Firefox/Profile on RAM
Assuming that there is memory to spare, placing Firefox's cache or complete profile to RAM offers significant advantages. Even though opting for the partial route is an improvement by itself, the latter can make Firefox even more responsive compared to its stock configuration. Benefits include, among others:
- reduced drive read/writes;
- heightened responsive feel;
- many operations within Firefox, such as quick search and history queries, are nearly instantaneous.
To do so we can make use of a tmpfs.
Because data placed therein cannot survive a shutdown, a script responsible for syncing back to drive prior to system shutdown is necessary if persistence is desired (which is likely in the case of profile relocation). On the other hand, only relocating the cache is a quick, less inclusive solution that will slightly speed up user experience while emptying Firefox cache on every reboot.
/home/$USER/.mozilla/firefox/): it is found by default in
/home/$USER/.cache/mozilla/firefox/<profile>. This is similar to what Chromium and other browsers do. Therefore, sections #Place profile in RAM using tools and #Place profile in RAM manually don't deal with cache relocating and syncing but only with profile adjustments. See the note at Profile-sync-daemon#Design goals and benefits of psd for more details. Anything-sync-daemon may be used to achieve the same thing as Option 2 for cache folders.
Relocate cache to RAM only
Place profile in RAM using tools
Use an active management script for maximal reliability and ease of use. Several are available from the AUR.
- Profile-sync-daemon wiki article for additional info on it; - refer to the
- AUR - sufficient for a user with a single profile; uses a script and systemd service similar to those below.
Place profile in RAM manually
Before you start
Before potentially compromising Firefox's profile, be sure to make a backup for quick restoration. Replace
xyz.default as appropriate and use
tar to make a backup:
$ tar zcvfp ~/firefox_profile_backup.tar.gz ~/.mozilla/firefox/xyz.default
Adapted from verot.net's Speed up Firefox with tmpfs
The script will first move Firefox's profile to a new static location, make a sub-directory in
/dev/shm, softlink to it and later populate it with the contents of the profile. As before, replace the bold sections to suit. The only value that absolutely needs to be altered is, again,
Be sure that rsync is installed and save the script to
~/.local/bin/firefox-sync, for example:
#!/bin/sh static=static-$1 link=$1 volatile=/dev/shm/firefox-$1-$USER IFS= set -efu cd ~/.mozilla/firefox if [ ! -r $volatile ]; then mkdir -m0700 $volatile fi if [ "$(readlink $link)" != "$volatile" ]; then mv $link $static ln -s $volatile $link fi if [ -e $link/.unpacked ]; then rsync -av --delete --exclude .unpacked ./$link/ ./$static/ else rsync -av ./$static/ ./$link/ touch $link/.unpacked fi
Close Firefox, make the script executable and test it:
$ killall firefox firefox-bin $ chmod +x ~/.local/bin/firefox-sync $ ls ~/.mozilla/firefox/ $ ~/.local/bin/firefox-sync <firefox-profile>
Run Firefox again to gauge the results. The second time the script runs, it will then preserve the RAM profile by copying it back to disk.
Seeing that forgetting to sync the profile can lead to disastrous results, automating the process seems like a logical course of action.
Save the following script as
systemctl --user daemon-reload systemctl --user enable firefox-profile@<profile>.service systemctl --user start firefox-profile@<profile>.service
[Unit] Description=Firefox profile memory cache [Install] WantedBy=default.target [Service] Type=oneshot RemainAfterExit=yes ExecStart=/home/matthew/.local/bin/firefox-sync %i ExecStop=/home/matthew/.local/bin/firefox-sync %i
Manipulate the user's cron table using
$ crontab -e
Add a line to start the script every 30 minutes,
*/30 * * * * ~/.local/bin/firefox-sync
or add the following to do so every 2 hours:
0 */2 * * * ~/.local/bin/firefox-sync
Sync at login/logout
Assuming bash is being used, add the script to the login/logout files:
$ echo '~/.local/bin/firefox-sync' | tee -a ~/.bash_logout ~/.bash_login >/dev/null
~/.bash_loginas bash will only read the first of these if both exist and are readable.