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Firefox on OS X 10.9.1 still has huge memory leak (/questions/981674)

  • 16 replies
  • 5 have this problem
  • 2189 views
  • آخر ردّ كتبه AliceWyman

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I created a new FireFox profile. I launched FireFox using this profile, and closed the default windows. I disabled all extensions. I quit FireFox, and relaunched it. I verified that all extensions were disabled. Only extension is Troubleshooter (previously installed on a test sequence I messed up) Only Appearance is "Default 27.0.1" No Services.

I opened an about:memory window.

In a new single window, I opened the URL...

http://www.toscanamall.com/en/content/3-terms-and-conditions-of-use

I waited for it to load, and FireFox memory (according to Activity Monitor) was bobbing around 200MB. After a few minutes, the memory use was stable around 200MB. I saved my first about:memory report (#1), and then minimized the toscanamall window. I did nothing except move the mouse once in a while to keep the machine awake. During the next 5 minutes FireFox memory use went steadily upwards from the ~200MB to 575MB. I saved the next about:memory report (#2). I un-minimized the window - memory use went down to 270MB immediately, and I saved my 3rd about:memory report (#3).

FireFox 27.0.1, OSX 10.9.2

Modified by MacKnickKnack

Chosen solution

All tests now completed against Firefox 28 Beta.

I'm happy to report that all tests completed without noticeable memory leaks. Horah!

Thanks to John, Alice, Rachel and the worker-bees - it's been a rare pleasure.

Read this answer in context 👍 0

All Replies (16)

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You seem to have found something here.

It would be interesting to know if others can reproduce something similar.

The increase shows in heap unclassified. I will have to find someone who knows more about Macs and Memory leaks. At first glance this looks almost good enough to file a bug on now.

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I have tagged this as escalated and also posted /forums/support-forum-contributors/710049

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I see that you also posted some information in the other thread:

Have you tried restarting in Firefox Safe Mode to see if the issue persists? Safe Mode also disables hardware acceleration. See Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems.

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P.S. Besides the one instance you wrote about here in the other thread,

A couple of days ago my system came to a grinding halt with "out of memory" - FireFox (27.0.1) was using 43G of memory (I have 64G on a MacPro, was 10.9.1 yesterday, 10.9.2 today - same issue). I tried the "usual things" - no luck. I have about 10 windows open, averaging about 3 tabs per window. As I sit here typing, with Activity Monitor on the 2nd monitor, it's eating up about 20MB per second - it's ticking up like a clock. <snip> There is obviously however, at least on my system, a serious memory leak with minimized windows. 

... Are you having any current issues in Firefox, such as slowness, freezes or crashes, when running Firefox with some windows minimized? Any similar issues running Safari or other software on your Mac?

Modified by AliceWyman

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Have you tried restarting in Firefox Safe Mode to see if the issue persists?

I did - I was expecting (and hoping) that the problem would not be evident in safe mode, but it was.

... Are you having any current issues in Firefox, such as slowness, freezes or crashes, when running Firefox with some windows minimized?

Other than the one time when the system came to a halt - no. My usual practise has been to quit and relaunch FireFox on a fairly regular basis - I've always found it to leak a little. On this particular day I'd been running AppleScripts targetted at FileMaker - if I could bottle the memory leaks from that process I'd be rich. When I looked at Activity Monitor I was shocked to see FireFox at 43G, and (after a restart), started looking into it.

Any similar issues running Safari or other software on your Mac?

Good question. In fact I run Safari 24/7 as well as FireFox (different user in the 2 browsers) - but I use Safari very rarely, and it always has its one window minimised, and the memory footprint is stable. As for other software - generally things work fine. I should say though, for completeness, that, up until 2000, I was a Macintosh Software Developer, and I'm running a fair number of my own programmes on this machine - an mp3player, a weather window, an application switcher, a torrent client, and a "lots of data display" app. I always have been, they are all clean user-space apps, and none of them have changed recently.

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I've been looking into the "site specific" hypothesis, and have additional test results. Same setup - new profile (same new profile as before, that is), extensions disabled etc etc.

Test 2. The original page uses "nivo slider", so I went to the originating web site, and one of their demo pages...

http://demo.dev7studios.com/nivo-slider/

  • After a while, memory settled down at ~210mb
about:memory here - http://www.mediafire.com/download/5ml9df4ec7o2i1o/memory-report_-_T2_#1.json.gz
  • I minimized the window. After 5 minutes memory was at 690MB
about:memory here - http://www.mediafire.com/download/y9ca7066m26l116/memory-report_-_T2_#2.json.gz
  • I unminimized the window - memory dropped to 300MB
about:memory - sorry, forgot to take that one

Test 3. It seemed to me that either this was a nivo-slider problem, or something more general about image slideshows, so I went and found this, alternative method...

http://visualslideshow.com/demo.html

  • After a while, memory stabilized at ~275MB
about:memory here - http://www.mediafire.com/download/33wuwwazjvd5cr3/memory-report_-_T3_#1.json.gz
  • I minimized the window. After 5 minutes memory was at 505MB
about:memory here - http://www.mediafire.com/download/mzzavqc5553xecr/memory-report_-_T3_#2.json.gz
  • I unminimized the window - memory dropped to 262MB
about:memory here - http://www.mediafire.com/download/a5s6ds92a0awt03/memory-report_-_T3_#3.json.gz

It should be noted, perhaps, that in none of the cases does the actual dock icon of the minimized windows actually change.

(I'm having terrible trouble getting anything to look OK here - sorry - carriage returns are being ignored, sometimes?)

I also tried this last test, the visualslideshow test, on my wife's (somewhat old) desktop machine - FireFox 27.0.1 on OSX 10.7.5 - not, I repeat not, a clean FireFox - she was listening to the radio from the BBC at the time, and has a lot of windows open, many with a lot of tabs. Memory appeared stable at 1.12GB. After a few minutes with the window minimized, memory was at 1.30GB, and heading steadily upwards.

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I'm working on the basis that more information is a good thing - if you have enough, please say...

Test 4 Previous tests had only been for 5 minutes, so, on the basis that perhaps it "stops after a while", I left a test running while I went for breakfast.

Using this page... http://visualslideshow.com/demo.html

  • At 8:48am (all times Lisbon times), the memory had stabilised at ~200MB
about:memory report here http://www.mediafire.com/download/afzy4pie7xje1nn/memory-report_-_T4_#1.json.gz
  • At 9:30am I returned, woke the machine up - memory was 1.56G
about:memory report here http://www.mediafire.com/download/kdced2jl5i3ezm8/memory-report_-_T4_#2.json.gz
  • I unminimized the window - memory went to 294M
about:memory report here http://www.mediafire.com/download/tieiaa4iq30m1sc/memory-report_-_T4_#3.json.gz


Test 5 This one is very very scary. Using this page... http://demo.dev7studios.com/nivo-slider/

  • At 9:36, with this single window open, memory had stabilized at ~170MB
  • I then HID FileMaker with command-H. Note - I did not minimize the window.
  • Within a minute, memory had reached 1.62GB (one point six two gigabytes), and was going upwards at an alarming rate.

I couldn't, of course, take about:memory readings since when I unhide FireFox the memory footprint goes back down.

I tried this same test on my wife's machine (unclean FireFox - see above), with the same result.

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Hi, MacKnickKnack,

I won't be the person who is actually helping you. John 99 "escalated" your support request to Mozilla's Helpdesk. My questions were to gather some information that they might need to either resolve the issue or file a bugzilla report. Note that bug reports require specific steps to reproduce.

Someone from the HelpDesk should reply to you soon.

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P.S. In case it helps, I found the following bug report:

  • Bug 937878 - Extremely high layer memory usage on Mac when browser windows are minimized

Note that the bug is fixed in Firefox 28, which is currently in beta: http://www.mozilla.org/firefox/beta/

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@AliceWyman thank you for finding this bug, I have emailed the user that the bug is assigned to in hopes for a review. I will post back when I hear from this person.

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Thanks! I'm back from a couple of days away - I'll get the latest beta, run the identical tests and report back - all things being well that'll be within the next 24 hours - it's late here (Europe) right now.

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Great! Actually, I just got confirmation that this was the exact bug you were experiencing, if you find more issues in your testing on the beta we can take a look again no problem. @Alice thank you!

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Rachel, you're welcome.

MacKnickKnack, Hopefully the issue is solved for you in Firefox 28 Beta.

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Chosen Solution

All tests now completed against Firefox 28 Beta.

I'm happy to report that all tests completed without noticeable memory leaks. Horah!

Thanks to John, Alice, Rachel and the worker-bees - it's been a rare pleasure.

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Hey, that's great!

I'll mark your last reply, that memory leaks are gone in Firefox 28 Beta, as the solution.