PHP Performance Problems in Ubuntu Firefox

by Christopher Paul on October 14, 2006

I think I have a performance problem with PHP and Javascript in Firefox running on my Ubuntu computer. I just recently reinstalled Ubuntu and got the 64-bit version to work (after fixing the video driver problem) and the speed difference is amazing!  I never thought I’d see such an increase in loading times. But I run a few blogs and two photo galleries on my host, DreamHost – which, by the way, did work out their performance issues and things are way better than they used to be. But I still think there is something going on and I think its my choice of browser/OS.

I first noticed in on my photo site. I have a Gallery2 for my pictures and the theme I installed uses AJAX to load pictures that you click on to view (you know, the full size pictures – not the thumbnails). On my Ubuntu/Firefox setup, the picture would not load when you clicked on it for the first time. On a refresh, however, the picture drew very fast – the way I expect it to. Then I asked a friend to log on to the site and tell me how his performance was. Perfect – and he runs Vista RC1 (or 2) with Firefox 1.5.7. Then, on a hunch, I broke out my laptop, fired up The Fox and went to my site. PERFECT! My only conclusion was it must be a combination of my OS or the build of Firefox.

Thinking it could be the OS, I went to my wife’s Mac where she has Firefox 1.5.5 installed. Same problem. I had to refresh the page just to see the image. Now I thought it was the browser but wondered why it happened on all but my Windows computer. Could it be that because OS X is based on Linux/Unix that was the problem. I tried updating my Java code from Sun’s website but I only find the JRE.

Its not a hardware issue. Like I said, my Ubuntu PC suffers from this performance issue. So does my wife’s Mac. But my laptop doesn’t. And my Windows latop is a POS by today’s standards. Its a 1.6Ghz processor – single core and one of the first Centrino based setups by IBM/Lenovo. It has 512MB of RAM (like my wife’s Mac running OS X 10.4.7) but minuscule to the 4GB I have on my AMD X64 2 box that is suffering from this problem. I’ve maxed out the hardware on my Ubuntu PC and there isn’t anything faster.  The connection isn’t a problem either because the laptop is using WiFi and the others are hard wired.

I don’t even know for sure if its a Javascript issue.  It could be a PHP problem or even a MySQL thing but the site’s performance has been great all things considering.  I can see it in the site reports I have generated; the response time has improved by 200%.  I also see this issue with the new K2 theme which has that AJAX scroller thing for past posts.  Since AJAX is just Javascript, it doesn’t appear anything other than that kind of performance issue.

But I don’t know how to track down the core problem or how to fix it.  Anyone out there have an idea on how to make things faster?

putush July 28, 2009 at 2:36 PM

I am having a similar problem. When I try to access various .php sites with my Firefox 3.5 on Ubuntu 9.04 I am unable to go any further. Its ridiculous, because I just can't seem to pin it down to what's causing it.
Sometimes, certain sites would work in opera. But not in Firefox

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