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This is exact opposite of Is there a Firefox-like plugin container for Chrome.

With my 100+ tabs open in FF, there are two and a half alternatives:

  • use plugin-container and get it eat CPU, memory and lag the whole system (dont tell me about BFS)
  • turn it off and have browser crashed each time Flash crashes.
  • NoScript whitelisting which is annoying.

So it seems reasonable to ask, is there a Firefox modification/branch that has multiprocess/sandbox support ready to run each plugin instance (for a tab) in sandbox? There were a ton of such rumors including http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/02/06/2147219/sandboxed-flash-player-coming-to-firefox

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is an official mozilla project called "electrolysis" which is about rebuilding FF so that every tab runs in a single process. The idea and goals are described here:

http://blog.mozilla.org/products/2011/07/15/goals-for-multi-process-firefox/

To rebuild FF like that is a huge effort, because so much has to be changed fundamentally. Mozilla had some other ideas, to improve Firefox's response times more easily. Thats why the electrolysis project has been freezed.

http://lawrencemandel.com/2011/11/15/update-on-multi-process-firefox-electrolysis-development/

I think current FF versions already include some of those other improvements. Don't know if they are complete. AFAIK the electrolysis project is still freezed.

click_to_play may be an alternative to noscript: http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Firefox-14-introduces-HTTPS-search-by-default-Update-1644075.html

And this is about current improvements in FF's memory mamagement for plugins and sandboxes: http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Firefox-15-reduces-memory-consumption-1649125.html

P.S.: I would like to add that IMHO starting many processes will consume much memory. Sometimes there are ways to reduce this consumption, but they are not always applicable. I don't know about the total memory consumption, but Chromium does at least consume much more swap space than Firefox on my Linux system.

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Well, I found that project at the time of asking the question, too - but it's still not usable for general audience. But thanks for the detailed explanation of Mozilla's plans. –  kagali-san Sep 30 '12 at 13:23

Try using the BarTab Lite add-in. It dims your non-active tabs, making FF use a fraction of the memory. Tab content (and plugins for those tabs) only load when you click on (activate) a tab.

I have hundreds of tabs, but only the 5-20 that I've opened during any specific session use system resources, thanks to BarTab Lite.

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I think it is a built-in feature now. –  T. Verron May 16 '12 at 15:46
    
If that was true, the OP wouldn't be having the problem that was described. Either that, or it's only built-into a newer version that the OP doesn't have. –  Tom May 16 '12 at 16:38
    
@Tom the problem is that pluginwrapper process (which isn't controlled by BarTab) has a constantly high CPU usage which affects all tabs with even single flash applet embedded. It can't be turned off without introducing browser crashes at each plugin crash (happening often), and it seems that FF is still unable to run each plugin instance in safety container. –  kagali-san May 16 '12 at 18:48
    
@kagali-san : what is your usage? Do you have over 100 active tabs in one firefox session, or rather inactive tabs that simply reload automatically each time you start firefox? –  T. Verron May 16 '12 at 20:36

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