Enterprise Software

Customizing Firefox

Ever since its debut, the Mozilla Firefox web browser has garnered quite a following as well as a reputation for being both light weight yet extremely customizable.

But if you were like me initially, you must have been poring over the Options dialog and scratching your head at the rather limited customizable options. Since my post on Firefox just yesterday (Watch your Firefox extensions) appears to have created some interest in it, I thought now would be a good time as any to mention about the customizations possible in Firefox.

First thing to know is that Firefox keeps its internal settings in a file called prefs.js. Now, you can certainly hunt it down and edit it directly, but it really is easier to just change it through the browser window itself.

Simply type "about:config" into the address bar. Viola! You can use the filter bar to narrow down the configuration list a bit. In the screenshot below, I have filtered down the selection to network.http

Firefox configuration screenshot

Some configuration settings that you might want to consider editing:

  • network.http.max-connections-per-server (Opens more simultaneous connections to server)
  • network.http.pipelining (Experimental acceleration technique)
  • nglayout.initialpaint.delay (Start rendering pages faster)

Note that the usual disclaimer about the potential for all sorts of calamity befalling your computer applies.

For additional information about:config settings, do hop over to the excellent article on ComputerWorld titled Hacking Firefox: The secrets of about:config written by Serdar Yegulalp.

Do you have any good about:config settings to share? Join the discussion.


Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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