Firefox in linux too slow? I found a fix!

Is Firefox in Linux too slow for you? Does the new Places/URL/Location bar keep freezing every time you try writing something in it? I have had this issue consistently since I upgraded from Firefox 2.x to Firefox 3.0.

I tried googling the issue a zillion times and tried several solutions I found on various forums and blogs but all efforts amounted to naught. Damn, I felt defeated. I finally resigned and reverted to the old URL bar.

Then last week, as I was zipping through my Google Reader subscriptions, one of which is Latest Firefox Addons, I stumbled across this awesome firefox addon. It’s called Vacuum Places Improved – it lets you defragment the places.sqlite file which has all your Firefox browsing history. After installing the plugin, you will see a “Vacuum Machine” shaped icon in the bottom right of your Firefox window.vacuum

Right click on the icon and a menu will pop up. vacuum-places-improved-menuClick on “Vacuum places.sqlite” and that will kick off defragmentation of your places.sqlite file.

Now wait, don’t get impatient. When I was doing this, my browser appeared to have gone to a slumber party, and in fact, I killed it once thinking this was not going to work. But give it a minute, or two, especially if you have configured Firefox to have a bigger history cache. It will come back to life (and with extra horsepower) soon.

Try the URL bar now, it will be a breeze.

You can also  edit the preferences for your addon and have it automatically defragment the history for you, or remind you ever so often. To do so, right click on the “Vacuum Cleaner” icon  and click on “Preferences” this time. This window will pop up.

Vacuum Preferences

Go ahead and setup your preferences.

Support for this add-on is provided by the developer at

Please leave a comment if you have any questions and if this post was useful to you.

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