Optimize Firefox/Mozilla for NFS

Maybe you all know this, but I just figured it out yesterday. Firefox (and Mozilla) uses local disk-cache to speed things up. This cache is located somewhere under the ~/.mozilla directory when running Linux or other Unix’s. Normally this is all fine, but when your home directory is located on a network file system, it will be slower and cause unnecessary network traffic. It is possible to specify where Firefox should store it’s cache, so we are able to move this to the local disk. This is done by editing the ‘user.js’ in your Firefox profile directory:

vi ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/user.js

Add the following line to the file, replacing $USER with you login:

user_pref("browser.cache.disk.parent_directory", "/tmp/ffcache-%USER");

While you’re editing the file, you might as well add some more:

user_pref("browser.block.target_new_window", true);
user_pref("browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing", true);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 16);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.firstrequest", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 100);
user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 100);
user_pref("app.update.autoUpdateEnabled", false);
user_pref("extensions.update.autoUpdateEnabled", false);

There is no scientific evidence that this helps at all, so use it at your own risk 🙂 If you are using Konqueror, this is already taken care of. From KDE release 3.2.something all cache is stored in /var/tmp/kdecache-$user. Note:

  • On Windows XP/2000 the path is usually %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\, where xxxxxxxx is a random string of 8 characters. Just browse to C:\Documents and Settings[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ and the rest should be obvious.
  • On Windows 95/98/Me, the path is usually “C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\”
  • On Linux, the path is usually “~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/” * On Mac OS X, the path is usually “~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/”