QubesOS Firefox extreme lag Thinkpad x230

Sorry if this is an annoying newbie post, but I really love Qubes and want to make it work and after troubleshooting for a day or so I’m completely lost. I installed QubesOS after seeing my laptop (thinkpad x230+coreboot) passed the hardware certification for 4.0, for context: mine specifically has a Intel i7-3520M and 8GB Ram, however when using QubesOS, my Fedora qube with firefox is extremely laggy and slow. I can barely open multiple tabs and while typing this I can see the cursor lagging behind. Youtube videos have the same problem and are completely unwatchable, and after passing through usb headphones I can hear that the audio is a stuttery mess.
Things I’ve tried:
Lower resolution - still lags in videos+stuttery audio
use mpv to watch youtube - still stuttery audio and a bit of lag
add 4 vcpus to qube - didn’t change anything
switched sys,usb, and firewall from debian to debian-minimal - gave me a good performance boost in general, but did not fix firefox lag nor video lag

perhaps because ram, try reduce dom0 memory to 1500MiB, sys net 350, sys firewall 350, and sys whonix 450. if you dnt use sys whonix, shut it down

1 Like

Thank you! this fixed all lag for me entirely. As for the audio crackling, I am going to try this and update my post with whether or not it worked

To be honest, I used a W530 with 32GB RAM and i7-3840QM and it was still very slow. It’s just that the X230/T430/W530 are no longer suitable for today’s demanding software.

@Sven had said somewhere on this forum that he’s using a Chrome-based browser for performance gain on his T430.

The issue is that Firefox switched to their graphics to WebRender without first getting performance parity with what they had previously with software rendering. For example you could open this page and have it render decently before, but now it brings the browser to a halt.

I wish Mozilla dedicated more resources to WebRender, and especially Software WebRender. Unfortunately, very little work goes in that direction. I would suggest filling some performance bugs on Mozilla’s bugzilla with performance profiles.

Specifically I found that Firefox becomes pretty much unusable in a qube that has 1GB of memory or less. Chrome is better, but Brave is much better. I have had a web app running in a dedicated minimal qubes with just 400 MB and it worked fine (no video of course).

All of the above is R4.0 … with R4.1 I had increasing issues myself but are unsure whether it’s specific to what I am doing or a general issue. Still trying to find out.

Yes, I brought it here, too

You might also try your luck with Firefox through some other means than the official packages, firefox-esr in debian isn’t compiled with all the optimizations. firefox in Arch seems to be faster according to some users here.

I will ask in this thread, since my question is related to it: how does QubesOS perform on an X230, in general? More specifically, one with: a 3320M, 16GB of RAM and a pretty good SSD (which should be a common setup). I haven’t had much luck finding feedback about this, so I’d like to hear about your experience. Would you say it’s snappy? Or slow and tedious? I’m used to a Ryzen 3600 machine, so I will probably notice some inferior performance, sadly. I think the heaviest tasks I would need the machine for are browsing (which I usually do with JS disabled) and playing FHD videos on mpv; maybe also some other GUI programs that are hopefully less resource-demanding than the Tor Browser.