Firefox 48 Finally Brings Multi-Process
Samuel Wan / 5 years ago
After what has seemed like years of talk, Firefox is finally going multi-process. Starting with today’s beta of Firefox 48, the Mozilla browser will finally run with more than a single process. This will finally bring parity with their strongest rival, Google Chrome.
The multi-process effort is part of the electrolysis initiative or e10s. Mozilla will be slowly rolling out the update to vanilla users before expanding it to those with add-ons and custom UI configurations. The first step of multi-process will be relatively simple, just separating the content and UI threads. This means an unresponsive site will no longer bring the entire browser grinding to a halt. The eventual goal is to reach multi-tab as well with each tab getting its own process as well.
While multi-process comes with many benefits, there are two major downsides. The first is that multi-process consumes more memory due to duplicated work. while Firefox won’t reach Chrome levels of being a hog just yet, memory usage will be sure to climb.
The other issue is with add-ons and extensions. Firefox currently supports the deepest support for various third-party additions. This delayed the multi-process work and in the future, some might not work with Firefox anymore. Of course, multi-process can be disabled for those that want the old way.
You can try out the beta here or enable it in 47 through the about:config page.