Sunday, 16 September 2007

Firefox hogs CPU, 100% use on (I)

This is a problem that has been annoying me for the last year or so. Somehow, my firefox (v2.0.0.6 on an up to date debian testing) seems to choke on some websites like, and others.

Lots of people seem to be having this issue and on some boards I've seen suggestions like:
  • Install Flashblock: crap flash support on Linux is legendary.
  • Install NoScript: some javascripts may be too heavy?
  • Remove all the extensions: try to pinpoint a badly written extension.
  • Change default firefox config: play with memory limits, cache size... etc.

Well, I've tried them all and the problem is still there. I decided then to change the approach and try to see if it somehow was NOT a firefox issue. After two hours googling these are the results:


So I just added this line to the "Device" section of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Option "AccelMethod" "exa"

And restarted X... Firefox is suddenly faster than it's ever been for
me :D

Interestingly enough, AccelMethod "exa" causes this on my laptop.
The laptop is a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz with 1G memory and an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 (R250) sharing the main memory.
However, AccelMethod "XAA" and having RenderAccel "true" fixes it.
exa was faster on Edgy.

I had the same problem till I installed nvidia-glx. Now it seems to work fine.

[Bug 38131] Re: Firefox causes massive Xorg CPU usage

I can also confirm on

100% cpu usage while loading the page, and 100% while scrolling.

Option "AccelMethod" "exa"
in xorg.conf does not help.

Feisty w/ current updates
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20061201
Firefox/ (Ubuntu-feisty)
ATI Radeon (the original)

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