Firefox 1.5 Setup

I like Firefox.  A lot.  Enough to want to run three
copies concurrently, each with different options and different
purposes.  One for work, one for my personal stuff, and one for
some monitoring apps.  Main differences include two different
GMail sessions, some different prefs for auto find, and completely
different bookmarks, of course.

With 1.0.7, the setup was simple.  Just create three different profiles, and set it to not load the default profile in profiles.ini.  However with 1.5, that no longer works.  On Linux, at least, you need to pass in a MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1
environment variable.  From reading around, this seems to be the
case for Windows and OSX as well, but I haven't tested.  You also
to need to explicitly pass the -ProfileManager argument
on the command line.  Once that's done, you'll get a prompt for
which profile to launch any time you run your shortcut.  New
windows launched from other apps (by clicking links) will load in the
most recent active browser window, regardless of profile.

took the better part of a afternoon to get all figured out. 
Definitely a step backwards over 1.0.x, but whatever.  Note that
the profiles themselves upgraded without a hitch.

One problem this leaves you with is no way of telling what
window is from what profile.  You can usually tell by the
contents, but a more definitive identifier would be nice, and I found
it with the Firesomething
plugin.  The plugin is designed to change the "Mozilla Firefox"
tag in the titlebar to something humorous, like "Mozilla Thunderpanda,"
or whatever.  It has randomization, also, so it'll pick a
different name each time.  That's cool and all, but if you set the
option list to just be a single thing, you can use it to tag a
profile's windows with an in-titlebar label.  Since each profile
has it's own prefs, you can make them all unique.  Very
nice.  Only problem is it doesn't run on 1.5 out of the box. 
You have to unzip the .xpi file, edit index.rdf to change the maxVersion to 1.6+,
rezip, and then install.  But it's a small price to pay. 
Note this is obviously an unsupported hack, but it seems to work just

Rounding out my extensions, just for reference, are
Adblock, Tab Mix Plus, and the fantastic Web Developer.  And if I
were on Windows, I'd have IETab in there too.   Since most of
you who read this are developers, use your version control system for
your Adblock rule list.  Makes it a lot easier to maintain,
especially across multiple profiles and/or machines.

One response to “Firefox 1.5 Setup”

  1. les

    Thanks for the tip bout MOZ_NO_REMOTE
    I was getting frustrated with profilemanager not working anymore