Firefox Lorentz Beta Isolates Plug-in Crashes

Firefox (Windows/Linux): Mozilla has released a beta version of Firefox Lorentz, an update to Firefox they announced earlier this year. Lorentz brings a Chrome-like process isolation to Firefox, containing messy plugin crashes.

If you've made the jump to Google Chrome you're already familiar with process isolation. In Lorentz, when a plugin crashes you'll receive an error — seen above layered against the Firefox logo — instead of a gruelling full browser slowdown. Currently the only default plugins put into Lorentz's isolation corral are Quicktime, Flash and Silverlight. The defaults cover the plugins most people have problems with but if you need to add a plugin you can follow this tip shared at the Mozilla-centric blog Mozilla Links:

For example to have the Adobe Reader plugin running on its own process, create a boolean preference in about:config, name it dom.ipc.plugins.enabled.nppdf32.dll, set it to true, and restart. For Java, the preference must be named dom.ipc.plugins.enabled.npjp2.dll. You just need to know the name of the library (which you get from about:plugins), and create the preference accordingly.

Conversely, you can disable OOPP for specific plugin (even enabled by default ones) by setting their respective preference to false.

Lorentz is beta and the only major change — though it's a big one! — from the current release of Firefox is the inclusion of process isolation. We didn't encounter any instability issues while using it on Windows 7 and the separate process for each instance of the restricted plugins definitely made browsing more enjoyable. You can grab a copy of Firefox Lorentz for Windows or Linux at the link below.

Firefox Lorentz [Mozilla via Mozilla Links]


    Great! I wish they would put Adobe on the default list, crashing every second time I looked at a pdf was ultimately the reason I switched from firefox to chrome.

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