How to: Get detailed browser memory usage from within Firefox or Chrome

Well, you could use the top command, or maybe some ps grepping like this:

$ ps -ely | grep -E 'firefox|chromium|plugin'
S  1000  5214  5576  2  80   0 77916 232548 futex_ ?       00:01:00 chromium-browse
S  1000  5572  1984  1  80   0 85916 184994 poll_s ?       00:03:27 chromium-browse
S  1000  5574  5572  0  80   0 19276 60531 poll_s ?        00:00:02 chromium-browse
S  1000  5576     1  0  80   0 22476 67221 wait_f ?        00:00:00 chromium-browse
S  1000 31011  1984  3  80   0 415124 284530 poll_s ?      00:05:14 firefox-bin
R  1000 31211 31011 58  80   0 618876 349396 -    ?        01:31:23 plugin-containe
S  1000 32178  5572 13  80   0 62780 171077 poll_s ?       00:08:28 chromium-browse

But that’s not especially friendly to read, so how about simply going to the internal memory usage page at about:memory? (Note: Just put about:memory into the URL location and hit enter – I can’t link to it because it goes to about:blank instead!)

Firefox Memory Usage - Internal Display

Presumably this is a cross-platform method, so available on any modern version of Firefox or Chrome. The details in the above screengrab were taken on Firefox 6 on Linux with two windows containing 8 tabs in total open, and it’s chewing on 316MB of RAM? Ouch. When my wife plays Facebook games I’ve seen Firefox eating over 700MB for a single window with a single tab running FarmTown or Treasure Madness or such, but I guess that’s more down to the bloat of those flash games than the browser… Still, good technique.

Credit where it’s due: Tip found on linuxers.org – good find!

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