else my PC isn't powerful enough to not totally slow a Java App when I have it alongside me. The larger tab collections I move towards Opera and Chrome.

On the plus side for having more tabs, I'm not irked by the back button as much because I rarely have a page I need to constantly sift back and forth to on Firefox. On the downside Firefox still slows down when a new page isn't finished loading especially at startup.

Also Opera is better for this purpose because due to it's speed and keyboard shortcuts, you just press z or x unless the newer versions change it again. In that case you just reset it back to the old settings.

Then they also have linked tabs which is a tab especially set to open a link in a new tab but is directly connected to the old tab.

Combined with the 1 and 2 hotkey for moving through tabs and the multiple ways to reorganize and shift through tabs, the only annoying part is having an Ajax Web 2.0 app like Remember the Milk hijack the hotkeys and needing to right click open in Firefox or just copy paste the url.

(Right clicking requires more configuration if Opera doesn't detect a portable browers like FirefoxPortable but Opera  has a context menu for copying the address so you don't need to highlight the address bar)
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #68 on: April 01, 2009, 06:57:51 PM »


Whoa!! That's some heavy tabbing.  What I'm still trying to find out is why it's written in stone that the back button has to reload the page.  I don't fathom what the cache is there for if you can't reload stuff you just downloaded 3 seconds ago when you hit the back button.  Very strange design.


That debate or question has been asked on mozillazine and other related places for years, going back to the mozilla days. Never understood it.

It is really weird.  If you get into it all you get back is something along the lines that it's so hard-wired into the browser that it will never be undone as it would break too much code or something.  Sounds really bizarre to me.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #69 on: April 01, 2009, 07:02:28 PM »

... about tabs ...

Wow!! iirc the most insane(or useful I guess depending on your perspective) plugins for Maxthon were tab related(makes me think of that movie "Gang Related" with Jim Belushi) as people there really get into big time too.  Me, the most rambunctious I get is I have a folder with 3 bookmarks and I open all in tabs, first thing on startup.  smiley
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