Firefox / web processes takes up +3GB of ram - What's going on?


Had some problems with windows and decided to give Linux/Manjaro a try and so far I'm actually really liking it. However, I have a problem with Firefox using half or more of my available RAM.

I have roughly 7GB available for the system (Ryzen 2400G - 1GB is used for the APU) and whenever I launch a firefox browser, 2-3GB is immediately taken up by web-services, while Firefox is using another +500mb.

With only 7GB available and intentions of running Android Studio, Emulators etc. that's causing the RAM to be filled immediately.

Obviously, it only get worse the more thing I open in my browser, but the above numbers are with 1 to 4 tabs open...

There must be some way to minimize this usage - Even Chrome wasn't that bad when I ran it on Windows.

What can I do?

Thanks in advance.

  • Kim

Go to about:memory for exact measurement of Firefox' memory usage, or to about:performance for a general performance overview.

Or install and run ps_mem:

126.8 MiB +  23.5 MiB = 150.3 MiB	WebExtensions
151.3 MiB +  33.4 MiB = 184.7 MiB	Web Content
175.4 MiB +  38.9 MiB = 214.4 MiB	firefox

This is FF 68 with just the Manjaro forum open.
I don't even know if that "Web" thing in your screenshot is related to Firefox?
Also try with a new blank profile.


Can you give us :

grep -oP '},"name":"\K[^"]+' ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.*default*/addons.json
swapon -s

I've seen that happen when a JavaScript is going wild in one of the tabs.

1 Like

I concur it will be a bad script from either the page you are visiting or an ad frame causing the memory footprint. As much as it's a no go for many because of data harvesting concerns, Google Chrome actually still handles javascript without the shear incompetence of Firefox's engine.

@anon23612428 - each open tab in Firefox gets a separate Web process as shown in Ksysguard above. One of those open tabs clearly contains something badly written.

@Zretty There's a de-googled version of Chromium in AUR which you could try out and see if the performance and memory usage is more to your liking.

I suggest you double-check your browsing habits and extensions.

Beyond that - a bit a RAM fill is good (why waste it)

Beyond that - check your browser configs. Calls home? Tracking? Privacy Settings? etc ?

[as an example - I have close to 100 tabs open right now (though not all are loaded) and its maybe .. less than 2G ?]

EDIT - ah, but I should mention that I use PSD
But if you cant find anything supicious, nothing left to optimize, etc .. then it really isnt an issue unless you are actually 'locking up' .. generally RAM gets allocated to needs and lets the needy run wild .. it doesnt necessarilly mean that when you launch the next application you wont have enough.


I forgot to mention before that Linux works more efficiently than Windows with regards cache of applications and files already opened. Linux uses all the available RAM for cache and frees it as necessary by moving the oldest data first into the swapfile or swap partition. Windows by default doesn't do this, it is far quicker to add stuff to the pagefile. So while it may appear less RAM is being consumed in Windows it could be a false positive.


It's true that, but if a script is going wild, it may not be freeing the memory. The best way to restrain scripts is to install the NoScript extension and only allow the minimum JS to make the site function.

Agreed. But if someone doesnt realize their PINK PONY EXTENSION FOR FREE MOVIES ON FACEBOOK (or a similar website) might, possibly, be cause for concern .. then there is probably no helping ...

Hmmm, it is one way, but i shan't be as absolutist as you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Two alternative ways are uBlock Origin or [my fav] uMatrix [once your learning curve flattens out].


I use uBlock Origin as well as it blocks different things with some overlap. uMatrix is probably as effective but I can't say it's as good, purely because of the near vertical learning curve.

True enough :smiley:

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