2008/7/6 Steve Fábián <>:
> DMcCunney wrote:
> | Note that Mozilla programs can be told *where* to put the profile
> | data, when you create a profile in Profile Manager.
> Thanks! I didn't know that. Can an existing profile be moved to a new
Probably. First, you need to pick up the profile tree and copy it to
the desired location. Firefox uses a file called profile.ini to
discover where the profile tree for the selected profile lives when
you run it. You'll need to edit that to reflect the new location.
I use shortcuts to run profiles, with Target: lines like "D:\Program
Files\Mozilla.org\Firefox\Firefox.exe -p "Dennis McCunney" to specify
the profile I wish to use.
An alternative method is to invoke Program Manager, and *delete* the
profile you want to move. Profile Manager will ask you if you want to
delete the associated files. Say No. Then create a new profile with
the same name, specifying where you want it to reside. Don't invoke
Firefox after doing so. Exit Profile manager, and copy the contents
of the old profile tree, lock, stock, and barrel over the new profile
tree that was created to migrate files and settings. *Now* run
Firefox using the desired profile. After verifying all is well,
delete the original profile tree.
One annoyance for me with Firefox 3: I have multiple Mozilla based
browsers, with multiple profiles. I wanted them all to use the *same*
bookmarks file. Under FF2 and earlier, that was easy. Mozilla
products use a file called prefs.js in the profile directory to hold
configuration information, and prefs.js includes a pointer to the
bookmarks.html file the browsers uses to store bookmarks. Prefs.js is
created and maintained by the browser, and should not be edited.
Instead, create a file called user.js in the profile directory. The
browser doesn't modify it. But if it exists, it will be read, and
settings specified in it will override what is in prefs.js. A one
line user.js file containing
did the trick. I copied it into each profile directory I created, the
browsers read it, and they all used that file. (Problems could result
if more than one browser were active at a time, but I didn't do that.)
FF3 replaces bookmarks.html with a database file called
places.sqilite. There is no preference to let you specify where it
lives. This has been complained about, but the Mozilla devs classify
it as a WONTFIX.
To work around it, I had to drop to the OS level. NTFS 5 supports
hard links ala Unix, so I created links in each profile directory for
FF3 to the desired file. There is also a preference you can set in
about:config to force Firefox to dump the sqlite database to a
bookmarks.html file on shutdown. I turned that on, and FF dumps the
file in the location pointed to by the user.js file, so if I run FF2,
Mozilla Suite, Netscape, or Flock, they will see the current version.
It's one way, alas, but I can live with that.
Hard links can't span file systems, so if I want the places.sqlite
file to live on a different drive, I'd have to create the profiles
there. It's possiblle symbolic links would work, but I can't test it.
True symbolic links aren't supported in NTFS unless you run Vista.
I'm running XP Pro SP3, with *no* plans to "upgrade".
Using sqlite as the file format has all sorts of neat possibilities.
and you can run SQL queries on it. There are several freeware GUI
clients for investigating and tweaking sqlite databases, and one has
even been implemented as a Firefox addon. You can't use it to diddle
the current places file, since that is locked when FF is running, but
you can use it to investigate the other sqlite files FF creates in
addition to the places file.
> | I have multiple Mozilla based products installed, with multiple
> | profiles for some of them, customized for different purposes. To make
> | maintenance simpler. I created a \Mozilla directory, with folders
> | beneath it for bookmarks, extensions, themes, install packages, and
> | profiles. New profile instances get created under
> | \Mozilla\Profiles\<product>\<version>\<profile name>
> Is that done so automatically?
No, manually. I run Firefox as "firefox.exe -p" to invoke the Profile
Manager. (Actually, I have a shortcut that does it. The same syntax
works for other Mozilla products - just change the exe name as
Profile Manager asks for a name for the profile, and in the next field
you can specify where to put it.
> > | It makes keeping track and maintenance much simpler.
> It sure does, esp. when migrating to a new system, or when changing the
> drive configuration. It may even allow me to run Firefox on another user's
> machine from a USB drive...
Yes, if you don't mind a major performance hit. There are some
pre-packaged portable Firefox builds you might want to look at.