I use a number of web browsers on my Windows PC. One of them is Google Chrome, which I have been using from not long after its initial release. From Wikipedia: “A multi-process architecture is implemented in Chrome where, by default, a separate process is allocated to each site instance and plugin.” This makes it awkward to work out its memory consumption. It is in fact possible to obtain this information from Chrome itself, though I only discovered that quite recently. Chrome has its own task manager with which you can report such statistics. Tools –> Task Manager –> Stats for nerds displays the results in a tab called About Memory. It also reports stats for other running browsers. Here are some stats from the top of the About Memory tab:
Notice that here it only reports the usage for the Chrome processes minus plugins and extensions. To get the total figure you need to view the figure at the bottom.
Windows PowerShell is also able to calculate the total memory consumption by summing up all the processes named Chrome:
$p = (Get-Process Chrome | Measure-Object -Sum WorkingSet).Sum / 1024
Write-Host "Total = "$p" K"
This produces a similar result (consumption fluctuates from moment to moment):
Total = 621508 K
Chrome’s About Memory also produces stats for Firefox. However, once again this excludes plugins and extensions. So Chrome doesn’t help us out here. We can write similar code for Firefox but this time we also need to include another process called plugin-container of which there may be zero or more depending on whether the current Firefox instance has had to start one up or not (i.e., whether user has happened to run Flash or a PDF reader). The code for this is slightly more involved:
$f = (Get-Process Firefox | Measure-Object -Sum WorkingSet).Sum / 1024
Write-Host "Firefox Total = "$f" K"
$p = (Get-Process "plugin-container" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Measure-Object -Sum WorkingSet).Sum / 1024
Write-Host "Plugin Container Total = "$p" K"
$c = $f + $p
Write-Host "Combined Total = "$c" K"
The first part is the same except for substituting Firefox for Chrome. Then we define another variable for summing up the plugin-container processes. Adding the two variables together gives us the total consumption.
Firefox Total = 556116 K
Plugin Container Total = 45536 K
Combined Total = 601652 K
But notice there’s some extra code we had to use:
This is required because if there are no active plugin-container processes PowerShell will report an error. The SilentlyContinue argument does what it says.
The current release of PowerShell is v2.0. It is included by default in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It is also available as a free download for Windows XP SP3, Vista and Servers 2003 and 2008.
Microsoft’s package manager, NuGet, for Visual Studio 2010 also makes use of PowerShell in its console window. PowerShell comes with a basic script editor supplied by Microsoft but there are more powerful IDEs out there. A good one is PowerGUI, which also has excellent IntelliSense amongst other capabilities. It also has an add-in for Visual Studio 2010 if desired.