Firefox Tuning – Hardware Acceleration, Cache in RAM, Tracking Protection and Native Theme for GNOME 3

Some days ago I tried to use Chromium browser and was surprised – it’s really fast! But he needs a lot of memory for working with many tabs. If you need more from your Firefox please read this article.

Hardware acceleration. This feature is default disabled in many systems and you need to check it. Go to about:support under the Graphics section and look for GPU Accelerated Windows. If you see GPU Accelerated Windows 0/1 Basic, 0/2 Basic – acceleration is disabled, 1/1 OpenGL (OMTC), 1/2 OpenGL (OMTC), 2/2 OpenGL (OMTC) – enabled.

To enable it you need going to about:config and setup
layers.acceleration.force-enabled = true
layers.offmainthreadcomposition.enabled = true.

We also need variable MOZ_USE_OMTC=1 in /etc/profile.d/ in old versions of Firefox. Restart your system to make effect. If you have some troubles with Firefox after this – please disable hardware acceleration.

Cache in RAM. Everytime if you open web page some data writing in your hard drive or SSD. It can be slow, but we can use RAM instead. Go to about:config and set:

  • browser.cache.disk.enable = false
  • browser.cache.memory.enable = true
  • browser.cache.memory.capacity = 102400

browser.cache.memory.capacity you need to create manually; 102400 – RAM size in KB, you also cat set it to -1 for automatic cache size selection. In my user case 100-200 MB of cache works nice.

Tracking protection. Little example: you visit to website A, website B and open Google maybe know which website you have to visited before. Why? Your web browser have a tons of unique characteristics: User Agent, version, screen size and many others. With js scripts in every website isn’t to hard track you web life.

Firefox have a built-in tracking protection – you need to set up privacy.trackingprotection.enabled true in about:config. I aslo hightly recommend to use Privacy Badger – add-on from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Firefox native look in GNOME. New interface of Firefox – Australis – isn’t an example of superb design in my opinion. But we can fix it.

Firefox in GNOME style
Firefox in GNOME style


Looks nice, right? And very useful for GNOME users. We need to install HTitle add-on, GNOME 3 Firefox theme (Adwaita-style) and the GNOME Theme Tweak addon for some custom settings:

GNOME Theme Tweak settings

Great! We get Firefox with new face! Thanks Fedora Magazine for the tip. If you know another tips and tricks – feel free to write in comments.

Tips from Galen: The theme for gnome 3 looks very bad if you use a dark theme. For example the icons are almost invisible. For now I start firefox in this way: $ GTK_THEME=Adwaita firefox to force a light theme.
P.S. You can also modify firefox.desktop with something like: Exec=env GTK_THEME=Adwaita firefox %U.

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  • Ho Cheung

    There is a bug in the cache section:

    You probably meant

    browser.cache.disk.enable = false
    browser.cache.memory.enable = true

    • Paul Alberto Rufous

      Fixed, thanks!

  • The Fedora article about the integration with GNOME is quite incomplete.
    This tutorial is better IMHO: github. com/chpii/Headerbar