Shami's Blog

Sysadmin, Because Even Developers Need Heroes

Speeding up Firefox under Ubuntu

2010-02-14 by Mohammad H. Al-Shami

Ever wonder why browsing under Ubuntu is slower than Windows even on the same network? Well, it has to do with Ubuntu enabling IPv6 by default. This means Ubuntu will try IPv4 only after IPv6 times out. Also, Firefox comes built with Pango by default which makes it slower than it should be. I’ve fixed that on Karmic Koala, other versions should be similar. Here’s how to do it:

Disable IPv6 globally:

sudo vi /etc/default/grub

then find


and replace it with

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="ipv6.disable=1 quiet splash"

Then update grub from the command line

sudo update-grub

Tell Firefox not to load Pango:

vi ~/.bashrc

and add


at the end

Tweak Firefox’s about:config settings:

  • network.http.pipelining -> True
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests -> 8 or 10
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining -> True
  • network.dns.disableIPv6 -> True```