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Firefox Update Its Multi-process Architecture: Now Available to More Users

Ankita Pareek
Ankita Pareek
Content Writer

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Four months ago, Mozilla introduced its multi-process mode to a small group of Firefox 48 users. With Firefox 50, Mozilla rolled out the first major piece of the multi-process mode.

All the other web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Edge are already designed on multi-process architecture to separate tabs, add-ons, and even rendering from the main browser. Firefox 50 also uses the multi-process architecture, the team says that this increased responsiveness by 400 percent, and 700 percent while pages are loading. Which is very good in terms of speed, security, and reliability.

Mozilla started working on multi-process architecture for Firefox in 2009 under the codename Electrolysis, but between 2011 and 2013 companies priorities were shifted so that project was suspended. After that in 2015 Mozilla started switching to a new extension system that also resulted in the introduction of multi-process in Firefox.

In the company’s official blog, Asa Dotzler wrote that “Multi-Process Firefox has been a big undertaking but it’s already bringing positive results to our users in terms of responsiveness, stability, and security.”

Firefox’s first move towards a multi-process environment involves separating the browser shell from a single rendering process that’s used by every tab. After that in Firefox 48 company made this feature available to a small number of users with no extensions.

Furthermore, in Firefox 49, users get a facility to run a limited selection of extensions. And currently, in Firefox 50, there is a separate render process is available for most users and most extensions. Mozilla ensured that Firefox 51 will extend this even more to cover all extensions, compatible with it.

Mozilla’s Firefox 50 for windows includes its first iteration of a sandbox for the rendering process. The company claimed that in coming releases it will make this sandbox more restricted. And it will be provided to Mac OS and Linux as well.

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