How to make Firefox/Iceweasel bearable

Firefox/Iceweasel TABs

After a recent apt-get dist-upgrade I noticed that I'm using Firefox/Iceweasel 2.0 now.

Which is nice and all, but it doesn't really fit my way of browsing and TAB-handling. I always have lots of TABs open simultaneously. And by lots I mean 100-600. I'm not kidding. Firefox 2.0 changed TAB sizes and behaviour which makes it completely unusable for me.

A quickfix to make it at least bearable:

  1. Type about:config in the URL bar.
  2. Search for browser.tabs.tabMinWidth default integer 100
  3. Change 100 to 8.
  4. Restart the browser.

A lot better now...

Now I need an extention which provides me with a scrollbar for the TAB-bar, I cannot click 200 times just to move to a TAB which is 200 TABs away from the current one...


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One more tweak

Hi Uwe,
Very useful post, it helped tremendously making my Iceweasel less sucky.
May I suggest one more little tweak. By default, iceweasel tries to open a tab with whatever’s in your clipboard when you middle-click on something that is not a link. You get to close an alert pop up if whatever was in your clipboard was not a proper address.
To get rid of this behavior, set middlemouse.contentLoadURL as false in about:config.

> # Search for

> # Search for browser.tabs.tabMinWidth default integer 100
> # Change 100 to 8.

just to let you know:

according to:
Note that due to the design of the tabbar, the minimum width for a tab is 38px, so using a value less than 38 will not have any effect.

Thank you, Uwe Hermann!

I recently updated to 2.x (I had autoupdate off, well, years) and I simply cannot believe how long it took me to find the set of instructions listed on this page.

I'm puzzled that Ff help files, on and offline, do not address this very basic, and for me rather essential, aspect of tab browsing. I'm not certain if I used the same step in the prior version of Ff, or whether the one I had was, by default, set to un-(or less)-restricted tabs, but if it wasn't for this functionality, made clear by Uwe Hermann above, I would be spending __so much__ time going back and forth with that stupid arrow!

Thus, I thank you, Uwe Hermann. You saved the day for me, even if it did take me over twenty minutes before finding this page. Best wishes, GN

tabmix plus should serve you

tabmix plus should serve you well :)

You can change the tab close

You can change the tab close button back to one close button at the end of the tab bar by setting browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3 in about:config, as specified at:

That puts things back to normal for me!

close button for active tab rightmost in the tabbar

this helped me a lot

Faviconize tabs

You might want to check this out:

Requires you to recognize favicons instantly, though. Very hard, I think, for a hundred or so tabs. :D

tnx for the tip, This is

tnx for the tip, This is exactly what I need.

Out of curiosity, how many

Out of curiosity, how many gigs of RAM does Firefox with 600 open tabs use? I also assume that pages you tend to browse are not very CPU-heavy?

RAM usage

Well, I didn't do any specific tests or measurements, but yeah, it's a lot of RAM (and swap).

Java is always disabled, JavaScript too (but I enable it on demand for certain sites via the NoScript extention). Flash in not even installed. Images are not animated.

So yeah, the CPU consumption is quite low. Flash is the killer here; enable flash, and open more than 2-3 flash sites at the same time, and you have 100% CPU usage...

tab menu

I've found the tab Menu extension really helps with dealing with lots of tabs.

tab Menu extension

It's a nice extention, but I don't see how it can help with >= 100 tabs...

Tab mix plus

Try tab mix plus:

While it doesn't give you a scrollbar for the tabbar, it can give you multiple rows.

Multiple tab rows

Sounds interesting, might work for me... Thanks!

Vielleicht koennte dich das

Vielleicht koennte dich das iswitchb-tabs AddOn interessieren.

200 offene Tabs?


Mhh, maybe I'll try out this extention just too see how it handles hundreds of tabs ;)

Tab extension

You might want to try Tab Mix Plus which has some nice features and also the scrollable tabbar you are looking for.

Tab Mix Plus

I'll give it a try, thanks!

The extension in the

The extension in the mozilla-tabextensions package allows you to do a neat thing: put the tabs on the left-side of the main window, instead of on the upper-side. This way you can actually have a lot of tabs opened (but still much less than 100...) and still read their title.

Be careful with it

TabExtensions is one of those extensions which digg deep into Gecko so you can get miscelanous problems. Author of extension wrote:

This extension strongly unrecommended. Tab Mix is recommended instead of this, because it is stable, light, and it covers most useful features of this.

I also recommend Tab Mix Plus.

Vertical tab bar

Putting the tabs on the left-side sounds like a nice feature, usually (for "normal" browsing). It doesn't scale for me, though...

tab browser extenssions

You really want mozilla-tabextensions, it does a really good job of handling a large amount of tabs:


I'll give it a try...

no need for an extension

hmm, did you already notice the new arrow on the right of the tab bar? If you click on it you get a drop down with all of your open tabs.


Have you ever clicked that arrow with a few hundred tabs open? ;-) Don't do it...

Thanks for the tip, but

Any particular reason for capitalising "tab"? it isn't an initialism...

- Chris


Nope, no reason :)


Tried the mouse scrollwheel?

Scrollwheel when hovering over the TAB bar

Nice, thanks! That's actually almost usable. It's probably too slow and annoying with very many TABs, but better than clicking...

note that ctrl+page{up,down}

note that ctrl+page{up,down} also works.