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-   -   Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=174641)

xorbe 02-22-12 08:20 PM

Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Why is Win7 Firefox (8.0.1) inside of VirtualBox on Linux sooooo much smoother than just Firefox (9.0.1) running natively on Linux? You'd think that it would be the other way around!!! openSuSE 12.1 x64 and nvidia 290.10 driver. Just scrolling this Post New Thread page lags like crazy, which is not present in the VirtualBox instance one virtual screen down. It's a triple-head rotated 1200x1600 setup with Xinerama. GTX 550Ti + 6600GT, 3.8GHz cpu, 4GB ram, 128GB ssd.

johnc 02-23-12 09:35 AM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Is the VB Firefox running in a composited environment (Aero)?

Q 02-23-12 09:39 AM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
It's likely a disk caching issue. The way virtualized OS's write to disk is far different than how it's done natively. Firefox likes to write to disk for caching quite a bit - these writes are actually going to be in memory longer within a VM.

gonzo_s 02-23-12 12:52 PM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Google for Firefox Memory Optimization. You may also disable caching to disk. Mine is fast as hell and no lags after some tweaking. If you want I can post here the tweaks.

xorbe 02-23-12 05:50 PM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnc (Post 2530893)
Is the VB Firefox running in a composited environment (Aero)?

Doesn't look like it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Q (Post 2530894)
It's likely a disk caching issue. The way virtualized OS's write to disk is far different than how it's done natively. Firefox likes to write to disk for caching quite a bit - these writes are actually going to be in memory longer within a VM.

What does disk caching have to do with smoothness of scrolling a small page up and down?

I guess I should run some experiments, like yank out the 6600GT card, or un-rotate the screens, or both. And try just one screen. There's just a huge (like 10x) perf loss natively. Gotta be something X11 related and the nvidia driver and my configuration.

Q 02-23-12 06:23 PM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by xorbe (Post 2531038)
Doesn't look like it.



What does disk caching have to do with smoothness of scrolling a small page up and down?

I guess I should run some experiments, like yank out the 6600GT card, or un-rotate the screens, or both. And try just one screen. There's just a huge (like 10x) perf loss natively. Gotta be something X11 related and the nvidia driver and my configuration.

You know, if I would have read your original post fully I probably wouldn't have made that statement.

Ahmad Samir 02-23-12 11:24 PM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
IIRC the proprietary driver has a performance issue with GTK+ themes that use gradients (e.g. Clearlooks), so try switching to another GTK+ theme e.g. ClearlookClassic or Nodoka.

Also you might want to give the open source driver, nouveau a shot; I've been having some performance issues with scrolling in Firefox, e.g. scrolling web sites that use heavy box-shadow would be a bit jerky, switching to nouveau fixed the issue; also scrolling web pages in e.g. Launchpad.net would be slow/jerky https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=563720, nouveau doesn't seem to suffer from that problem.

FWIW, the main thing I miss with using nouveau is VDPAU (ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/vd...tml/index.html), but then again a) I don't have that many HD videos and b) my CPU isn't that new but can cope with playing videos with the Xv video output.

Also the OpenGL situation has improved a lot with nouvea and latest Mesa, enabling e.g. KDE4 3D desktop effects doesn't cause any big issues (I don't use desktop effects usually, but in the ~5hours I enabled them I didn't notice any major issues with either the proprietary driver or nouveau).

(So, basically all I am saying is give the nouveau driver a shot it could improve things (or make them worse in which case the proprietary driver won't look so bad)), note that you'll have to uninstall the nvidia proprietary driver completely before switching to nouveau.

xorbe 02-24-12 12:16 AM

Re: Native Firefox performance vs Firefox in VirtualBox
 
Okay, I think I found it. Running Firefox under the logged in user seems fine, but running Firefox as a different user (what I usually do) shows the massive performance problem. Must be X11 pixmap caching or X11 quirk or something. $DISPLAY is :0 for both accounts.

It also seems to be a long standing problem with Firefox vs nVidia drivers:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=629234

Does Nouveau support triple-head + rotation?


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