Sharing Firefox Profiles on Dual Boot Systems

27 01 2009

A quick fix for sharing your Firefox profiles/bookmarks in a dual boot system is shown here. I’m dual booting XP and Ubuntu 8.10 but the operating systems shouldn’t matter much. Simply create a partition that all your operating systems can read, FAT32 format in my case, and makes sure all the operating systems mount it. This is always a good idea when dual booting to keep your files available for all your operating systems. To auto mount that partition in Ubuntu you’ll have to edit /etc/fstab to add something like the following line,

what_to_mount    where_to_mount    vfat    auto,users,rw,exec,uid=username,gid=groupname,umask=017    0    0

For example,

/dev/sda8    /mnt/storage    vfat    auto,users,rw,exec,uid=pherricoxide,gid=admin,umask=017    0    0

Then, copy one of your Firefox profiles to that partition. The profiles are located in ~/.mozilla/firefox/. If you’re using Windows, this would be in c:\\documents and settings\user\application data. If in Linux, this would be in /home/user/. It should be the only directory if you never set you multiple profiles, something with a lot of random looking numbers and letters.

Once that’s done open up a terminal or command prompt and run firefox -profilemanager. In my case, this wasn’t in the XP path, so I had to cd to program files/mozilla firefox/ before running it. After it comes up, click create new profile. Hit next, and then change directory. Change to the directory on your FAT32 partition of the profile that you copied over, and then just hit next. Just stick with the default profile name. That’s it, now Firefox is using the profile in that directory. Do that with all your operating systems and you should be set.

Note: I’m not sure how well sharing a profile would work with multiple versions of Firefox. It’s likely best to update all your versions before you get started.

Note 2: This messes up some of the more complex plugins, and Firefox will often complain that it’s installed new plugins when you switch to the other OS.

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