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Mathwiz

Force "multiprocess mode" in FF 52

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On 5/18/2019 at 5:21 AM, DrWho3000 said:

What does browser.tabs.remote.force-enabled do

Very first post:

On 5/7/2019 at 4:53 PM, Mathwiz said:

You can force "multiprocess mode" in FF 52 by creating the Boolean preference browser.tabs.remote.force-enable and setting it to true. (Also works in Serpent, BTW.)

This splits FF (or Serpent) into two processes.

 

On 5/18/2019 at 8:17 AM, Dave-H said:

browser.tabs.remote.autostart
browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2 (may not be present)
extensions.e10sBlocksEnabling

These prefs don't really matter when running FF 52.9 on WinXP, since it's been coded to block e10s on XP unless browser.tabs.remote.force-enable is set to true - in which case e10s is enabled irrespective of these other prefs.

These prefs do matter on later Windows versions (and are the preferred method of enabling e10s) but let's stick with FF 52.9 on XP for now.

On 5/18/2019 at 8:17 AM, Dave-H said:

dom.ipc.processCount

Once e10s is enabled, this controls how many additional processes you can have. There's one "core" process plus one process per open tab up to the limit set by this pref.

Personally, I set dom.ipc.processCount to 2. The default of 1 gives me little benefit, but larger values just waste RAM while providing little additional benefit, at least in my experience. But as usual, YMMV.

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I have no idea why this wasn't done before. Quite honestly, it's one of the most helpful things that I've set up on my Windows 2000 machine.

Firefox seems to get wonky after the memory limit hits around 1.3GBs, which really doesn't take long to do on the modern web, especially watching YouTube videos.

Doing this fixes those issues. For dom.ipc.processCount, I set it to 8. I have 24GBs of RAM in my new computer with Physical Address Extension enabled so I prefer a much smoother browsing experience. I will list the benefits I have found by enabling multiprocess mode.

-Facebook loads much smoother and quicker. The newsfeed is no longer a nightmare to go through and loads up a lot quicker than out of the box Firefox 52.
-YouTube works better. Once Firefox hit that 1.3GB wall, video playback would start flickering black and sometimes just go all black depending on how long the browser has been open. Completely closing Firefox and relaunching it was the workaround for me when this happened. Now it doesn't seem to happen anymore.
-Firefox doesn't lag as much when the browser was first opened. I noticed there was a considerable amount of lag when you opened the browser and started browsing the web, it's like it would become non-responsive for about a minute or so. Now if it does that, it's only about a few seconds. I'm thinking it's because it has its own processes now.
-Tabs don't crash as often as they used to. Again, I'm thinking it is because it has more memory to play around with. If you've got 4+GBs of RAM, there's no reason not to use it to your advantage.

The reason I set dom.ipc.processCount to 8 is that is what it is set to on my work computer which is running Windows 7 x64 and you can totally notice how snappy it is compared to the garbage IE11 that most of our applications only work on. As far as both Windows 2000 and Windows XP are concerned, if you have a multi-core/multi-thread processor and 4 or more gigabytes of RAM, I'd totally recommend enabling multiprocess mode.

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6 hours ago, Tommy said:

-Firefox doesn't lag as much when the browser was first opened. I noticed there was a considerable amount of lag when you opened the browser and started browsing the web, it's like it would become non-responsive for about a minute or so. Now if it does that, it's only about a few seconds. I'm thinking it's because it has its own processes now.

Do you have Adblock Plus installed?
I've noticed that Firefox 52.9ESR freezes and unfreezes several times soon after opening it, and after that it's fine.
If that's what you're seeing, disabling Adblock Plus fixes it.
Why it's doing it I have no idea, but it might well be related to ABP checking for filter list updates,
I have dom.ipc.processCount set to 4. Do you think it would be worth setting it to 8?
I have 8GB of physical RAM installed, but I run Firefox 52.9ESR on a 32 bit Windows XP system, so can only access 3GB of course.
:dubbio:

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I do have Adblock Plus installed. I will test and see if disabling fixes the issue. But so many ads are extremely intrusive these days and I have video ads with a passion.

It's hard to say what I'd set it to in your case. Is there a reason you don't have PAE enabled? I believe Windows XP is fully capable of using it. That way you'd have access to all 8GBs of RAM. If you had access to all 8GBs then I'd say go ahead and set it to 8, since Firefox crashes way less that way. When I didn't use multiprocess, it would crash quite often and I'd have to restart the browser to make it a bit more stable again.

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Posted (edited)

I did look into PAE some time ago, but backed off as it looked like a bit of a minefield!
If it was just a matter of changing a setting I would do it of course, but IIRC it was quite a bit more complex than that.
Off topic here of course, but I will now have another look at it.
I'll be interested to see if temporarily disabling ABP helps with your Firefox stability in the first minutes after starting it.
You don't need to uninstall it, just disabling it is enough.
I've just been putting up with it as a minor annoyance. After a few minutes Firefox is perfectly fine for me until it's restarted, it just freezes and unfreezes two or three times in the first couple of minutes of use.
:)

Edited by Dave-H

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Couple of things:

  1. If ABP is too resource-intensive have a look at uBlock Origin. It's purported to be much less resource-intensive. As posted elsewhere I prefer the "legacy" version (currently 1.16.4.11) to the WE version because some privacy features don't work on FF 52 with the WE version. The companion add-on "uBlock Origin Updater" will keep you up-to-date on the latest legacy version of uBO.
  2. Feel free to experiment with dom.ipc.processCount. The best setting probably depends not only on available RAM but also on your browsing habits, so the "best" setting will likely vary quite a bit from person to person.
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Another small advantage of multiprocess mode: if you experience a crash, it won't normally take the whole browser down. Instead it will just take down the tab with the problem, and give you the option to try to reload it; much less disruptive than having to restart the browser and reload all open tabs.

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On 5/8/2019 at 10:29 PM, VistaLover said:

@Dave-H

Disclaimer: Force-enabling e10s when incompatible extensions are installed and active may introduce some instability to the browser behaviour; YMMV... Inside your Firefox ESR profile directory there should be an .ini file called extensions.ini ; with the browser closed, open it with a proper text editor and check whether a section labelled [MultiprocessIncompatibleExtensions] exists (if yes, it should contain a list of incompatible addon IDs; you can use the Extensions section of about:support page to identify the offending addons and you should probably disable them while conducting multiprocess experiments in your browser)...

Cheers :)

I have found this.

[MultiprocessIncompatibleExtensions]
Extension0={20a82645-c095-46ed-80e3-08825760534b}

about:support shows it refers to Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant :dubbio:

 

 

 

 

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IIRC that's a pretty obsolete extension.
I would just uninstall it if it's actually in your extension list.
It's probably marked as incompatible with Firefox 52 anyway.
:)

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48 minutes ago, Dave-H said:

IIRC that's a pretty obsolete extension.
I would just uninstall it if it's actually in your extension list.
It's probably marked as incompatible with Firefox 52 anyway.
:)

it got installed throught an executable AIO with all NET versions

the Classic Theme Restorer addon also show up as incompatible but it's not listed in that ini file.

 

 

 

 

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The good news is that Classic Theme Restorer runs just fine on my systems with e10s enabled, even though it claims to be incompatible. So there's a good chance it'll run OK on your system too. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to try enabling e10s and see what happens.

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2 hours ago, Mathwiz said:

The good news is that Classic Theme Restorer runs just fine on my systems with e10s enabled, even though it claims to be incompatible.

incompatible addons are usually blurred and the ones with the caution triangle just haven't been verified by Mozilla

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15 hours ago, caliber said:

about:support shows it refers to Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant :dubbio:

14 hours ago, Dave-H said:

IIRC that's a pretty obsolete extension.
I would just uninstall it if it's actually in your extension list.

13 hours ago, caliber said:

it got installed through an executable AIO with all NET versions

The above extension is installed as part of .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 :

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/framework/wpf/app-development/firefox-add-ons-to-support-net-application-deployment#net-framework-assistant-for-firefox

It can't be uninstalled the normal way via about:addons; more below:

https://support.microsoft.com/el-gr/help/963707/how-to-remove-the-net-framework-assistant-for-firefox

:)

Edited by VistaLover
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Thanks, I'd forgotten about the uninstallation complication with that add-on!
I've never bothered to remove it on my Firefox, but it is disabled.
It actually says that it can't be verified, not that it's incompatible.
I don't think it's doing any harm as it is.
:)
 

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11 hours ago, Dave-H said:

Thanks, I'd forgotten about the uninstallation complication with that add-on!
I've never bothered to remove it on my Firefox, but it is disabled.
It actually says that it can't be verified, not that it's incompatible.
I don't think it's doing any harm as it is.
:)
 

the extensions.ini file is clear now, there is no need to delete the registry key.

thanks for your input anyway @VistaLover

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