Brad Feld

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Speed Up Firefox with Pipelining

Jun 15, 2005
Category Technology

I’ve been using Firefox for a while and love it.  I’m waiting patiently for my beta of IE 7.0 to see how they’ve done, but for now I’m addicted to Firefox.  My partner Greg Galanos (another software nerd – he used to run Metrowerks) sent me the tweaks to turn on pipelining in Firefox.  The performance improvement is awesome.  If you are a Firefox user on a high speed line (don’t try this on dialup), try the following:

Go to the address bar in Firefox and type in “about:config”

Look for the following lines:

  • network.http.pipelining = false
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests = 4
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining = false

Change them to (by click/double-click the line):

  • network.http.pipelining = true
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests = 30
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining = true

This configures the browser to make 30 requests at once and not wait for a reply to the request before making another request

Then you need to create one new option:

  • Right click anywhere on the page and select New-> Integer.
  • Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay”
  • Set its value to “0”.

This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.  You need to restart Firefox for this to be enabled. On sites that support pipelining (not all do) the results are dramatic.