Firefox Got Faster for Real Users in 2023 (
from to on 31 Oct 2023 21:39


threaded - newest on 31 Oct 2023 22:32 next collapse

I thought the browser, my computer or something was slowing down. Turns out I just had way too many ublock rules. on 01 Nov 2023 01:38 next collapse

Rendering was never a problem with FF, but it’s good to see some progress on that front as well. Startup times are still atrocious. My whole OS can book 4 times over before Firefox decides it’s the right time to start rendering something. on 01 Nov 2023 10:23 next collapse

Opens just as quickly as any other program for me.

Either your boot time is like 0.05 seconds or you have a problem. on 01 Nov 2023 10:25 collapse

I for sure have a problem. But it basically boils down to remove your profile, which is not an option. I did report the issue number of times and always got “do a refresh”, which I always do and it always doesn’t help. Even made a video for them, since it doesn’t sound believable. This is on my X1 Carbon, which has M.2 drive. On my desktop with, at the time, HDD it was this slow.

At this point am only using Firefox out of spite so everyone doesn’t end up on Chrome since I remember what it was like for one company to have a huge monopoly. But I’d switch in a blink of an eye otherwise. on 01 Nov 2023 10:26 next collapse

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

Even made a video

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I’m open-source; check me out at GitHub. on 01 Nov 2023 11:06 next collapse

That’s wack. I’ve never seen Firefox that take long to open. Here’s a video of it opening in a VM running Ubuntu 22.04: on 01 Nov 2023 11:34 collapse

I know, mine starts like that on second start. First one always takes a while. After upgrade to SSH and M.2 it is faster but still not immediate like yours. And it’s not even a slow and outdated machine.

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Sure it’s not a total beast, but still 12 cores and 32GB of RAM with decently fast SSD. on 01 Nov 2023 11:14 next collapse

Then something is fishy with your install. Maybe something to do with the DNS or the Firefox version you’re using, or maybe just Debian. on 01 Nov 2023 11:29 collapse

DNS is not to blame here since Chrome and other applications work perfectly fine. Firefox in question is Developer Edition, so it’s bleeding edge new. And it’s not Debian because everything works fine until I sync my profile, then things slow down. on 01 Nov 2023 11:21 next collapse

Have you tried to start it from the terminal? Maybe there is some insight into which part of the startup process is taking so much time on 01 Nov 2023 11:28 collapse

When I was trying to solve this issue I tried pretty much everything. It boils down to something related to my profile. Start without one or with a different one, it works as expected. The moment I sync my profile it bogs down. And am not sure what is wrong with my profile. I have a lot of bookmarks but not abnormally so. History is configured as with everyone else, no special config there. on 01 Nov 2023 11:50 next collapse

What if you export your bookmarks and your addons, then delete your profile, create a new profile and sync NOTHING from your firefox account. Then import the boomarks, restart and see if that is the issue. Then add your addons one by one and restart inbetween to see if one acts up. Then change your firefox settings. Then turn your sync back on. Also are you using a normal installation or a flatpak, snap, etc? on 01 Nov 2023 11:57 next collapse

This is some proper troubleshooting. on 01 Nov 2023 11:58 collapse

Tried that. The moment bookmarks are in and I sync account that’s when it slows down. So I have to forego one or both. Also am not using neither installation nor flatpak, it’s a simple tar ball because it’s FF Dev edition. Doesn’t come packaged. on 01 Nov 2023 15:01 next collapse

Import your bookmarks in sections until you hit the one malware URL that’s mining coin through the Firefox’s interface. on 01 Nov 2023 15:34 collapse

Is it just bookmarks, or is it bookmarks and sync? I’d export your bookmarks as JSON or something and look through it, either with a text editor or some tool, and make sure there isn’t some enormously huge string, or one containing unsupported characters, that’s tripping something up somehow. on 01 Nov 2023 15:46 collapse

To be honest at this point I forgot. It’s been a while since I dealt with this issue. I’ll live with it as is. on 01 Nov 2023 11:53 collapse

Maybe export your profile to some other browser. Wipe your Firefox install and all of its user data. Reinstall Firefox import from the other browser. on 01 Nov 2023 11:59 collapse

The moment I import bookmarks and add my FF account things slow down. Tried all of that already. on 01 Nov 2023 12:34 collapse

That’s an interesting tell. Assuming you don’t have several gigs of bookmarks, The next step would be to break the bookmark file apart into multiple pieces and see which section is punking you. Hell even just exporting it to HTML, You might find a really long or malformed mark by looking over the file.

Anyway, here I go providing more support for somebody that’s not asking for it. Good luck in your endeavors on 01 Nov 2023 13:43 collapse

It’s not that I am not asking for it, it’s just that I’ve been through all of this multiple times. Tried things in my power to fix to no success. I have indeed became indifferent. Am guessing someone at Mozilla could have dug up where the issue lies if they cared enough but most frequent answer I’ve got from them was “do a refresh”.

Also, no, I don’t have gigabytes of bookmarks. But even if I did, that shouldn’t really affect startup time. We have databases for a reason, just query at the moment I search for them. on 01 Nov 2023 14:42 collapse

What if you delete all your bookmarks? Does that help?

What about deleting all bookmarks, reinstall Firefox then sync account with no bookmarks.

What about exporting bookmarks and adding them to a fresh Firefox without a profile. on 01 Nov 2023 15:53 collapse

I think bookmarks are part of the issue but not whole. It’s been more than a year since I tried debugging this and gave up. My machine doesn’t get shut down often and this wait happens only on fresh start. So I kind of learned to live with it. on 01 Nov 2023 11:26 collapse

So suffering through atrocious load times every day is more palatable than just setting up a new profile? on 01 Nov 2023 11:39 collapse

It’s not every day. My computer doesn’t get rebooted that often, maybe once in a month or two. So I got use to waiting that one time. But in general yes, I don’t want another profile as this one is synchronized with other devices and has all kinds of things I’d have to redo to fix an issue that shouldn’t exist in the first place. on 01 Nov 2023 14:58 collapse

Damn, what are you using, WinME? on 01 Nov 2023 15:50 collapse

Nope, Debian Testing on machine with 12 cores and 32GB of RAM and 3GB/s M.2 drive.

And my systemd-analyze says reached after 5.690s in userspace. Most of which is network manager waiting for online status, mounting filesystems, and timesyncd waiting clock update. on 01 Nov 2023 22:28 collapse

Sounds like you have a borked dbus or is using the GTK_USE_PORTAL env variable, 20 second timeouts are gtks standard way of dealing with something it doesn’t like. Firefox should take < 1 second to start fresh and takes < 3s for me, restoring hundreds of tabs on 01 Nov 2023 23:04 collapse

Hm, interesting idea. Any suggestion how I can check/reset this? on 01 Nov 2023 02:29 next collapse

Really, the fact that they still have working adblockers makes it faster. Sitting through a minute of ads is way more noticable than a second or two of delay.

And the reason they work still is because they empower the users to use it how they want, instead of how corporate can monetize them. on 01 Nov 2023 12:47 collapse

than a second or two of delay.

The differences between Chromium And Firefox are for years now in the range of milliseconds. on 01 Nov 2023 11:43 next collapse

Where they really need to improve performance is on mobile. On my old phone, I never really noticed how bad it was aside from the high energy usage reported by Android for Firefox. I recently got a new phone tho, which has a 120hz screen and yesterday I tried Cromite, a Chromium fork for Android, which improves privacy and adds adblock. I tested it against Firefox (Mull to be precise), which is what I use as my default browser, and I noticed that scrolling pages was way smoother on Cromite. First I thought that maybe Firefox is just running on 60hz but scrolling through settings and the like was perfectly smooth, just webpages felt laggy. This means that Firefox is simply very slow at rendering pages on mobile, to the point that it can’t keep up with my screens refresh rate at all.

Firefox on desktop is great and I really wanna use it on mobile too but I’m honestly contemplating just switching to Cromite. The only feature I’m missing in Cromite, that I can get for Firefox with the extension Libredirect, is redirecting to privacy respecting and lightweight frontends / proxies, like Reddit to Libreddit but it might be possible to add a userscript to Cromite with that functionality.

[deleted] on 01 Nov 2023 12:49 next collapse

. on 01 Nov 2023 12:50 next collapse

Did you try with firefox on mobile rather than Mull?

I don’t know if it will make a difference but Mull is quite recent and focus on privacy first then usability and does way more than adblock and few privacy enhancement.

I don’t know the benchmark but it would not surprise if Mull was slower than Firefox.

I’m using Firefox on mobile and I’m not really seeing a difference but I’m on an older phone. on 01 Nov 2023 15:58 next collapse

I’m using regular Firefox and its still the same, pages take too long to load or they randomly reload if left unattended. It feels like a browser from the early era of mobile apps with a coat of paint, and yeah it has only existed for a few years on 02 Nov 2023 06:04 collapse

Just tested it with normal Firerox and surprisingly, that is actually smooth. Maybe it’s just an extension. on 01 Nov 2023 15:53 next collapse

I also have a 120hz display and use Fennec and can state that it works smoothly and scrolling feels like 120hz. on 02 Nov 2023 06:20 collapse

I just tried normal Firefox and that seems to be as smooth as expected. Maybe it was just an extension. on 02 Nov 2023 06:43 collapse

For me it’s unusable on desktop too! Edge and Chrome just have so much nicer animations it’s like a paper cut every time I click on the UI in Firefox on 02 Nov 2023 07:34 collapse

Firefox supports CSS themes tho, you can install something like this, for example, to make it look like Chrome. I haven’t tried it myself but it probably has the animations as well. If you’re on GNOME there’s also a Firefox GNOME theme. on 02 Nov 2023 05:52 next collapse

Not fake users? on 02 Nov 2023 19:53 next collapse

Firefox is faster at loading webpages and content than Chrome, and thats without adblockers. The only thing Chrome is good at is being a webapp and spyware platform. on 03 Nov 2023 06:45 collapse

And web based serial connections, though that may fall into the web app category. on 02 Nov 2023 20:23 collapse

I felt this. Last year I pretty much avoided firefox because it just wasnt performant enough, but since this year they’ve really improved things.