[conspire] How much memory each process is taking up

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 23 16:36:39 PST 2009

Another afterthought:

> Finally, we get to serious memory usage:
> "icedove" (Mozilla Thunderbird):  about 130 MB of RSS across three
> processes.
> "iceweasel" (Mozilla Firefox):  320 MB of RSS.

And, gods above, what a hog that is.  In part, the 1/3 gigabyte of
resident set size was attributable to having eight tabs open.  Close
seven of them, and, sadly, RSS does _not_ go down.  Close it and open a
new browser instance with no page loaded, and I get (quoting "top"):

RSS = 45 MB
SHR = 17 MB
VSZ = 136 MB.

This is, however, not a barebones Firefox v. 3.0.6.  It has these

BugMeNot 2.1
Firebug 1.3.2
User Agent Switcher 0.6.11

All Firefox extensions are interpreted code written in XUL, and seem to
be not exactly RAM-saving.

Someone trying to save RAM would absolutely not run those extensions.
If barebones Firefox still doesn't cut it -- as might be the case for
128-256MB decade-old boxes -- then you would have to look at mostly-OK
smaller alternatives:  BrowseX, Dillo, Minimo.  I'd look at them in that

I could also save a _big_ load of RAM by substituting mutt for "icedove"
(Mozilla Thunderbird), and may eventually do so.

More information about the conspire mailing list