This is it: this is the Firefox release you’ve been waiting for, the release that finally puts a bit of pep in the open-source browsers’ step.
‘Firefox 54 uses significantly less RAM than other browsers on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux’
Yup, Firefox 54, released today, arrives with multi-process support enabled by default for everyone, on all supported operating systems. Mozilla began multiprocess support roll out in Firefox 48 released last August.
Multiprocess Firefox (also sometimes referred to as “Electrolysis” or e10s) splits web content from the main Firefox UI processes. If a poorly made web page or web script starts acting up the rest of the browser, including tabs, buttons and menus, won’t be affected.
“By separating the tabs into separate processes, we make better use of the hardware on your computer, so Firefox can deliver you more of the web you love, with less waiting,” Mozilla say of the change.
And don’t just take Mozilla’s word for it — they come armed with graphs and benchmarks to prove it!
The non-profit feels its browser “nails the “just right” balance between memory and speed”, as a fleet of cross-platform tests and this colourful graph aim to show.
Download Firefox 54
Mozilla Firefox 54 is available to download for Windows, macOS and Linux (including Ubuntu) direct from the Mozilla website.
It’s not currently clear whether the version of Firefox that ships in Ubuntu by default — which is called ‘Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu’, fact fans — will have multi-process turned on, as the Ubuntu Modification add-on that pre-enabled i inadvertently disable multiprocess mode (something we’ve mentioned before).
Multiprocess won’t be a cure-all for all your browser slowdowns. Rubbish internet will remain rubbish, regardless.
And if you upgrade to this release and don’t notice any major uptick in responsiveness do be sure to check that multiprocess is actually enabled. You can do this by going to about:support in a new tab and looking for this:
Consider this the first signpost on the road of change, as plenty more changes are a-coming to the web browser this year, like the Firefox ‘Photon’ redesign.