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Firefox Performance Tweaking

This document (7002795) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) or Server (SLES)


Access to web sites through Firefox seems a little slow.  Ideas needed for fine tuning performance settings.


The Firefox default values are as optimized as possible for a wide range of different connection types and system speeds. Experimenting with some of the values might improve performance but might also have a negative effect on total page load times or on specific sites. Test thoroughly on your system.

If problems occur with specific web sites after making changes to the Firefox settings be sure to test with the default settings before reporting a problem.

The following changes to the default settings have had positive feedback in increasing performance.

First, open Firefox. In the address bar, type "about:config" and press "Enter."

In the page that comes up, scroll down and edit the following entries:

Suggested setting:  true
In HTTP 1.1, multiple requests can be sent before any responses are received. This is known as pipelining. Pipelining reduces network load and can reduce page loading times over high-latency connections, but not all servers support it. Some servers may even behave incorrectly if they receive pipelined requests. If a proxy server is not configured, this preference controls whether to attempt to use pipelining.

Suggested setting:  true
When communicating through a proxy server this setting will have the same effect as network.http.pipelining.

Suggested setting:  8
This preference specifies the maximum number of requests to pipeline at once when pipelining is enabled.  Values are 1-8.  The default is 4.

Suggested setting:  0
This setting does not appear by default.  To add it right-click anywhere on the page.  Select "New" and then"Integer".   In the box that comes up type"nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and click "OK".  Give it the value of "0" (zero).

Firefox will render web pages incrementally - it will display what's been received of a page before the entire page has been downloaded. This setting (which has a default of 250 milliseconds) will cause a short delay before displaying the page with the hope that the page will be more complete when initially displaying it.  By setting it to 0 (zero) the page will be immediately displayed.  With slower connections the incremental display of the page may not be as aesthetically pleasing.   Adjust it to fit your environment.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7002795
  • Creation Date: 23-Mar-2009
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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