Going forward, Multi-process can't be turned off anymore in Firefox - gHacks Tech News

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Going forward, Multi-process can't be turned off anymore in Firefox

Mozilla plans to remove configuration options in upcoming versions of the Firefox web browser that allow users to disable the browser's multi-process architecture.

Mozilla introduced the multi-process architecture in the Firefox web browser in 2016. Firefox would use multiple processes to divide loaded sites between them and use different processes for the browser's own functionality.

While that increased memory usage, it also meant that Firefox would become more stable in the process and less prone to site crashes taking the entire browser with them. Mozilla's implementation was different to Google's. Chrome uses one process per site, Firefox puts multiples sites in a single process.

Firefox's Multi-process architecture received numerous improvements over the years. Mozilla added more processes to it and introduced a sandbox security feature later on that depended on it.

firefox multi process cant disable

Mozilla plans to remove two Firefox preferences from any version of the web browser going forward. The change is planed for Firefox 68.

  • browser.tabs.remote.force-enable -- Enforces the use of multi-process in Firefox if it is not enabled by default, e.g. because of accessibility.
  • browser.tabs.remote.force-disable -- Disables multi-process in the Firefox web browser.

You probably wonder about browser.tabs.remote.autostart, the preference that enables or disables the multi-process architecture in Firefox (opposed to enforcing a value like the two other preferences do).

Mozilla will restrict the preference to true in home builds. While it is still in Firefox, setting it to false in about:config won't have the desired effect anymore once the change lands. The status of the preference is always true in home builds of Firefox regardless of the user chosen value.

In other words: going forward, Firefox users can't disable multi-process anymore in the browser. It is unclear in how many Firefox installations multi-process is disabled. Some users do so to improve memory usage or slowness of the browser.

Closing Words

Mozilla does not reveal why it wants to remove the preference on Bugzilla, only that disabling multi-process should not be "that easy". Additional information is available in a post on the Mozilla Dev Platform group:

The broad aim was to ensure that we stop grandfathering users into a non-e10s configuration which they
should not run on a day-to-day basis, given that it receives little to no testing and is less secure.

It was mentioned as well that Activity Stream breaks if multi-process is disabled. (via Techdows)

I'm not particularly fond of changes that remove user choice from any program including web browsers. Mozilla is probably going to get a lot of flak for the removal even if it affects only a minority of users of the browser.

Firefox 68 is the next ESR release of the browser. It is scheduled for a July 9th, 2019 release.

Now You: What is your take on the change?

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Going forward, Multi-process can't be turned off anymore in Firefox
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Going forward, Multi-process can't be turned off anymore in Firefox
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Mozilla plans to remove configuration options in upcoming versions of the Firefox web browser that allow users to disable the browser's multi-process architecture.
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Comments

  1. Yuliya said on May 17, 2019 at 8:33 am
    Reply

    They realised their multiprocess implementation is inferior to Chromium’s, nobody wants it, people disable it, and now they’ll force it on all their users, lol.

    1. Kubrick said on May 17, 2019 at 9:42 am
      Reply

      @yuliya.
      On the contrary.The firefox implementation of multi-processing is in fact quite superior to chromiums.

      1. Yuliya said on May 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm
        Reply

        Kubrick, if I end up with 100 tabs (I usually use more than that, but anyway) in 4 “content processes”, and if one tab cashes, it will take down about a quarter of my tabs, dependeng on how they are distributed based on open sites (rarely I have more than 10 tabs per site). In Chromium, only the tabs associated with that site will be down. Why would you take six gHacks tabs down, one in which I probably had half a comment written, just because one YouTube tab crashed? It makes absolutely zero sense, at that point you might as well just take down the entire browser and restore my whole session on restart. It’s illogical what mozilla did, like many other things they do nowadays.
        As a remark based on my experience, Firefox v52 barely had a crash while in single process mode throughout its whole ESR lifespan, which I used a lot, it was my main browser. With multiprocess enabled, I I’ve seen the “Gah, your tabs just crashed” message a few times, in less than an hour. Same thing I noticed in v58 when I gave it another try, although v58, in its rather shor lifespan (1,5 months?) had crashed quite a few times, even in single process mode.
        No, I don’t believe mozilla’s implementation is in any way better than Google’s. It’s there just so they can say they’ve got multiprocess’ and that’s it. Probably the only advantage (not over Chromium though, since Chromium does just that as well) would be it running extensions in a different process – all the two extensions worth installing since they’ve switched to WE: uB0 and uMatrix.

      2. Robert Ab said on May 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm
        Reply

        @yuliya

        Try setting in about:config:
        `dom.ipc.processCount` = `-1`
        to set number of content processes equal to the number of active tabs
        (https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/aenon3/any_settings_for_highend_computers/).

        This should solve you problems with tab crashes :).

      3. Yuliya said on May 17, 2019 at 5:07 pm
        Reply

        Robert, well this would solve one problem this browser has. I’ll give it a try on a Waterfox test install some time.

      4. Robert Ab said on May 17, 2019 at 9:37 pm
        Reply

        @yuliya
        > Robert, well this would solve one problem this browser has. I’ll give it a try on a Waterfox test install some time.

        Waterfox or Firefox :)

      5. Ali said on May 17, 2019 at 4:44 pm
        Reply

        I hope they don’t remove the option to reduce content processes.
        Disabling multi process isn’t good in terms of performance.
        you should check multi process enabled with 1 or 2 content process limit and see that firefox really is good in memory consumption while benefit from different processes in addons, UI and webpages. (I hope they don’t change/destroy this :D)

      6. Robert Ab said on May 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm
        Reply

        @Ali

        I am still going to recommend single-process for users with very low RAM present (<4 GB):
        https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/bkoa8c/are_there_any_advantagesdisadvantages_to/emj5sp6

        But because single-process configuration is not tested beyond FF60 (https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/boax81/what_forks_exist_of_firefox/enfexj4/), I am going to recommend single-process in Firefox 60 ESR, not newer versions (or adding RAM).

      7. Jody Thornton said on May 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm
        Reply

        I’m actually for adding RAM. In 2019, no excuse for having less than 8 GB of RAM. Sorry, not being able to afford is no excuse either. I’m poop-poor, and if I can can by an offlease PC for less than $200, then anyone can. :)

      8. AlexVonG said on May 27, 2019 at 11:33 pm
        Reply

        …some live in Africa with African income…
        …just bought our first double mattress for ~200$ after ~7 years marriage, it seemed to big an amount for us until now…
        (: Priorities :)

      9. Rich said on July 11, 2019 at 9:34 pm
        Reply

        BS it has ruined this browser and clogs up my PC..screw Firefox for ruining the whole idea the were made for…BLOAT FREE?????NO MORE!!!!!!!

    2. Cinikal said on May 17, 2019 at 11:10 am
      Reply

      Trying to understand why you keep posting in these Firefox blogs, are you a chrome user (recruiter) Youliar?

      1. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 1:07 pm
        Reply

        @ Cinikal

        That’s the Firefox idea of “tolerance”. You’re not allowed to speak about Firefox unless you like it very much.

      2. Marco said on May 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm
        Reply

        @Clairvaux
        Cinikal is Firefox now? The things we learned here.

        @ Cinikal, you must be careful in your comments from now on. Anything you say can be used against you, sorry, Firefox.

      3. YouWhut said on July 7, 2019 at 6:05 am
        Reply

        That’s the dumbest reply I’ve heard here. He just accused a user (justifiably annoyed at Mozilla stripping away user control from Firefox) of being a “recruiter” for chome. As if the overwhelmingly dominant browser needs recruiter.

        That’s a level of combined paranoia, delusion and self-importance on a staggering scale. So stupid.

    3. ULBoom said on May 17, 2019 at 12:21 pm
      Reply

      Not even close but nice snark attempt.

    4. Yuliya said on May 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm
      Reply

      Speaking of Firefox 68: Firefox about:config search; old vs. new (v60 ESR vs v68 Nightly)
      imgur.com/a/0sw7jqz
      Notice how they don’t want you to find the “http” string value so you could reduce mozilla’s intrusiveness.
      Nice “privacy focused” browser. . . hah.. haha..

      1. Hunter said on May 17, 2019 at 6:38 pm
        Reply

        Because the search is only searching the config names in 68, not the values.

    5. Deo et Patriae said on May 18, 2019 at 4:54 am
      Reply

      The fact is that in order to build such a browser ( multi-processes ) you have to do it from the scratch, like Chromium and even IE after some version if memory serves correct ( 8 or 9 though definitely 11 ).

  2. pregls said on May 17, 2019 at 10:02 am
    Reply

    I use Waterfox and I wonder how the dev Alex Kontos is going to handle these changes. For me, the primary benefit of waterfox is its support of legacy non webextensions. I direly need many of those legacy extensions because there are NO true replacements for it.

    Some of them work just fine in multi-process mode. But some of them don’t work at all.

    I do not like this move by Mozilla and wonder how it will affect future Waterfox releases.

    1. Konstantinos said on May 17, 2019 at 10:19 am
      Reply

      People like you are what keeps the web behind. Don’t use those extensions or find an alternative that that almost replicate what your extensions do(even if it’s minimal). I bet you use Windows XP.

      1. Thomas said on May 17, 2019 at 11:02 am
        Reply

        Konstantinos, come on – there’s no need for comments like that. Many people use older programs, extensions and operating systems for various reasons, but are in no way holding the rest back. If others want to use older versions for various reasons, they are entitled to.

      2. Anonymous said on May 17, 2019 at 1:51 pm
        Reply

        Keeps the web behind what? The current web standards are a bloated mess that keeps getting more bloated, but not improved. The number of features grows, the demand for RAM and CPU grows, but are any websites actually more convenient or useful? I’ll take the “behind” web from 2007 or 2010, thank you very much, and once firefox goes puff, i’m switching to links.

      3. mark said on May 17, 2019 at 3:31 pm
        Reply

        Please try to come up with real arguments Konstantinos rather than fake ones.

      4. zakius said on May 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm
        Reply

        @Konstantinos there are no alternatives due to inferior and crippled by design API used in newer versions, even with experiments it’s not always possible to bring back all the required power

      5. John Fenderson said on May 17, 2019 at 5:24 pm
        Reply

        @Konstantinos: “People like you are what keeps the web behind.”

        Your comment is the purest of malarkey.

      6. Anonee said on May 18, 2019 at 1:49 am
        Reply

        Konstantinos, you are 100% correct.
        People like that guy are the ones that were hanging onto Flash Player as long as they could and bragging that android can run flash as if that’s a good thing, while Apple was refusing to add flash to iOS and wrote that letter a decade ago urging everyone to dump flash in favor of HTML5, which Apple was already supporting in things like iOS.

        Sure, we are finally at the point where flash is almost completely dead and even Adobe has announced it will officially be discontinued in 2020 with no more updates of any kind, but look how long it has taken for it to “officially” die! Imagine how much sooner flash could have been killed off if it weren’t for people like that guy being stuck in the past (and the people who attacked you for speaking the truth).

        Now the same thing goes for other aspects of the Internet. There’s many things that could have been improved already, from a security standpoint, usability standpoint, feature standpoint, etc.. but instead, we have many things that are still behind because of all these paranoid “doomsday prepper”-style people on this blog, who use outdated software, outdated and discontinued OSes (like XP, as you pointed out), and other outdated crap, all while claiming to care about “security”.

      7. zakius said on May 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm
        Reply

        @anonee okay, so let’s look at it like this: you have your trusty, comfortable car with all the features you could ever imagine, it works just fine, nothing is wrong with it
        but some day someone enforces the law making it illegal to drive it. So you are forced to pick up a new one, without AC, with plastic seat, without radio and with literally no trunk cause there are only ones like this nowadays
        maybe it is slightly faster, but it is much less comfortable and much less useful
        is it wrong to demand the better product? no!

      8. KeZa said on May 19, 2019 at 5:10 pm
        Reply

        What is wrong with Xp? I’m on Xp Pro with a 2K screen, starts up in 30 seconds and no probs but people on W10 are always messing around with that crap and also Firefox I have here on with multiproces on 4 on an i5.

      9. Had to respond said on May 22, 2019 at 6:32 am
        Reply

        And people like you, with that way of thinking broke it and made google the monster it is now.

      10. AlexVonG said on May 27, 2019 at 11:48 pm
        Reply

        Alex smashes the internet with his Waterfox. New info never ceases to amaze. Right on!

    2. Robert Ab said on May 17, 2019 at 4:05 pm
      Reply

      @pregls
      Try to find replacements: XUL add-ons compatible with multi-process or WE. And if you have enough RAM, it should also speed-up a lot your Waterfox.

  3. Lambo-san said on May 17, 2019 at 10:48 am
    Reply

    I said it before and I will say it again:

    Firefox is on the road to become the best Chrome clone it can be. First step was Firefox 4 that changed the UI with tabs on top to copy Chrome, then second step was Firefox 69 Quantum that deprecated the XUL add-ons as well as limiting the UI customization severely. The next step is limiting what can be disabled and so on…

    Son enough, the about:config page will be limited to the point where you won’t even be able to create your own entries and will have to make-do with pre-created entries by Mozilla, just like the about:flags page in Chrome.

    At this point, I’ve switched to Chrome many years ago, seeing as Firefox will never be the customizable powerful browser it once was, nor it will be as lightning fast and responsive as Chrome (in fact, Firefox now doesn’t do anything good) so I might as well be limited by Chrome, but at least get perfect website compatibility and fast loading speeds and an overall responsive browser.

    Firefox will continue to live in Chrome’s shadow, becoming worse than previous versions of itself and always inferior to Chrome in every aspect to the point when even the most loyal and zealous Firefox supporters will finally realize the browser they’ve been defending for so long has been already trash for at least 8 years and they will leave it too and move on. Firefox’s market share continues to drop and there is nothing stopping it at this point.

    1. Fliperman said on May 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm
      Reply

      The irony is chrome new theme looks like a Firefox old theme today so ho copy ho ?

    2. mark said on May 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm
      Reply

      It’s not really a clone, though – it will become extinct, for various reasons.

      Even if we look at change “positively”, at this point Mozilla is lightyears behind Google.

      There is no real way to recover any of the lost user base – and these changes actually
      will further kill off Firefox.

      It sounds like a conspiracy theory but Mozilla is eagerly getting rid of the few users left.

  4. Tom said on May 17, 2019 at 11:17 am
    Reply

    > I’m not particularly fond of changes that remove user choice from any program including web browsers

    This has really nothing to do with “removing user choice”. It’s about an untested und unsupported configuration which shouldn’t be used by anyone. You can argue with “user choice” when it comes to features but not about the underlying technology and architecture. This doesn’t make sense.

    1. ULBoom said on May 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm
      Reply

      Disabling multiprocess is neither untested nor unsupported. Like, it can be done, right?

    2. daveb said on May 18, 2019 at 2:46 am
      Reply

      Of course another option is just do the damn testing.

    3. Some anon said on July 7, 2019 at 6:09 am
      Reply

      “Untested and unsupported configuration” – You mean the one they’ve been using for the past 10+ years. Brilliant observation…

  5. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 11:24 am
    Reply

    Yeah, good idea. Remove yet another feature, “because we know users don’t want it” and “it takes up too many development resources anyway”.

    I don’t care, because I’ve switched to Vivaldi, and, strangely enough, they seem to be adding features all the time. They still have that antiquated notion that more is better, and different users might need different options, so choice is a good thing.

    Also, their users seem a happy bunch, and they don’t think it’s their their moral duty to tell you how to vote.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on May 17, 2019 at 1:37 pm
      Reply

      The problem with Vivaldi (at least on macOS) is not the lack of features (kudos to the devs) but that it really loves to crash – no other browser crashes so often…

      1. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 2:53 pm
        Reply

        Sorry to hear you experience that. I do not, and my Windows install is not particularly clean or swift.

        Sometimes, websites freeze while loading. But it’s possible this has been eliminated by a recent update. Experience will tell.

      2. mark said on May 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm
        Reply

        I did not have a problem with Vivaldi (except for the obvious one that it is a chromium clone so nothing original). Actually, Vivaldi works better for me than chrome – not that I use either of them, but I have had a ~short time where i was using vivaldi as a fall-back browser because one or two websites refused to work with palemoon (which, oddly enough, these websites assume to be firefox …. which is not absolutely true, even if it is understandable).

        I should also say that I think vivaldi’s UI is better than chrome/chromium. I would not recommend either one to use and further strengthen the monopoly, but if the comparison were only between these two, I found vivalid better, usability wise (out of the box that is; perhaps people can tweak stuff insanely well but I would not even have the time to do so, so I tend to just stick to the defaults).

  6. Sunny said on May 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    My experience is that the more options power users have to configure a program or OS, the better they can cope with bugs or problematic situations like having to use a computer that is slow or do not have much RAM.
    It is so sad to see what is happening to Mozilla and Ubuntu. Spying on users (Cliqz in Firefox, Amazon in Ubuntu) by default and making the UI simpler and less configurable is not helping them get new users and pushing users away.
    Mozilla is the least evil of the browser makers, but now is still evil.
    These days, hardware is getting better, but software is getting worse.

  7. ULBoom said on May 17, 2019 at 1:07 pm
    Reply

    Must be about Activity Stream more than anything since current preferences let users decide to set the number of processes or let FF do it automatically based on hardware. Not sure if FF will drop to a single process on old machines/low ram machines or not.

    Activity Stream is spam to me, disable that instead and see what happens.

    FF’s process numbers at least make sense. I used a stripped chromium to open Buzz Feed, a notorious data scraping junk site and 11 to 25 processes were going, up and down as my tracker counter pinned itself at 99 trackers following BF’s infinite scroll. Chromium opened with 11 processes; FF with 5, going up to 10, then stopping. I thought FF was limited to seven processes, apparently not. Memory use was almost the same for both browsers while FF was a bit less cpu intensive.

    No clear happiness enjoyment rainbows in the chromia experiences, I guess.

  8. Anonymous said on May 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm
    Reply

    So except if Mozilla accept to buy me a new computer I will switch to another browser more secure and not needed so much ram.

    1. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 2:59 pm
      Reply

      Dropping Firefox for Vivaldi has solved my RAM problems. I have “only” 4 GB, and Firefox kept freezing my PC, because it insisted on gobbling up too much RAM. I fiddled with multi-process, but went nowhere.

      Then I switched to Vivaldi, where I experienced some (lesser) RAM issues. Now I don’t have any problem at all. My memory is low by contemporary standards, and it shows, but I don’t absolutely need to buy more RAM. As I would have with Firefox (with no guarantee that it would then not gobble up 16 GB — as some users have experienced).

      My computer has stopped freezing because of the browser. And Vivaldi is busy making its program more powerful, not less.

      1. Ali said on May 17, 2019 at 5:05 pm
        Reply

        Reduce number of content processes and problem will fix.

      2. Anonymous said on May 18, 2019 at 6:09 am
        Reply

        @Clairvaux
        I have not tried Vivaldi but many comments in ghacks are saying Vivaldi is the heaviest Chrome clone. I find it strange that you said Vivaldi solved your problem.

      3. Clairvaux said on May 18, 2019 at 1:29 pm
        Reply

        @ Anon

        Yes, some people have trouble believing others when they report their own experience. They think they know better, and their theory is worth more than other people’s reality.

        There’s nothing I can do against that.

      4. Testertime said on May 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous Yeah, I can confirm that too. Vivaldi is quite heavy in terms of RAM and initial hard disk usage.

    2. mark said on May 17, 2019 at 3:36 pm
      Reply

      Yup – it sounds as if Mozilla is doing this deliberately.

      It is probably the final year stage of Firefox. Post-mortems have already been written.

  9. Anonymous said on May 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm
    Reply

    I can’t understand what you say when you say i switched to chrome!
    If you like chrome performance, firefox is rather same after may be ver 63 and newer.
    Some things has trade-offs, firefox wants to become better and more efficient so its developers reduce options when they can become trouble and time waster so they can use their time in better place.

    In every firefox release, someone is complaining.
    In standards support firefox is on par with chrome and in the same time it has far more costomizablity than chrome.

    It has far more options for someone that have accessbility problems built in.

    Updates can’t be disabled but they don’t force them.

    Extensions are really good specially when you know that an trash extension can’t destroy all your profile that you spend hours customizing it and you know that a trash addon can’t reduce the whole browser performance.

    Multi process can’t disabled but disabling it make firefox terrible and in the same time you can completely control number of content processes so your PC don’t have problems while benefiting from multi process.

    I can’t understand people want performance in the same time with complete customizablity that kept firefox behind this much.

    Some of customizablity should disabled because they make developers waste their time for compatibility, explaining, support and such.

    Yes, i agree that for ex. disabling option to reduce content processes is terrible because some PCs can’t keep up with many of them but no PC have problem serving three/four process for a browser (UI, Addon, Content process 1) and the reason that people disable it is because of stubbornness so that make trouble for FF Devs and they disabled it.)

    Dear FF Power users,
    Please compain for more aggressive limits not this basic ones that are logical.

    1. Clairvaux said on May 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm
      Reply

      “In every firefox release, someone is complaining.”

      And this is supposed to mean… that Firefox developers are right ?

      Strangely enough, I don’t see Vivaldi users complaining with every release. Maybe, just maybe, this means that Vivaldi developers and managers are better than their counterparts at Mozilla ?

      Or do you belong to that category of people who think the customer is always wrong ?

  10. Ray said on May 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    Reply

    I actually turned on e10s recently and it’s helped with the loading of large-sized HTML documents.

    Before e10s, Firefox would freeze heavily, now this one page that like frequent often loads without freezing.

  11. John Fenderson said on May 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm
    Reply

    “What is your take on the change?”

    In the absence of a good technical reason for it, this is a bad thing.

    Also, this quote:

    “The broad aim was to ensure that we stop grandfathering users into a non-e10s configuration which they
    should not run on a day-to-day basis, given that it receives little to no testing and is less secure.”

    pretty well illustrates why Firefox seems to be moving further and further away from acceptability to me — Mozilla appears to want to force people to use the browser in a particular way, regardless of what the user actually wants. For a browser whose strength used to be that you could make it however you wanted, it is irritating that it seems to be moving more toward giving users a single choice: love it or leave it.

    I don’t love it.

  12. Kat said on May 17, 2019 at 7:42 pm
    Reply

    “Mozilla will restrict the preference to true in home builds”.
    By home builds you mean the regular Stable Release, right?
    So in Firefox 58 ESR “browser.tabs.remote.autostart” “false” will still work
    and disable Multi-process will still be possible?

  13. VioletMoon said on May 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm
    Reply

    Doesn’t matter–it’s really a non-issue. It’s not like any and all software provides unlimited choice; so if one doesn’t like Firefox, move on and forget about it. Don’t like Windows 10, move on and forget about it.

    Write your own code; make your own system. Shsshee . . . it’s not like Mozilla is forcing one to use its browser.

  14. Richard Allen said on May 18, 2019 at 1:42 am
    Reply

    “What is your take on the change?”

    To be honest, I absolutely don’t care that multi-process can’t be turned off. The only browser I know of that uses a single process by default is Pale Moon, even Waterfox v56* is using multi-process, by default. And, what does forcing a multi-process browser to use a single process do to the performance? How does it affect the utilization of multi-core processors? How effective is the sandbox without multi-process?

    If the motivation for forcing single process is to reduce memory use, buy some more memory for God’s sake. Memory prices are cheaper now than they have been in some time. You cheap bastards! :)

    And I have to say way too many Chrome fanbois are delirious when saying that Chrome is light years ahead of FF. Please. Comments like that are obviously from those that don’t have both installed.

    Are Chrome users still waiting on tab groups and a scrollable tab bar? I’ve been hearing talk since last year.
    I can open just 8 tabs in Chrome and see 20+ processes. Nice! :)
    Open a dozen tabs or more and Chrome will easily and consistently use 30-40% more memory than FF.
    In FF I can open a few dozen tabs including multiple YouTube tabs and never experience any crashes.
    Firefox does a better job parallelizing the work across all cores.
    Graphics rendering is noticeably better in FF when scrolling graphics heavy sites like Feedly or Flickr.
    Firefox has higher fps page rendering which makes pages smoother.
    Smooth scroll is still a joke in chromium browsers after all these years.
    Video playback is better in FF when watching 1080p 60fps, I’m seeing dropped frames in both Chrome and Vivaldi, zero in FF.
    Font rendering is Much better with FF on my 24″ 1920×1200 IPS display.
    The built-in FF content blocking actually blocks content.
    Content blocking in Chrome is just a PR stunt.
    Page load times are very fast. Some sites are faster with FF, some are faster with Chrome as seen by using the Dev Tools. Personally, I think Chrome does a better/faster job using cache for page load times, if there is cache built up.

    All the above taking place on old hardware: Haswell 4-core, 16GB DDR3L, Maxwell graphics card and a discontinued SSD. LoL

  15. Ray said on May 18, 2019 at 3:30 am
    Reply

    Is there a problem with multiprocess? Most computers support multiple threads across cores and as you say it increases stability at the cost of memory. But memory is cheap and plentiful nowadays. I believe they are trying to reduce the amount of configuration that users can do to be able to push other changes such as webrender. The latter might require multiprocess. It is only my guess though.

  16. AnorKnee Merce said on May 18, 2019 at 7:21 am
    Reply

    Mozilla Corp’s policy seems to be the removal of any feature in Firefox that is seldom used by users or used by < 5% of users.
    ……. So, when desktop Firefox users drop to < 5% of world market share, Mozilla Corp'se should remove itself from the world.

    1. Clairvaux said on May 18, 2019 at 1:39 pm
      Reply

      That’s funny, and wiser than it seems. A piece of software is successful because it satisfies the needs of 2 % of users + 2 % + 2 %… who are all different.

      If you’re dumb-ass enough to say : I’m the boss, and I know what’s good for you, then you’ll loose your users 2 % at a time.

      Look at some of the most successful software of all time, Microsoft Office : it has inside some almost completely deprecated features, that nobody in his right mind would use today. But they are still there, because you never know, and there’s also this little thing which helps you get dominant in a market : backward compatibility.

      If you go on breaking people’s past work, don’t expect them to be grateful.

  17. Cinikal said on May 18, 2019 at 10:01 am
    Reply

    Firefox has treated me ok so far, even on my windows tablet with only 1gb ram. Mozilla did not disappoint with Quantum when many said it would be a flop a failure a death sentence… As for what will happen when 68 rolls around I for one am not sweating it.

  18. Anonymous said on May 18, 2019 at 11:37 am
    Reply

    With e10s disabled, Firefox was usable on legacy system with 0.5GB of RAM.

    1. Jody Thornton said on May 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm
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      @Anonymous – but who cares? Nobody, and I mean NOBODY should be seriously using a PC with less than 8 GB of RAM nowadays (really I’d ensure you have 16 GB)

      1. Clairvaux said on May 18, 2019 at 9:52 pm
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        This meme is annoying, and borderline offensive.

        No one has to have anything. Where does it say, in the official Firefox specs, that 8 GB are required ?

        Besides, that’s irrelevant. There have been cases of users complaining that Firefox froze their PCs by taking up too much RAM, whatever the amount installed. And those complaints have been heard for times immemorial.

      2. OzMerry said on May 19, 2019 at 4:22 am
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        Thank you @Clairvaux, I agree.

        I remember reading some time ago someone suggesting that there could be a memory leak in FF because memory wasn’t being freed up as tabs were closed. I was glad it wasn’t just me who thought that. I’m not an IT person, but I used to work with a database application that had a similar issue (the IT guys couldn’t find a cause), so I was at least aware that the problem existed. I don’t recall if it was before or after the implementation of multiple processes, but either way, it’s obviously still an issue, and now to add insult to injury, Mozilla is yet again inexplicably removing user choice. Their reasoning in this case doesn’t stack up imo. After WebExtensions, the add-on debacle and immediately thereafter a block on an add-on I and many others were happily using without incident, I’m fast becoming annoyed enough to jump the self-immolating Mozilla ship.

      3. AnorKnee Merce said on May 19, 2019 at 7:47 am
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        @ Jody Thornton

        Actually, NOBODY should be opening 10 or more browser tabs on his/her PC = over-working the RAM and CPU.

        Those very FEW-BODIES who abnormally open 100 or more tabs should be using an abnormal PC with at least 128GB of RAM.

        Hence, there are high-end gaming and business laptops, and lower-end non-gaming and non-business/consumer laptops available for sale from the OEMs.

  19. OzMerry said on May 18, 2019 at 6:42 pm
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    As per Firefox’s Performance Settings on their Support site, “You can set between one and eight content processes. The default is eight. Having more content processes can improve performance when using multiple tabs but it will also use more memory.”

    So, on the one hand more content processes = improved performance, but on the other hand, more content processes = more memory usage. I turned OFF multiple processes precisely because it was using a ridiculous amount of memory, which brought the whole damn browser to a grinding halt. That does NOT = improved performance.

    “Tip: If your computer’s system information shows more than 8 GB of RAM, you would likely benefit from a high content process limit.” <— Seriously?! I have 16GB RAM and FF was using up to 12GB.

  20. Anonymous said on July 9, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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    Btw, after updating to current FF, playing videos get stcuked. After further inspect.. FF is using multi process. I always disable the multiprocess previously. So ..any help to disable this multi process again?

  21. Leon Williams said on July 14, 2019 at 9:51 am
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    I think it’s safe to assume that all such changes are made to make spying easier. Firefox is not secure, by design.

    If you think I’m exaggerating, take a look through the hardening guides. It should not be that difficult. And, those guides don’t really harden Firefox. They just make it less insecure.

  22. Anonymous said on July 20, 2019 at 1:55 pm
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    What I don’t get is – what the hell does Firefox care if I choose to run inefficiently or have crashes?!@! Isn’t that my own choice?

    I’m running Windows 7 and the one and only reason I have shut off multiple processes is because the lousy fan on this computer starts running when four and five Firefox processes are running. Once I shut that off, the constant annoyance of the fan is resolved.

    Again, this should be my choice! I contend the only reason Firefox does this is to ensure some other feature which has nothing to do with crashes. Something like ensuring they are efficiently supporting the surveillance state…. and without multiple processes some key surveillance feature is disabled.

    It has nothing to do with ensuring we have a positive browsing experience!!

  23. OzMerry said on July 22, 2019 at 6:29 am
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    I totally agree with @anonymous (and even in my Alienware 17 R4, the fan has a heart attack on the odd occasion for no other apparent reason when I have lots of tabs open). Memory hogging with Win 10 / 16GB RAM is my main issue…and freedom of choice.

    Any clarification appreciated on the following.

    browser.tabs.remote.force-enable and browser.tabs.remote.force-disable preferences no longer exist in both Release 68 and Developer 69.

    On my laptop, browser.tabs.remote.autostart (and browser.tabs.remote.autostart2) is set to false in Release 68 and is set to true in Developer 69.

    The Performance settings for both versions has Use recommended performance settings checked and content process limit is set to 8 (default). Has Mozilla not bothered to change/remove any of this? Changing the number of processes and then restarting FF doesn’t seem to have any effect and nor does unchecking Use hardware acceleration when available! Backend done, frontend not?

    The following doesn’t augur well for those, including me, who prefer to have control of OUR computers and who think this is BS (from Bugzilla thread linked in Martin’s first sentence; comment posted 4 days ago). Reading the whole thread doesn’t inspire much confidence – fiddling just for the sake of it/something to do?

    “…broad consensus that no, we do not intend to support single-process mode for desktop going forward, except for some local debugging needs. The security and performance impact to users is such that it would be counter to our values to do so. That’s less about speculation attacks and more about sandboxing web content to ensure there are several layers of security between malicious web content and your machine. It wasn’t always necessary for users to use about:config to flip the pref in order for that to happen, hence the desire to restrict the use of the pref so people aren’t grandfathered into an insecure configuration without realizing.

    Yes, memory usage is slightly [my emphasis] higher than in single process mode in some cases. We’re constantly working to bring that overhead down even further than we already have, and there are responsiveness benefits in turning on multiprocess as well, so it’s not some kind of complete performance loss.”

    1. Clairvaux said on July 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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      “The security and performance impact to users is such that it would be counter to our values to do so.”

      Nice confession : what Mozilla cares about is foisting its “values” on us, whatever that may mean. Not providing us with a browser that does not hog memory, allow us to make our own choices choices, or letting us enforce our own values.

      “Hence the desire to restrict the use of the pref so people aren’t grandfathered into an insecure configuration without realizing.”

      Yeah, users are little children, and they need father Stalin, sorry, Mozilla to make decisions for them.

      Also, why can’t those people be bothered to speak proper English ? People being grandfathered into a configuration ? Really ?

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