Vivaldi eating up memory



  • I've been using Vivaldi for about a month. It was great smooth and fast. About a week ago, it just became a memory hog, my computer crawls when I use it now. It didn't used to do that. I'm not using any more tabs than I usually had 20-30 total. I even have an extension that suspends tabs not in use. What might be the problem that's causing this?



  • Oversized or corrupted History of Top Sites file.



  • Okay so deleting the history should fix it? Is it normal to have several Vivaldi Helper processes running?



  • The Helper processes are perfectly normal and are part of the (multi-process) Chromium browser engine that Vivaldi is built on top of; the number of them that you see in Activity Monitor should be roughly in line with the number of tabs that you have open. (I wrote a long-winded response a few days ago in this section describing what these things are.) Each of these is essentially the memory and process space for the corresponding tab.

    Also, what extensions and plugins do you have installed?

    Before you take any drastic action, does Activity Monitor show any one Helper process consuming A LOT more memory that the others? Depending on what you see, it might be a problem with a tab or plugin running amok, an issue with Vivaldi, or possibly an extension-related issue.



  • @xyzzy:

    The Helper processes are perfectly normal and are part of the (multi-process) Chromium browser engine that Vivaldi is built on top of; the number of them that you see in Activity Monitor should be roughly in line with the number of tabs that you have open. (I wrote a long-winded response a few days ago in this section describing what these things are.) Each of these is essentially the memory and process space for the corresponding tab.

    Also, what extensions and plugins do you have installed?

    Before you take any drastic action, does Activity Monitor show any one Helper process consuming A LOT more memory that the others? Depending on what you see, it might be a problem with a tab or plugin running amok, an issue with Vivaldi, or possibly an extension-related issue.

    I see about 4-5 Vivaldi Helper processes and one taking up about 1/2 GB of memory.



  • That seems a bit high to me but whether it’s really bad or not depends on what’s going on in that particular Helper. Vivaldi’s normal memory usage can be surprising (good and bad) at times.

    OS X/macOS’s Activity Monitor is a great tool to see what processes are active and the resources that are consumed from the operating system’s perspective. Vivaldi also provides another useful tool, Task Manager (accessed from the Tools menu), that displays the resources consumed from the browser’s perspective by tabs, extensions, etc. Task Manager also displays the PID (Process ID) of each Helper so that you can correlate its information with what you see in Activity Monitor.

    Okay, so what’s normal?

    I purged Vivaldi from my system and started fresh with a clean install and a fresh profile in order to get a proper baseline. Launching the Vivaldi application starts the main Vivaldi process and (in my case) two Vivaldi Helper processes: a GPU process and a Renderer.

    Vivaldi, out-of-the-box, with its default settings showed the following in Activity Monitor:
    Vivaldi: 31.8 MB, Helper (GPU process): 36.1 MB, Helper (Renderer) 253.2 MB

    Yes, that’s 253.2 MB (!) for nothing but the Start Page with the default Speed Dials and the default Mist background. I cleared history, relaunched Vivaldi (and let it sit idle for a while) and got the same results. If I now open a new tab and go to imdb.com, a new Vivaldi Helper fires up consuming another 98.1 MB. [Edit: the reason for opening a new tab and visiting this web site is to give me another baseline upon which I can assess the impact of a configuration change; the behaviour should remain consistent unless I do something like add an extension].

    I then deleted all bookmarks including speed dials, cleared history, and relaunched:
    Vivaldi: 29.2 MB, GPU process: 33.9 MB, Renderer: 87.4 MB

    That's MUCH better… Now let’s get rid of the Mist background and use a solid colour instead:
    Vivaldi: 29.0 MB, GPU process: 34.2 MB, Renderer: 73.4 MB

    Opening another tab (imdb.com) starts another Renderer consuming 96.5 MB of memory.

    Now I’ll close active tabs, clear history, restart, and import ~2500 bookmarks:
    Vivaldi: 33.9 MB, GPU process: 34.4 MB, Renderer: 76.2 MB

    Install uBlock Origin WebSocket and uBlock Origin, load 3rd Party Filters, clear history, and relaunch:
    Vivaldi: 41.6 MB, GPU process: 35.4 MB, Renderer: 52.5 MB, Renderer: 76.3

    Note the extra renderer for uBlock. Opening another tab (imdb.com) starts another Renderer consuming 107.9 MB.

    For my workloads, memory usage for each Helper expands and shrinks dynamically and typically consumes between 100MB and 250MB. With a lot of tabs open and active, Vivaldi can eat up quite a bit of memory.

    By comparison, the memory baseline for the latest Chrome 55 Beta (empty tab, uBlock0) is as follows:
    Chrome: 49.6 MB, GPU process: 24.7 MB, Renderer (uBlock0) : 51.0 MB, Renderer (tab): 20.3 MB

    Vivaldi will eventually benefit from the new Blink and JavaScript engines but, even now with the Chromium 53 browser core, it’s still pretty good memory-wise and I personally don’t notice that much of a difference performance-wise (vs Chrome) in typical everyday use.



  • Going back to your original post…

    I even have an extension that suspends tabs not in use. What might be the problem that's causing this?

    What extension are you using? Do you notice a difference (good or bad) if you disable it? The Vivaldi developers try to maintain compatibility with Chrome but "stuff" happens from time to time that can cause extensions to break, sometimes in very subtle ways.

    Vivaldi's Task Manager should reveal whether or not there is running amok within the browser (whether it's due to corruption, as Ayespy suggested, or an extension/tab/web page misbehaving); Activity Monitor should reveal any contention or resource constraints from the operating system's perspective.


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