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Iceweasel 17.0 problem and solution


I had big problems with Iceweasel 17.0 I installed from the Backports. I'm on Debian Squeeze XFCE.

After installing, the Iceweasel felt very slow and slightly buggy. It often slowed down all my other programs, like the terminal emulator.

I received accurate help on this thread:

Quoting Therem Harth:

"For Firefox, you could try creating an integer called


in about:config, and setting it to 0. IIRC most of Firefox's problems on Linux are due to repeated fsync() calls, which on Linux mean "Sync everything to the disk RIGHT NOW!"

The upshot of setting toolkit.storage.synchronous to 0 is that Firefox should be less of a wallowing pig, but if it crashes you might lose some history entries, or bookmarks added during the session that crashed."

The fix worked perfectly. Iceweasel or Firefox has never felt this snappy for me on Linux. Administrating WordPress sites was about three times as fast as before the fix.

Therem Harth again:
"IIRC this problem ironically exists because Linux exhibits mostly correct behavior when fsync() is called. I don't know about Windows, but I've read that on OSX, fsync() is does not guarantee that the data is actually written to the disk. I'm not certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if something similar applied to Windows"

Could this be fixed somehow? Is it already fixed on Wheezy? For the backports version, it might be enough to just let the user aware of the problem and the solution.

Mikko Lehtinen

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