General problem with less commercial/popular web browsers

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks General problem with less commercial/popular web browsers

  • This topic has 20 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Jun 1-8:02 am by clementishutin.
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  • #70968

      This is something I noticed several months ago; cannot remember exactly when, but I do recall very well that it happened even just from one day to another with same browser and version, no changes nor updates, on very same rig.

      Main commercial/popular web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, perhaps Brave…) have no problems, I clarify; but many of the non popular ones (Seamonkey, Pale Moon, Waterfox… still haven’t tried all of them…) began having general heavy problems loading websites.

      I first saw it several months ago, as already mentioned. I thought it’d be, with luck, something temporal. Already months later a comment here (last lines). And today still the same general problems, even worse.
      I tried, in fact, searching the forums here in the date range from September 6 to 8 for the mentioned thread. Perhaps I lack experience in searching, but was unable to find something…

      Problems I’m talking about are, websites loading very slowly, in the best of cases; often not even correctly.
      For example, Pale Moon now cannot load any Youtube page at all without at least one “Warning: unresponsive script” error. Reddit makes the browser freeze several -short- times before being able to load. Even Google search causes frequent random short freezes. The same with websites with multimedia content and several forums (hell, even browsing this forum began giving few short freezes at times!). And of course the issue with Gitlab -and Github as well- mentioned in link above.
      In the worst cases websites just make web browser totally crash. An example, Discord (though depending which and how much content you’re trying to see…).
      Seamonkey is the same general case, just seemingly in a lesser degree, at first. However, the longer one browses with Seamonkey, the more frequent freezes become, as well as the *consumed RAM*. Hell, it doesn’t even display Google search site correctly by default: you must add a custom useragent override for it.
      As far as I have seen and can understand, the only ones free from this issue are websites with fewer or lighter contents, or perhaps made with not very recent tools or APIs.

      What would you think about all of this? A kind of “conspiracy” by websites to favor main popular competitors?
      (Hope I’m just exaggerating…)


      • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Brian Masinick. Reason: Moved to Tips and Tricks
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Brian Masinick.

        Hi ctcx,
        give ungoogled chromium, Librewolf a try, many difficult sites still work ok with Torbrowser. The reason I use it.

        Most of the freezes seem to me to be tracking and analysis plus ad delivery related. Very bad Fleabay, youtube
        reddit etc.
        The safer your data the less sites work, especially those where googli is involved. They are like Byte leeches

        For you tube why use a browser, SM Tube lets you search and autostarts the player for you.

        I use ungoogled chromium here on the forum, palemoon was freezing as you also experienced.

        Google search causes frequent random short freezes. Use a Meta Search engine, Duckif you like it, I prefer metaGer.
        Both are V good and responsive.


          Thanks very much for your advise, sir.

          Before I forget, I think I should have clarified since the beginning that I meant the browsers in general *regardless* of OS (which is why I also mentioned Edge…). That first time I noticed was actually when I was working on a Windows rig; so I thought “maybe temporal” -and also kind of blamed the OS-. Then tried on the Linux rig… ouch, most likely browser-related…

          Back to the topic, do you think there could be ways to “tweak” browser to get rid of the tracking/analysis crap, in hopes of recovering the old performance, even if a bit?
          I already use an adblocker, but unfortunately it makes no difference.

          For searches I actually use the Duck as well, though unfortunately there are still several times when I also have to use Google…

          Finally, but mainly, how do you install Librewolf in your case? Just to have an idea.
          I already gave the docs a quick read, though I also noticed that all Gitlab source code related pages no longer load (not even try) on Pale Moon or Seamonkey: just some titles, no actual contents.

          Thanks again.


            Please no sir, all penguins here

            Back to the topic, do you think there could be ways to “tweak” browser to get rid of the tracking/analysis crap,
            in hopes of recovering the old performance, even if a bit?

            There is a lot of info in the browser thread. GHacks is also a good adress to start with.

            Ungoogled Chromium and Librewolf along with Palemoon are the best I have found at present.
            For 32 bit the choice is very limited. I/we have no 32 bit systems so better to have advice from others.

            For a couple of important sites I am forced to use Opera. They have a very tight Browser accept policy.

            Zoom refused LTS Firefox and the one from Package installer yesterday. Fox is a bitch to get really quiet,
            the devs keep changing names around in about;config to foil user.js settings. Yesterday there were 6 hidden
            extensions in a fresh download. they are in browser Features. Rename some other stuff like the pingsender,
            can no longer delete. Do not refresh Firefox or all the crap and more gets reinstated.

            Use No script, block all the ads you can, they really eat your expensive bandwidth.

            Remember Bakker nets more than 2,5 Million Usd from Firefox foundation. About the same goog pays in to the pot.
            If googs aims are foiled the money is likely to stop so all searches, for example go to the paying partner.


              Sorry, I intended *no* offense at all. Rather, I found a bit surprising this being taken like something negative (it should serve the exact opposite…!). But understood, not doing it again here.

              How do you install Librewolf in your case?
              Seemingly it’s not in the repos, and the mentioned deb package in the docs is said to be only for “unstable” branch. Or you build it from source?

              Thanks again.


                Hi ctcx, nothing negative, just a sensitivity I Picked up while living in asia.
                i hated my workmates calling me sir because I have slightly lighter skin colour.
                Disliked being called Joe or Melican in Phillipines. Gi Joe left VD Aids and Thousands
                of illegitimate kids in that country. Do not wish to be associated. Nuff said.

                I run LibreWolf from Appimage, that is easily found, works fine.
                Have taken a look inside, see nothing strange.

                Compiling LibreWolf might be an option on Open Suse Build service.
                i do not know how to use that.

                Tried to build locally, waited hours, failed. :-).


                  Watch cache size in chrome browsers, even ungoogled chromium can very quickly reach Gigabyte levels as i found out yesterday
                  while trying to figure out what caused some problems on a live system with no swap memory.

                  Google chrome was way worse, it cached the kitchen sink.
                  i.e. for non english speakers everything possible and bogged down extremely quickly.

                  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by ModdIt.
                  Brian Masinick

                    @Moddit: on one hand, I count myself fortunate because my fairly simple use cases with a variety of Web browsers allows me to use most of them with few restrictions or complications. That said, I acknowledge that the use cases are almost elementary.

                    Your attempts to use many different browsers, finding either gross inefficient resource usage, poor security, or both, underscores the state of the Web browsers.

                    That said, many of the original development and design people, way back in the late eighties and early nineties DID express many viewpoints. Nearly all were aware of the open nature of the sharing but wondered about the security implications. Back then, most people opted for openness; afterall, it was BEFORE Windows 95, the “Start Me Up” advertising,etc., So the world at large and the virus, security intrusions and other issues had not yet been exposed.

                    Interesting enough, in those days, IBM had Tight, closer networking, which was harder to make available but more secure within an internal network. Other network models had a more open approach but had not been seriously compromised — YET. That changed as soon as open networking became widely available.

                    Now multi factor authentication and other techniques are used, yet identity and secure information continues to be compromised.

                    The ability to access information easily is contrary to the ultimate safety of information; that’s the issue that the best engineering has to grapple with today.

                    Brian Masinick


                      Thanks Brian, the biggest present browser problems, scripting and auctioned instant targeted advertising.
                      Scripting in particular cross site scripting is used in a lot of targeting.

                      Sites and browsers are much more compley than they were a decade or so ago, targeting attacks not only way
                      more sophisticated but probably using mandatory backdoors.

                      The content industry has an ongoing action to foil adblocking, in some cases you get a blank page delivery or a 404.

                      Recently there are a lot of genuine cross site scripting attacks which come from ad servers. User has if lucky a browser
                      crashing or unresponsive. Recently using Palemoon or tor Browser we have experienced high activity with desktop frozen.
                      Indicator of high activity is screaming fans. Killing an unresponsive tor browser has often left users with a respawning
                      headless application. What it does, maybe mining as CPU temp again makes fans scream.

                      The attacks are pre warned as the crappy ad industry has stated on several occasios that ad blocking is damaging and
                      that users should be prepared for retaliation. Admins of attacking sites should be prepared too, at least in EU, attacks
                      are computer sabotage.

                      Top and sudo kill -9 PID are your friend. The PID is left in the terminal window when using top.

                      Firefox, Firefox ESR and Tor Browser are those I have experienced running headless, firefox latest and tor autospawning,
                      including multiple spawns. That should not even be possible with tor but is probably only local.

                      Brian Masinick

                        @Moddit: I also recall that you have written a lot about Firefox and frustrations, for example, on one hand, given the “right” combination of “configuration” options and values it is theoretically possible to get some moderate level of “security”. As you also indicate, the presence of “unwanted”, undesired content on the pages we view also potentially compromises them.

                        I’ll say one thing: running antiX, using removable media at least lessens the probability that the hardware and media are compromised – and if they ARE, in spite of efforts to be “safe”, at least it can be regenerated and reused.

                        The early designers and engineers responsible for implementing and securing technology DID have these concerns many years ago; I remember the concerns in discussion regarding the early “www” World Wide Web, and in a similar timeframe, concerns about the early implementations of Java (the language), and yet again in discussions about the scripting languages, including Javascript – NOT to be confused in ANY way with Java the language, two COMPLETELY different architectures. All of the people developing and commenting about these technologies discussed security risks; still, we have what we have today, and it’s always going to be a battle: who can (for a nanosecond or two) come up with a security model that “protects” for even a SHORT period of time – after all, if there is a way to share information, there will somehow be a sneaky way to steal, corrupt, or pervert that same information; it is NOT an easy issue to solve.

                        We all have to be careful; use multi factor security methods, semi decent passwords, alternative methods with prints, eyes, images, and combinations of authentication; at least in using multiple methods, the “bad guys” will tend to go after the “unprotected fruit” first!

                        Brian Masinick


                          Ok, after some more searches I thought I could post some few more comments here…

                          First, began trying Librewolf and Ungoogled-Chromium. I still need to try them more deeply, but at first sight they look good. They certainly don’t seem to have the performance issues, nor the Github/Gitlab ones.
                          Pity Ungoogled-Chromium doesn’t support well many addons (or at very least, it still doesn’t support Ublock origin…)

                          In more general point of view, it seems that global problem is that whole web is switching structures; particularly, albeit perhaps not the only one, the use of “web components”.
                          Each day more websites are moving, and turn incompatible with the less popular browsers. Now even Gmail breaks Pale Moon and Seamonkey, or so I was told by an old pal some days ago…

                          At very least, for Pale Moon and Seamonkey, the use of so called “polyfills” seem to fix some few of the issues; e.g., this one
                          makes Github and Gitlab work again.
                          There are several other ones here:
                          But eventually, a “patch” for every website? Of course not.
                          Pity there’s none for at least fixing Youtube performance yet…


                            Each day more websites are moving, and turn incompatible with the less popular browsers

                            I would word that as incompatible with privacy respecting browsers, due legislation
                            including in EU privacy is pretty near dead.

                            Ungoogled chromium started out with addon support and an application to get addons. That
                            was killed by google policy.
                            The bright side is that addons can not be turned against you, many auto update especialy on
                            chrome based browsers. Wide open door for agencys to give you a noce shiny new version with
                            added functionality…

                            Some kinds of ads can not be blocked without blocking entire sites, that is the answer to ad
                            blocking as pushed by content industry coke heads. Along with active CSS attacks from ad servers
                            which are increasing.

                            Nothing is perfect but using the antiX ad block is very helpful, you can add troublesome sites to
                            the etc/hosts as you go.

                            Even Gmail breaks Pale Moon and Seamonkey, good reason to get a decent mail provider and use claws.
                            In gmail every letter you write is scanned, not just words. Privacy nil and gmail is part of the
                            surveillance net spun by alphabet which worldwide, users are trapped in.

                            Researche the reach of google, you will retch.

                            Fixing Youtube performance: SM Tube if you want a previously setup graphical Frontend
                            I have alias yt=’ytfzf’ ytfzf takes a bit of getting used to, or if you like figuring out
                            how to get it working the way you want. It is very good.

                            Thanks for tip on polyfills, might come in useful although for some sites I just start another browser.

                            LibreWolf, for a modern browser v fast and pretty lean. I run it unpacked from a hidden home directory
                            in rox-icewm it even creates a starter for you. Neat. Will not repeat my recent post here.


                              Talking about privacy in web browsers, I found this
                              Half of the thread is talking about the issue, and the other half (starting at the end of page 7) OP talks about actual tests made on several browsers

                              Generally speaking, OP “tightens” security as much as possible by tweaking browser’s configuration. Yes, one likely disadvantage is that, by tightening options a lot, it could actually break websites. But as I understand, it’s done for reference purposes, to see how “noisy” or “quiet” browser is just by itself.

                              It looked interesting for me, and since thread is from 4 years ago, I thought I could try doing the same tests myself. Basically it’s just about using “tcpdump” command while starting/running the browser.

                              First I ran tcpdump with no other apps running. I noticed even like this there are active connections: as far as I understood, they were from the router, the ISP, some IANA stuff -I think…-, “AntiX gateway” stuff, connections related to Connman -even when I had cmst not running-…
                              I tried to get familiar with them in order to identify the *other ones*, i.e., the browser ones.

                              So started with Firefox, installed from repos.
                              In first post in the mentioned thread OP mentions a bug report filed by himself. Within it, he explains the steps to “tighten” Firefox as much as possible. I tried to follow them as close as possible (because Firefox versions have *greatly* changed since then), including “privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true” under about:config options.
                              Result: certainly same as what OP got. Many connections to Google, Mozilla, Amazon related domains/subdomains, even shortly after browser was already closed.

                              I didn’t try with Google Chrome; I better chose to take OP’s word on this one (it wouldn’t be too surprising anyway, would it?)

                              Brave browser was also mentioned, with similar results to Firefox…

                              Tried with Seamonkey.
                              With defaults, there’s indeed “chattering” with similar domains to Firefox.
                              So I tried tightening it like this:
                              In about:config
                              privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true; javascript.enabled = false
                              Edit > Preferences:
                              Browser: Display on startup: Blank page
                              Privacy & Security:
                              –uncheck all Safe Browsing options (they seem to connect to, owned by Google)
                              –Cookies: Block cookies
                              –Certificates: disable OCSP
                              Result after this: some chattering with a website with just IP address, and seemingly no defined DNS name… Actually not sure whether it is something or not…

                              Now with the “better” ones.

                              With defaults, no apparent chatting (ohh).

                              Mentioned as well in the above thread, but after reading that it had apparently greatly changed since 2019, I tried installing it from repos.
                              Version in repos look different than “official” latest release… But anyway, with defaults, at startup, no apparent chattering neither.
                              Probably just need to set it to “blank page” at startup (IIRC…) and disable scripts.

                              Already being discussed here, looked like another possible good option.
                              Indeed, just with defaults, no chattering. Alright.

                              Pale Moon
                              Probably since still a more general web browser indeed, at default startup there is chattering.
                              However, seemingly by just setting “Blank page at startup” and “Home page = blank page” under General tab in Tools > Preferences, and perhaps also disabling javascript.enabled under about:config, there is no chattering neither.
                              Though perhaps it’d also be worthy tightening even more just to be more sure.
                              Currently the browser I use more often in my particular case.
                              It worked just out of the box even on minimalist distros like Slitaz, at least back when they still released 32bit versions.

                              Well, these were my findings for now.

                              Brian Masinick

                                Thank you, ctcx, for your detailed research and analysis.

                                While the specifics vary with time and version releases, you’ve provided a lot of details and actual results, so this is helpful for anyone with concerns about security and browser ‘chatter’.

                                Brian Masinick


                                  In Pale Moon, if you set “Home Page:” to about:home , it shows the classic start page, not that “chattering” thing.

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