Manjaro-Arm 18.12.1 - 3B+ - Firefox startup time very slow


#1

Hi.

I’ve been testing Manjaro over the last two days. (I’m running headless arches since Pi1)

One main issue is the extreme slow start of Firefox.

In the beginning it was around 10s ( I also ran into lockups).

I introduced several tweaks to speed it up.

  1. cache on /tmp
  2. force_turbo=1
  3. network optimizations
  4. desktop optimizations - no background image
  5. FF not running full screen
  6. Turn off smooth scrolling
  7. Introduced latest Samsung SD-card
  8. And some more

(some tweaks according to wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Firefox/Tweaks#Performance )

And. Guess what.

All that caused a serious step forward. FF runs much smoother. Doesn’t lock the machine up here and there anymore.

It now just takes 7 seconds for startup. Still 7 seconds. :wink:

I’m still wondering what else I could do!?!?

Is the mainline kernel providing the PI B3+ graphic driver ?
Any special GPU settings I could try !?!?
Has the gpu_mem= parameter any impact?

Thx


#2

Mainline does not provide GPU driver for raspberry pi, no.

Firefox will generally be slow on ARM boards, especially with low amounts of RAM available.


#3

“slow” is a relative term. :wink:

“slow” can start at “unacceptable”, passes “annoying” and goes to “quite OK”.

If you follow certain rules “quite OK” is a feasible target. I’m actually quite close
to it - after applying above tweaks.

I also tried low resource browsers. These fail on many pages. “unacceptable”.
So. I guess I have to live with FF.

I guessed that the ML kernel comes with quite some limitations.
What’s bugging me most is the lack of overlays etc. . These usually can nicely be used to tweak the PIs.

E.g.
*I just tried to increase the sd clock rate - as tweak. Didn’t work.
*Wanted to turn off BT. Didn’t work.
*…

I’m not sure why you went the ML route.


#4

Less kernels to maintain. Newer kernel patches. Better performance. And the Raspberry Pi kernel is not compilable on aarch64.


#5

ML limits you big time.

On top of the lack of tweaking options, I e.g. can’t use any of my HATs.
I do understand very well what it means “to maintain less kernels”.

What makes the RPI more successful than all other boards though is the PI kernel, even if it is not the newest kid on the block.


#6

Yeah, I get that. But I don’t have the resources to maintain an entire architecture, just for one kernel, when an alternative exists, that gets better each release.

But you are welcome to use Arch Linux ARM, since they have armv7h as their main RPI architecture, and therefore the RPI kernel. I’m not stopping you. :slight_smile:


#7

I’m running several armv7h PIs with my own kernels. And I’ll continue to do so :wink:

Trying your Manjaro-Arm version was/is just a try to find out how well a PI can perform with a GUI attached to it.

Part of that exercise is finding out about limitations. :wink:

I do know that the ML kernel gets better with every release, it’s still lightyears away from all the patches that go into the PI kernel.
I’m pretty sure many of these patches/drivers etc. in there wouldn’t be approved by ML. My guess. There’ll always be a RPI branch.