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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