Speed up your firefox (ever so slightly)

So I noticed my places.sqlite has grown to over 80M. Since Fire­fox 3 thats where things like book­marks are stored. I guess fav­i­cons are stored in that same data­base. At any rate I am very tab happy. I have to con­trol myself and about once every 2 weeks or so I have to sit down and close out a bunch of tabs. Its not uncom­mon for me to have 90ish tabs open. Boy fire­fox gets slug­gish. Any­way you can per­form a bit of main­te­nance on your fire­fox data­bases. I saw a sig­nif­i­cant speed improve­ment when open­ing fire­fox as well as open­ing new tabs after doing this. You have to close all fire­fox instances that are using the pro­file and it might be a good idea to just backup your pro­file before you do this but its pretty safe.

Note: this com­mand will just do it for every pro­file you have.

for i in ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/*.sqlite; do sqlite3 $i VACUUM;done;


  • Thanks for the tip! Here’s a nice wrap­per for it:

    # Clean up Fire­fox sqlite3 data­bases
    if [[ –x =fire­fox ]] && [[ –x =sqlite3 ]] ; then
    func­tion vacuum-firefox-databases () {
    # Check if Fire­fox is run­ning
    ps –ef | grep fire­fox | grep –v grep > /dev/null && echo “Close all Fire­fox instances before issu­ing this com­mand” && return

    for i in ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/*.sqlite; do
    oldsize=‘ls –lh $i | awk ‘{print $5}’‘
    printf ‘%25s: %4s\t’ ‘base­name $i‘ $old­size
    sqlite3 $i VACUUM
    ls –lh $i | awk ‘{print $5}‘

  • I notice vac­u­um­ing helps speed up the awe­some bar, but you don’t need com­mand line ninja skills: Bleach­Bit vac­u­ums Fire­fox (and per­forms other clean­ing tasks) from a GUI with just a click.

  • Dusty Wilson Ubuntu Firefox 3.0.11 wrote:

    Thanks for this tip, Nick. I hadn’t really thought of doing this. I use many FF3 pro­files for var­i­ous tasks and noticed that some pro­files are faster than oth­ers. After vac­uum, it seems to start my pri­mary pro­file a bit faster.

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