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looking for documentation on ALL settings in about:config

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looking for documentation on ALL settings in about:config

looking for documentation on ALL settings in about:config
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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
617 solutions 5143 answers

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Because of the fact that there are thousands of preferences and they do change from time to time as new ones are added and old ones are taken away, I'm not sure that there really is a "complete" list of every preference.

MozillaZine has a decent list on their website, although it hasn't been updated since 2017 so it may be incomplete/outdated.

The Preferential Project also has an ok list, although it's even older than the one above.

I think you'll find that there really is no complete list of every about:config preference. A list like that would be impossible to maintain. Not to mention the fact that not every preference is relevant to a regular user or should even be modified by a user. However, most of the common preferences can be found online.

Is there a particular preference that you are looking for or need explained?

Because of the fact that there are thousands of preferences and they do change from time to time as new ones are added and old ones are taken away, I'm not sure that there really is a "complete" list of every preference. [http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config_Entries MozillaZine has a decent list on their website], although it hasn't been updated since 2017 so it may be incomplete/outdated. [http://preferential.mozdev.org/preferences.html The Preferential Project also has an ok list], although it's even older than the one above. I think you'll find that there really is no complete list of every about:config preference. A list like that would be impossible to maintain. Not to mention the fact that not every preference is relevant to a regular user or should even be modified by a user. However, most of the common preferences can be found online. Is there a particular preference that you are looking for or need explained?
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cor-el
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  • Moderator
17537 solutions 158573 answers

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There is no concise documentation of the the prefs that you see on the about:config page.

You can check out the comments in the Firefox source code or search the mozilla-release on the DXR website for a specific preference.

See also the MDN website for documentation.

There is no concise documentation of the the prefs that you see on the about:config page. You can check out the comments in the Firefox source code or search the mozilla-release on the DXR website for a specific preference. *https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-release/source/modules/libpref/init/all.js *https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-release/source/browser/app/profile/firefox.js See also the MDN website for documentation. *https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US
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Question owner

Cor-El and Wesley... thank you! Excellent answers. Not sure why I got nothing from Google. I know I should have been Googling for 'prefs'; but one of your answers was titled 'about:config entries'; and I was Googling for 'Firefox "about:config" '.

I have not read thru your docs yet; so I'm not sure if I have any remaining questions. ...but this is certainly great help!!!


To answer Wesley's question ' Is there a particular preference that you are looking for or need explained? '... I need to give a little preface:

About a month ago, I was redirected to a malware site. It kept popping up diaboxes [i.e. your computer is infected...]. I could not close the tab and the computer became unresponsive. I could not bring up TaskMgr, or do anything! In the end I had to pull the plug. (with 20 years of my life on this machine; that was the last thing I wanted to do) When the machine came back up (and after I had run DISKCHK /f on all three drives); I opened Firefox's history and blacklisted that URL.

Yesterday, same thing [different URL]. But yesterday [after 20 minutes of fighting], I got SysInternals Process Explorer running. I found out the PC was unresponsive because Firefox was using 10GB of memory. So the computer was disk bound swapping to the paging file.

I am there for trying to put a maximum memory limit on Firefox. May be 1.5GB per tab or 3GB on everything.

P.S.: I had already found 'browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory'. But that closes idle tabs. Not what I'm trying to do.

Cor-El and Wesley... thank you! Excellent answers. Not sure why I got nothing from Google. I know I should have been Googling for 'prefs'; but one of your answers was titled 'about:config entries'; and I was Googling for 'Firefox "about:config" '. I have not read thru your docs yet; so I'm not sure if I have any remaining questions. ...but this is certainly great help!!! ------------------- To answer Wesley's question ' ''Is there a particular preference that you are looking for or need explained?'' '... I need to give a little preface: About a month ago, I was redirected to a malware site. It kept popping up diaboxes [i.e. your computer is infected...]. I could not close the tab and the computer became unresponsive. I could not bring up TaskMgr, or do anything! In the end I had to pull the plug. (with 20 years of my life on this machine; that was the last thing I wanted to do) When the machine came back up (and after I had run DISKCHK /f on all three drives); I opened Firefox's history and blacklisted that URL. Yesterday, same thing [different URL]. But yesterday [after 20 minutes of fighting], I got '''SysInternals Process Explorer''' running. I found out the PC was unresponsive because Firefox was using 10GB of memory. So the computer was disk bound swapping to the paging file. I am there for trying to put a maximum memory limit on Firefox. May be 1.5GB per tab or 3GB on everything. P.S.: I had already found 'browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory'. But that closes idle tabs. Not what I'm trying to do.
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Question owner

I found:

  • pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", -1); // limit on image cache. Docs say its max is 32MB.
  • pref("javascript.options.mem.max", -1); // Docs say its max is 4GB. But it does not sound like a real memory max;... I think it just forces 'garbage collection' to run.

... any thoughts? ...

I found: * pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", -1); // ''limit on image cache.'' Docs say its max is 32MB. * pref("javascript.options.mem.max", -1); // ''Docs say its max is 4GB. But it does not sound like a real memory max;... I think it just forces 'garbage collection' to run.'' ... any thoughts? ...

Modified by kbyork

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
617 solutions 5143 answers

I don't believe that there is a way to set a maximum amount of RAM that can be used and doing so could actually make Firefox prone to crashes and other stability issues. It's been asked a few times (from what I could find) and the general answer seems to be "no you can't and you don't want to".

There are a lot of ways that you can reduce the amount of memory that Firefox uses, but I'm not sure that they really apply in your use case since that would simply reduce memory usage overall, not prevent an overloading of memory usage.

The only thing I can really recommend based on what you've described is potentially installing or improving your security software. Many security programs should detect a website that is trying to abuse your system and block them from operating.

Hope this provides at least some help.

I don't believe that there is a way to set a maximum amount of RAM that can be used and doing so could actually make Firefox prone to crashes and other stability issues. It's been asked a few times (from what I could find) and the general answer seems to be "no you can't and you don't want to". There are a lot of ways that you can reduce the amount of memory that Firefox uses, but I'm not sure that they really apply in your use case since that would simply reduce memory usage overall, not prevent an overloading of memory usage. The only thing I can really recommend based on what you've described is potentially installing or improving your security software. Many security programs should detect a website that is trying to abuse your system and block them from operating. Hope this provides at least some help.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17537 solutions 158573 answers
You can check the Firefox Task Manager (about:performance) and about:memory pages. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/task-manager-tabs-or-extensions-are-slowing-firefox *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-uses-too-much-memory-ram
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