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My computer keeps freezing once firefox gets over 250MB of memory. It keeps swinging between 200 and 250. What's going on and how can I remedy the situation?

Output of free -m:

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          7887       5089       2798          0        245       3397
-/+ buffers/cache:       1446       6441
Swap:         8091          0       8091
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What is 250MB in relation to your total RAM? Could you add the output of free -m onto your question? –  Oli Dec 16 '13 at 12:47
    
You can use SeaMonkey, which was developed by Mozilla the same as Firefox, and is a quite a bit quicker. You could could also try removing some extensions from Firefox, as some of them are just annoying and use loads of memory. Firefox works fine on my Raspberry Pi, which I can use with Ubuntu and only has 512Mb of RAM... So adding some more RAM may help as well. –  Wilf Dec 16 '13 at 12:51
    
I don't think I'm running out of RAM. I have 8 gigs. –  KI4JGT Dec 16 '13 at 12:56
    
I think this situation is unrelated to the memory usage. The trigger must be something else. –  falconer Dec 16 '13 at 13:27
1  
I have no clue. Is the freeze go away when you close FF? Is it only come up whit FF? Try chromium. Is it related to a specific webpage? Is flash/other plugin in use when this happens? Etc. A lot of things to consider. –  falconer Dec 16 '13 at 14:15

2 Answers 2

Welcome to the modern age of browsers. 250MB is not a lot for a browser (on any platform).

If the computer is freezing it suggest two things:

  • You're running out of RAM, and
  • You have an insufficient swap partition. Swap is disk space where Ubuntu can move things from memory temporarily.

Those two together would cause all sorts of horribleness.

The easy and best solution is to spend $15 on another stick of RAM. Somewhere around 2GB should give you a solid (aka don't really have to worry about RAM) desktop experience.

Other than that, rebooting into a Live CD and adding some swap space is the only real option: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq#How_do_I_add_more_swap.3F But you need to appreciate that swap is a thousand times slower than RAM. Don't rely on it.

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Firefox usage above > 200 MB is not abnormal these days. for example my Firefox uses

enter image description here

If you have low RAM then you can have two choices here.

  1. Try Low memory browsers like Midori
  2. If you have less RAM then use either Xubuntu or Lubuntu to save system memory not Firefox memory.

If you want some low memory browsers then you can look at

What are the available browsers for 128 MB of RAM PC?

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I have 8 gigs of RAM. –  KI4JGT Dec 16 '13 at 12:57

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