Lorentz beta brings out-of-process plugins to Firefox

Mozilla has officially let Lorentz loose to the public in beta form. Lorentz is Firefox version 3.6.3 with a much appreciated update. The beta allows Firefox to compartmentalize plugins, such as Adobe Flash, so that they don't crash the entire browser when they encounter issues. The feature is being called "out-of-process plugins."

"Firefox 'Lorentz' provides uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins.

If a plugin crashes or freezes, it will not affect the rest of Firefox. You will be able to reload the page to restart the plugin and try again.

Firefox Lorentz will become part of a future release of Firefox 3.6."

Lorentz is one piece of the Electrolysis pie that Mozilla has planned for the world's number two browser. The feature has been talked about a lot in the past and users will see such isolation concepts implemented across the Firefox browser when 4.0 is released. In order further stabilize the browser, tabs and add-ons will also become their own processes when Electrolysis is complete. But for now, Mozilla is giving us Lorentz in Firefox 3.6 to hold us over.

To download Lorentz, click here.

Firefox Lorentz

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45 Comments

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Men, I really notice the difference, undoubtedly Flash gets browsers too worked up. Now Firefox doesn't even reach the 250 mbs in RAM. A big difference, noticing its greatest difference between the 500 mbs that it takes out of RAM.

This is great, but why can't Adobe etc write plugins which simply don't crash.
I'm so sick of software - almost exclusively from Adobe - crashing and bringing down my system, after it's already eaten my RAM and cpu.

dancedar said,
This is great, but why can't Adobe etc write plugins which simply don't crash.
I'm so sick of software - almost exclusively from Adobe - crashing and bringing down my system, after it's already eaten my RAM and cpu.

look at my process explorer screen shot above. All of my high cpu issues are from Flash and not from FF or Chrome. Works fine on my desktop besides hanging the browser now and then.

sullysnet said,

look at my process explorer screen shot above. All of my high cpu issues are from Flash and not from FF or Chrome. Works fine on my desktop besides hanging the browser now and then.

Flash is a hog... Adobe really needs to work to improve their plugin...

dancedar said,
This is great, but why can't Adobe etc write plugins which simply don't crash.
I'm so sick of software - almost exclusively from Adobe - crashing and bringing down my system, after it's already eaten my RAM and cpu.

I don't have trouble with flash may be because i use windows 32bits.

XP_2600 said,
Firefox problem is the performance, sometimes i miss version 1 which was really fast!

I believe performance is one of the key areas of focus in 3.7... I agree though. I'm glad to see them putting time towards improving that. 3.6 added a lot of speed improvements as well.

Firefox is great but is getting behind. I hope that 3.7 gives the necessary boost to keep up with the pace. However it's at least 4 months for final! Meanwhile I'll be using Chrome as my main browser, although I still use FF.

Equilibrium said,
Firefox is great but is getting behind. I hope that 3.7 gives the necessary boost to keep up with the pace. However it's at least 4 months for final! Meanwhile I'll be using Chrome as my main browser, although I still use FF.

Don't worry if Chrome doesn't get hardware acceleration, it will die off.

Udedenkz said,

Don't worry if Chrome doesn't get hardware acceleration, it will die off.

Probably will have HA. I just hope FF quickens the pace. Been using it since 1.5. Don't want to change now...

Edited by Equilibrium, Apr 9 2010, 10:04pm :

th3rEsa said,
Now that's ANOTHER thing Chrome stole from the Mozilla bug tracker where it has been for quite years now...

While I am in no way a Chrome fan (I am a Firefox user), but the way I see it, just because Mozilla had it as a suggestion for years, doesn't make them pioneers in that regard. As a matter of fact, I am disappointed that they put this off until some other browser popularized the idea. That's reactive rather than proactive.

Edited by zaidgs, Apr 9 2010, 7:52pm :

zaidgs said,

While I am in no way a Chrome fan (I am a Firefox user), but the way I see it, just because Mozilla had it as a suggestion for years, doesn't make them pioneers in that regard. As a matter of fact, I am disappointed that they put this off until some other browser popularized the idea. That's reactive rather than proactive.

I'm a Firefox user as well, and I have to agree with you. I'm glad to see this making its way into Firefox now though.

As for Chrome's implementation, personally I don't think it's as good as what Mozilla is working towards. Flash still crashes browser wide, and I thought the goal was to isolate this per tab... Unless I'm mistaken... And Flash crashes more in Chrome than any browser I've ever used too (And I've used a lot)...

FlintyV said,
Glad to see the architecture of Firefox getting some TLC.

Yes, me too. These planned upgrades really sound very promising...

neufuse said,
I wish all browsers would have out of process plug-ins.....

This out of process feature is already implemented in IE(protection mode).
I believe Chrome have that too...

Edited by still1, Apr 9 2010, 7:25pm :

still1 said,

This out of process feature is already implemented in IE(protection mode).
I believe Chrome have that too...

IE and Chrome isn't all browsers though

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
wasn't this in Chrome from the getgo?

Chrome attempts to (succeeding most of the time) isolate each tab (aka web page) in it's own memory space, so just that page (and any plugins related to that page) close, but not the entire browser.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
wasn't this in Chrome from the getgo?

-_- quit trolling...troller.

Edited by flexkeyboard, Apr 9 2010, 7:59pm :

vice le von said,

-_- quit trolling...troller.

T'was an honest question. Didn't see what the big deal was, when it seemed like Chrome had something exactly like from the beginning.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
T'was an honest question. Didn't see what the big deal was, when it seemed like Chrome had something exactly like from the beginning.
It's a big deal because Firefox didn't have it, and now it does - and Firefox is a much more widely used browser than Chrome at the moment. Sheesh.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,

T'was an honest question. Didn't see what the big deal was, when it seemed like Chrome had something exactly like from the beginning.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious bob, take a hike.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
wasn't this in Chrome from the getgo?

Um, it was attempted... But Flash still crashes browser wide... And more often than in any other browser I've used... This project from Mozilla I'm sure will work much better and more reliably (In a browser in which Flash works to begin with)...

torrentthief said,
it will be in firefox 3.6.4 which is scheduled for may 4th (around 4 weeks away).

Ahh, Star Wars day