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Firefox Still Working Towards Multi-Process Support

Mozilla

Published on 05 December 2013 10:53 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Mozilla
50 Comments

While Google Chrome and other modern web-browsers -- even modern versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer -- support separate processes between the user-interface and other rendering tasks, notably missing from the threading party has been Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla developers, however, have been working towards a multi-process Firefox.

The Mozilla "Electrolysis" work on making a multi-process Firefox and Gecko engine is working out in Firefox OS, but there hasn't been much work in recent time on the Firefox desktop browser to better utilize multiple threads. Code is still happening, but it isn't yet up to par.

If using a Firefox nightly build and enabling a Firefox preference setting it's possible to ruin in a multi-process mode, but it's not entirely complete. The work basically leaves one process for the UI and one process for all of the content -- regardless of the number of tabs. All "basic browsing functionality" works under the multi-process mode but features like printing and developer tools are not yet working.

It's not yet known when the multi-process Firefox will ship by default, but there's many more technical details in a lengthy blog post by one of the developers, Bill McCloskey.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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