Memory use/management is awful in 32-bit Firefox on 32bit OS.

RESOLVED INVALID

Status

()

Firefox
General
RESOLVED INVALID
a month ago
15 days ago

People

(Reporter: Craig, Unassigned)

Tracking

({perf})

52 Branch
Unspecified
Windows XP
Points:
---

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

a month ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0
Build ID: 20170504112025

Steps to reproduce:

Use FF.


Actual results:

After an hour or so, FF becomes unusably slow.

I ran FF28 for a very long time (because the subsequent versions of FF removed the original, better, sync option) before upgrading. FF28 processes got to over 1.5GB (according to Windows) and ran without trouble for weeks. FF52 hits about 1.2GB and suddenly becomes extremely sluggish (jumping from 5% to about 50% CPU use), before crashing or having to be forcibly killed . (see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1378796 for a concrete example of how to crash it)

Looking at about:memory, typically "free" space under address-space is listed as around 300 MB (15%) when FF becomes unusable. This is very different to the behaviour in FF28, which was able to use significantly more memory effectively and not experience a dramatic downturn in this way.


Expected results:

Should work fine, just as FF28 did.

Updated

a month ago
Component: Untriaged → General
Whiteboard: [MemShrink]

Comment 1

22 days ago
> After an hour or so, FF becomes unusably slow.... Should work fine, just as FF28 did.

Not surprising. But not a reasonble expectation for Firefox to not use more memory in the span of 24 releases.  

Perhaps more relevant, is the general performance problem for 32bit firefox on 32bit OS, which is very much old news and is mostly garbage collection and fragementation.  If you are insistent on running a 32bit Windows OS (which of course is an unsupported OS), then at least enable the 3gb switch*. (32bit win7 at least has 4GB address space) 

That said, XP is no longer supported in newer versions of Firefox**, so the generic aspects of this issue won't likely be receiving attention. Unfortunately I cannot find a related bug report right now.

* https://stackoverflow.com/questions/639540/how-much-memory-can-a-32-bit-process-access-on-a-64-bit-operating-system
** https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/52.0/system-requirements/
Flags: needinfo?(yfdyh000)
Keywords: perf
OS: Unspecified → Windows XP
Summary: Memory use/management is awful in 32-bit Firefox → Memory use/management is awful in 32-bit Firefox on 32bit OS.
Whiteboard: [MemShrink]
(Reporter)

Comment 2

22 days ago
The running time before crashing or having to be aborted going from weeks to hours is not the kind of deterioration I would expect, even in 24 releases.

That the browser has increased in size is to be expected. That it has compounded this by apparently wasting almost half of the address space is really unfortunate. The main problem appears to be that the actual memory usage (RSS) before bogging down occurs is only around 1.2GB.

Comment 3

22 days ago
The browser program will have increased in size, AND it's memory requirements.

> FF52 hits about 1.2GB and suddenly becomes extremely sluggish
I can tell you from experience, having run 32bit vista into the ground, that firefox on windows will tank around 1.2gb and it's not going to get better. It's partly related to Windows/partly the best Firefox can do with regard to fragmentation.  

THere may be individual websites that perform poorly when running Windows in safe mode and if you can identify those then they deserve separate bug reports.  Likewise if Firefox can only stay up for hours (again in safe mode), then you should be able to provide reproducible steps in this bug report with websites that cause the horrible memory usage.

But beyond that, from a practical standpoint a) you can no longer run Firefox weeks (or perhaps even days) at a time, b) you will want to enable the 3GB switch.

Comment 4

21 days ago
bug 1130266.
Flags: needinfo?(yfdyh000)

Comment 5

21 days ago
(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #3)
> ...  
> THere may be individual websites that perform poorly when running FIREFOX in << correction
> safe mode and if you can identify those then they deserve separate bug
> reports.  Likewise if Firefox can only stay up for hours (again in safe
> mode), then you should be able to provide reproducible steps in this bug
> report with websites that cause the horrible memory usage.

Given your bug reporting history, you are obviously a dedicated Firefox user. If you intend to stick with XP, my experience on Vista suggests your best path forward is to stick with version 52 to get multiprocess firefox**, which in effect reduces the 2GB/3GB memory space limitation on XP (and therefore also reduces OOM crashes). HOWEVER, a) you will want to use the 3GB swtich previously mentioned and if possible you should add memory to your 3GB memory system (get used memory on ebay or something - new memory for old systems is relatively expensive these days). (If you aren't getting multiprocess on version 52 then you may need to remove some addons) In this improve configuration, you probably can keep Firefox up several days.

And as previously metioned please file bugs that have steps and websites that have reproducible conditions as outlined above, and ask for advice in support at  https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/new   As this bug report isn't specific enough with a reproducible testcase, it's best to close this.

** https://www.ghacks.net/2016/02/15/change-how-many-processes-multi-process-firefox-uses/
** https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/performance-settings


(In reply to YF (Yang) from comment #4)
> bug 1130266.

Indeed.  cf https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/end-support-windows-xp-and-vista
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 21 days ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
(Reporter)

Comment 6

19 days ago
(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #3)

> > FF52 hits about 1.2GB and suddenly becomes extremely sluggish
> I can tell you from experience, having run 32bit vista into the ground, that
> firefox on windows will tank around 1.2gb and it's not going to get better.

On FF28, it was about 1.5GB, so it's a shame it's got so much greedier.

> THere may be individual websites that perform poorly when running Windows in
> safe mode and if you can identify those then they deserve separate bug
> reports.

Facebook is the worst for me, but that can't be a big surprise to anyone.

> But beyond that, from a practical standpoint a) you can no longer run
> Firefox weeks (or perhaps even days) at a time, b) you will want to enable
> the 3GB switch.

I tried that on a spare machine that's a copy of my main one. BOOM. Windows welcome screen came up in low-res graphics. System froze that time, but sometimes it will ask for XP to be activated. Had to power cycle it to reboot. When booting in standard mode, Windows requires me to activate it again. When I try to activate it, I get "Unable to establish connection with the activation server." That machine is dead until I get around to restoring an old disk image on it or totally reinstalling it.
(Reporter)

Comment 7

15 days ago
In case it helps anyone else: While, in my case, the /3GB switch causes Windows to fail to boot and to corrupt the current activation settings, there is an option that works: Enable Firefox multi-process support. The only downside is the screen tearing effect that occurs when scrolling, unless I turn off most video acceleration.
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.