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Updated: 5.6.2006

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Get Firefox
Get Thunderbird
On this page are first listed various crucial performance related lines that are used in Mozilla Firefox prefs.js and/or "user.js" files, btw., it might also work in Thunderbird, at least some. You can also check them (your current configuration settings) simply by typing about:config in the Firefox's address bar (btw., other "about:..." options are about:blank, about:cache, about:cache?device=memory, about:cache?device=disk and misc ones about:credits, about:plugins, about:mozilla, about:buildconfig), and of course by finally clicking the Enter. Optionally "filter" for the parts of words that you're looking or additionally for strings of your interest.

For basic description of various preferences (their meaning), download this file: Firefox-descriptions.doc, and for page where I got most of them, see here: Firefox Tweak Guide. Note that regardless of computer speed, one of the common trends is that pipelining is a good thing. Those with faster computers and gobs of memory may want to up the amount of memory available to Firefox while those with slower computers can still increase the default 4MB to something higher. Power-users are also welcome to disable the status bar to seek out that extra CPU cycle. As far as memory managing, see these two threads on Ars Technica about how to keep Firefox in RAM all the time (not being paged-out after minimized or not used for a long time): Ars Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon Any particular reason Firefox is a memory disaster?, and here: Ars Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon Way to stop Firefox from getting paged-out to disk?, particularly with the setting the values of these two lines browser.turbo.enable or config.trim_on_minimize

And later on, as promised on first page (index), I listed also few of my most important "registry hacks" for NT-based Windows OSs. But note I do not guarantee they will work in all conditions, and on all computers/configurations/builds. Actually I do not guarantee they will work at all in any conditition. Btw., as you can see, I used an expression "registry hacks" instead of "registry tweaks", as in document title. It's all just because I somehow hate the word "tweak", because it reminds me back on those days, when I still used (uh, and installed too) so-called "tweaking programs", instead of using the .reg files to apply these hacks, but sadly, the "tweak" is more common than a word "hack". And finally, for a really nice collection of tweak and hacks, see the George's AXCEL216 / MDGx MAX Speeed WinDOwS Tricks + Secrets site; he was so kind that he refers to my own home-site on his "links.html" page (and he didn't even notify me about it), so I am just returning the favor.

My various blogs: Here is a list of links to my various blogs; as first a link to my Voljatel Blog, both in Slovenian language, as second there are the links to the two "ad revenue sharing community" blogs Senserely Blog [feed.png add], writingUp Blog [feed.png add] in English language, then there are the three unsorted blogs Kuro5hin Blog, Spread Firefox Blog [feed.png add], and CastleCops Blog [feed.png add] also in English language, and finally the two futile blogs Slashdot Blog (this one doesn't get much attention), Techrepublic Blog (it's inaccessible to non-registered visitors), both in English language too.

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/NOTE: From the site's update on 5.6.2006 onwards, this particular site will not be updated anymore. To be honest, I made few additional modifications on 6.6., 7.6., 8.6., 9.6., and 16.6., further on 13.7., 23.7., 23.8., and 26.9. in 2006, and finally on 14.1. in 2007 (which was the absolutely last update), but that was all just fixing old errors and formatting, and no new content was added. Optionally see the last "events-entry" on page "events7.html" (it's a short related announcement), and the first entry on the "events8.html" page (it describes all this in great details), however, the second one is located only on "still-updated" site-variants. Anyway, this notice applies to: Bravenet, Freehost386, Geocities, and Greatnow free-hosts (and from 14.1.2007 this includes also Atspace free-host), so for the current variant with the fresh content, please head on to one of these two main sites: 50webs, Voljatel, which are, as mentioned, the only ones still being updated.


FIREFOX PREFERENCES (about:config)



When you have a fresh installation of a Mozilla Firefox browser, go to its profile directory, and copy the prefs.js file to some optional the directory you want to store and update Firefox browser's backed-up configuration files. This way all your settings are preserved - of course, except bookmarks, passwords, cookies etc., which uhh, requires copying these other related files too. So later, for instance on the next Firefox installation (or if the profile was corrupted, or you just want to create a "clean" one), you then just copy all the backed-up files into a directory containing your new profile and whoila. But notice, there is another file worth mentioning, a user.js file; below are few examples of entries you can put in it, however, I recommend to check out the one that I use, and which is accessible through the "OPEN or GET" drop-down menu script at the top of each page; anyway, here is the link: http://users.volja.net/tayiper/script/user.js. The thing is that when Firefox is executed, it first reads the prefs.js and then user.js one, while when it shuts down it writes all the settings into the prefs.js file, but watch this, it never writes anything to user.js (as it would have a "Read-only" attribute), that's why the user.js file overrides any settings that are stored in the prefs.js file (in other words, it takes "precedence" over the prefs.js file), i.e. what's in your user.js is then used to "reset", or as I said - override the settings stored in prefs.js file. So all the settings that you wish to be always applied (and never changed) when starting any profile of Firefox - of course the file must reside in each profile's location (profile directory), write them into the user.js, and copy it into your profile directory in which prefs.js file already resides.


1. Show Pictures As They are Loading (IE Style)

user_pref("browser.display.show_image_placeholders", false);



2. Setting to disabling New Windows

user_pref("browser.block.target_new_window", true);
user_pref("browser.tabs.opentabfor.middleclick", true);
user_pref("browser.tabs.opentabfor.urlbar", true);



3. Configuration for "quick and dirty" settings

user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.firstrequest", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 8);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);


These were some settings I ran across sometime ago. Pipelining does multiple data requests at once and should speed things up. I believe IE did this before and this was partially attributable to the speed advantage that IE had over older versions of Mozilla/Netscape. Initial Paint Delay actually slows down the rendering of the ENTIRE page but since users tend to start reading before the entire page is rendered, setting this to a low value gives the impression that the page loads faster.


4. Common settings for all configurations

user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 8);
user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5);
user_pref("plugin.expose_full_path", true);
user_pref("ui.submenuDelay", 0);


These are the settings that seem to be common to all configuration files regardless of connection speed or computer speed with a couple of additions - plugin paths can be found with about:plugins and the bookmark menu delay is turned off.


5. Settings for fast computer and fast connection

user_pref("content.interrupt.parsing", true);
user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
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", 8);
user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);


A couple settings of note: Firefox is allocated 4096 KB of memory by default and in this configuration we give it roughly 65MB as denoted by the last line. This can be changed according to what is used.


6. Settings for fast computer and slower connections (slower DSL/Cable)

user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
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", 8);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);



7. Settings for fast computer and slow connections (dial-up etc.)

user_pref("browser.xul.error_pages.enabled", true);
user_pref("content.interrupt.parsing", true);
user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 3000000);
user_pref("content.maxtextrun", 8191);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 32);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 8);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 8);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 4);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);



8. Settings for slow computer and fast connection

user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 3000000);
user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 1000000);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 1000000);
user_pref("content.maxtextrun", 4095);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 1000);
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", 8);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);


One of the changes made for this particular configuration is the final line where the status bar is disabled for changing web pages to save processor time.


9. Settings for slow computer and slow connections (dial-up etc.)

user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 750);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 32);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 8);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 8);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 4);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);







UNSORTED USEFUL REGISTRY HACKS



Note that I first couldn't decide between posting them as .reg files (so you could download them and apply the "tweak" by simply double-clicking on it), and posting only their "code" (actual .reg file content), and I finally decided to post only the "pure" code. All you need to do is copy all the text (including "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00"), paste it to new and empty .txt document, save it, close it, and when closed, rename it to .reg, and execute it. If configuration will not be automaticly merged to registry, choose YES on prompt pop-up window, when asked.


Sets Windows to boot with Classic Logon

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"LogonType"=dword:00000000



No clearing Pagefile at PC Shutdown:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory]
"ClearPageFileAtShutdown"=dword:00000000



Directs OS to keep kernel in RAM:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory]
"DisablePagingExecutive"=dword:00000000


Settings for workstations



Keep a good Balance:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"LargeSystemCache"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters]
"Size"=dword:00000002



Minimize The Memory Used:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"LargeSystemCache"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters]
"Size"=dword:00000001



Maximize Throughput for Network Applications:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"LargeSystemCache"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters]
"Size"=dword:00000003



Maximize Throughput for File Sharing:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"LargeSystemCache"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters]
"Size"=dword:00000003


Various other registry hacks



Start Menu speed/delay:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"MenuShowDelay"="0"



Disable User Tracking:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"NoInstrumentation"=dword:00000001



Timeouts to "kill" App or Service:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"WaitToKillAppTimeout"="4000"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
"WaitToKillServiceTimeout"="4000"

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
"WaitToKillAppTimeout"="4000"



Worker Threads, max recommended is 16:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Executive]
"AdditionalCriticalWorkerThreads"=dword:00000002
"AdditionalDelayedWorkerThreads"=dword:00000002



Response - 2x more (foreground vs. backgound):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl]
"Win32PrioritySeparation"=dword:00000001



Response - 3x more (foreground vs. backgound):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl]
"Win32PrioritySeparation"=dword:00000001



Response - 50% - 50% (foreground vs. backgound):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl]
"Win32PrioritySeparation"=dword:00000000







SETTINGS FOR TCP/IP PARAMETERS



TCP/IP Configuration 1 (for 56K dial-up modem):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
"ForwardBroadcasts"=dword:00000000
"IPEnableRouter"=dword:00000000
"UseDomainNameDevolution"=dword:00000001
"EnableICMPRedirect"=dword:00000001
"DeadGWDetectDefault"=dword:00000001
"DontAddDefaultGatewayDefault"=dword:00000000
"EnablesecurityFilters"=dword:00000000
"ForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00024a00
"NumForwardPackets"=dword:0000024a
"MaxForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00024a00
"MaxNumForwardPackets"=dword:0000024a
"EnablePMTUDiscovery"=dword:00000001
"EnablePMTUBHDetect"=dword:00000000
"SackOpts"=dword:00000001
"DefaultTTL"=dword:000000ff
"TcpWindowSize"=dword:00007fff
"GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize"=dword:0000fffe
"TcpMaxDupAcks"=dword:00000002
"Tcp1323Opts"=dword:00000001
"MaxUserPort"=dword:0000fffe
"TcpTimedWaitDelay"=dword:0000001e
"EnableDeadGWDetect "=dword:00000000
"IGMPLevel"=dword:00000000
"KeepAliveInterval"=dword:00001f40
"KeepAliveTime"=dword:001b7740
"TcpNumConnections"=dword:00000080



TCP/IP Configuration 2 (slightly different):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
"ForwardBroadcasts"=dword:00000000
"IPEnableRouter"=dword:00000000
"UseDomainNameDevolution"=dword:00000001
"EnableICMPRedirect"=dword:00000001
"DeadGWDetectDefault"=dword:00000001
"DontAddDefaultGatewayDefault"=dword:00000000
"EnablesecurityFilters"=dword:00000000
"ForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00024a00
"NumForwardPackets"=dword:0000024a
"MaxForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00024a00
"MaxNumForwardPackets"=dword:0000024a
"EnablePMTUDiscovery"=dword:00000001
"EnablePMTUBHDetect"=dword:00000000
"SackOpts"=dword:00000001
"DefaultTTL"=dword:000000ff
"TcpWindowSize"=dword:00007fff
"GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize"=dword:00007fff
"TcpMaxDupAcks"=dword:00000002
"Tcp1323Opts"=dword:00000001
"MaxUserPort"=dword:0000fffe
"TcpTimedWaitDelay"=dword:0000001e
"EnableDeadGWDetect "=dword:00000000
"IGMPLevel"=dword:00000000
"KeepAliveInterval"=dword:00002ee0
"KeepAliveTime"=dword:000dbba0
"TcpNumConnections"=dword:00000080



TCP/IP Configuration 3 (slightly different):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
"ForwardBroadcasts"=dword:00000000
"IPEnableRouter"=dword:00000000
"UseDomainNameDevolution"=dword:00000001
"EnableICMPRedirect"=dword:00000001
"DeadGWDetectDefault"=dword:00000001
"DontAddDefaultGatewayDefault"=dword:00000000
"EnablesecurityFilters"=dword:00000000
"ForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00016384
"NumForwardPackets"=dword:00000040
"MaxForwardBufferMemory"=dword:00024a00
"MaxNumForwardPackets"=dword:0000024a
"MaxUserPort"=dword:0000fffe
"EnableDeadGWDetect "=dword:00000000
"IGMPLevel"=dword:00000000
"KeepAliveInterval"=dword:00001f40
"KeepAliveTime"=dword:001b7740
"TcpNumConnections"=dword:00000080
"TcpMaxConnectRetransmissions"=dword:00000004
"TcpMaxDataRetransmissions"=dword:00000008
"TcpTimedWaitDelay"=dword:0000001e
"TcpWindowSize"=dword:0000faf0
"Tcp1323Opts"=dword:00000001
"GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize"=dword:0000faf0
"EnablePMTUDiscovery"=dword:00000001
"SackOpts"=dword:00000001
"TcpMaxDupAcks"=dword:00000002


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