Firefox 1.5 Stability Problems? Readers And Mozilla Respond

Firefox users wrote to us detailing their problems with the browser, and we asked Mozilla for some answers. Before we get too far down that path, however, let's put things in perspective. More than 60 percent of the people who responded to our request for personal experiences with Firefox 1.5 reported they had no problems whatsoever with the browser software. And there is absolutely no statistically valid way to draw any hard conclusions about how many people are having stability issues with Firefox 1.5 based on this small sample size. At a rough guess, the number of people experiencing serious problems is probably well under 10 percent of all the people who have downloaded and installed Firefox 1.5.
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December 29, 2005 11:30 AM | Posted in Mozilla


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Well, I saw the InformationWeek article long ago. Does have any relevant hard facts?

Comment by tom at December 29, 2005 03:58 PM | Permalink

I absolutely love Firefox, but I have to admit that on every machine I've come across running Firefox, it eventually chews up tons of memory (and therefore needs to be closed and reopened). It's better than it used to be, but it's still pretty bad. Note, we're talking about leaving the browser up for a number of days while opening and closing tabs. The side-effect of it chewing up tons of memory is the CPU utilization goes up real high while it's doing memory swapping - and THAT makes it a bigger problem.

Site icon Comment by Marc Randolph at December 29, 2005 05:23 PM | Permalink

I enjoyed linky very much, alas, it actually crashed Firefox 1.5 so badly that I had to competely reinstall Firefox, which included manually scrubbing every directory that was possibly used by Firefox at one time or another. But, as allways, a new update will have me bright and smiling again :-)
Thanks a lot, keep up the good work and have a successfull and happy New Year


Comment by Sven Dirks at December 29, 2005 05:46 PM | Permalink

Firefox's memory usage is not exactly the best but that's not the main problem for me. I've noticed since updating to 1.5 that scaled images chew up alot of CPU usage and it can get very annoying. As far as stability goes it hasn't crashed once on me and is alot more stable than the 1.0 branch.

Comment by Matthew Kairys at December 29, 2005 05:55 PM | Permalink

Matthew, what OS are you using? I recently discovered that Firefox 1.5 uses completely different scaling algorithms on Mac and Linux, and it also uses different libraries for drawing on each OS. Is Firefox very slow to load the page, scroll at scrolling the page, or both?

Site icon Comment by Jesse Ruderman at December 29, 2005 07:38 PM | Permalink

I can't really say if Fx 1.5 is less stable than 1.0.x (I think I saw an uptick in crashes in 1.0.3 or thereabout and more freezes in v1.5), but another bug bugs me even more. Quite regularly I copy some text in Fx and when I try to paste, it's not there and I've to copy again. I can't reproduce it consistently tho, and I wonder if anyone's seen the same thing.

Site icon Comment by Tsee at December 29, 2005 08:10 PM | Permalink

Re: Tsee on copy/paste

I don't have that trouble, but I might as well. When I go to copy most things from Firefox to an email in Outlook, all the end of line markers seem to disappear, so it just gets pasted as a great big mess of text. Highly annoying. I don't remember it happening back in 1.0 days.

Comment by Marc Randolph at December 29, 2005 11:07 PM | Permalink

I've had a lot of trouble with 1.5's menus. On my home computer (Mac OX X 10.2) the application will sometimes hang while browsing a folder of LiveBookmarks links from the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder. My work computer (Windows XP), which I run a lot of extensions on, has a different problem. After Firefox has been running for serveral hours (maybe even more than a day) the menus start going beserk. Pulling down the Bookmarks menu will result in constant flashing of the highlighted item every time the mouse moves and submenus won't open unless clicked. If I open a new Firefox instance, the problem doesn't appear in it.

Overall I like the new Firefox, but these two problems are pretty annoying.

Comment by Tom Mack at December 30, 2005 01:22 AM | Permalink

Hi Jesse,
I'm running Windows XP SP2 most of the time. When I run Linux with Firefox 1.5 I don't seem to have a problem. Firefox isn't slow loading the page however when images get scaled down (for example in a set width table) it can often become quite unusable until I close the tab. If I simply move onto another tab it is still very slow until I close the other page.

Comment by Matthew Kairys at December 30, 2005 02:49 PM | Permalink


I use FF 1.5 on Gentoo Linux (the binary, not the compiled version). I tried upgrading but my profile became so fragile and corrupt that I eventually deleted it and started over from scratch.

Now, whenever I start FF, I get a warning saying that some chrome thing couldn't be installed and I should contact the developer. But it never says what extension (if extension it is) is causing the issue.

I am not sure it is faster than before (except for Forward/Back).


Site icon Comment by Laurent Duperval at December 30, 2005 07:25 PM | Permalink

For me the biggest problem is memmory usage combined with high cpu usage when loading new pages is the after I've been surfing for a while.

I've limited my memory usage in user.js (browser.cache.memory.capacity) to 300MB firefox still uses way more (500-650MB and more).

Have a look here

It's starting to aggrevate me up to the point if there where another browser that would fit my needs I'd might drop Firefox.

Comment by SuperMichael at January 1, 2006 05:46 PM | Permalink

Since i am working as freelance administrator for several companies, i noticed that most of the occuring crashes of firefox are usually related to third party plugins with Windows Media Player and Quicktime being Nr.1 reason for a crashed firefox.

Comment by rojaro at January 1, 2006 08:02 PM | Permalink

Been running Gentoo with Firefox 1.0.7 and still have not encountered any problems...

Site icon Comment by Mark Austin at February 24, 2006 04:00 AM | Permalink

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