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Showing posts from February 27, 2010

Sluggish Firefox Browser in Linux

Discussions suggest that a lot of Firefox's sluggishness on Linux (as compared to Windows) is due to Intel compiler profiling (maybe, but GCC offers profiling), compiler cpu optimizations (i386 vs. i686 -- not so much anymore; Mandriva compiles Firefox for i586 - see BONUS at the end) and Linux's use of pango, a library for laying out and rendering text with an emphasis on internationalization (likely a cause of slowness).

Let's get rid of Pango support first. This is easily done by editing your .bashrc file and adding at the end
export MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=1

Resource your .bashrc with

$ source .bashrc
You could also put the line of export code in .bash_profile. Then just re-start Firefox to get the benefit.

Short of recompiling Firefox (which appears to be a daunting task), we have found something that helps if you have RAM available. The trick is to keep the disk cache in /dev/shm, a POSIX-compliant temporary filesystem (tmpfs).

Let's use /dev/shm to help the entire system…