Instability with V42

Firefox 42 came and with it my hitherto working hack of clean profiles became extremely unstable. At least, that’s what I’m hoping the instability is due to and not just that FF 42 is in itself so buggy. (It did use to fall down before also quite easily whenever I started messing around in the console, but with V42 it just kept crashing left and right during regular use.)

So I changed my approach quite drastically in the script: now I’m generating individual temporary profile clone directories from the read-only profile and modifying profiles.ini on the fly. This was actually the way I intended to go about it from the start, but with V<42 I just found that deleting any existing profile (& related cache) directory had little effect on already-running Firefox windows, so I took the shortcut.

Anyway, a couple of hours of Bash-wrangling and I now think I have it working just as before. It remains to be seen whether this actually has any effect on the crashing problem though.

I’ve also done one minor tweak in the read-only profile: I added a userChrome.css file to hide the full screen warning.

@-moz-document url(chrome://browser/content/browser.xul) {#full-screen-warning-container {display: none;}}

I know it’s a safety measure but god damn is it annoyingly obtrusive.

Problem updating the read-only profile after a Firefox update

Something wicked seems to happen every time I let Firefox update my clean profile and then try to sync it back to my stash. I suspect it’s Owncloud-related (the stash directory is under Owncloud’s sync directory), but anyway, here’s what happens:

  1. I update Firefox. This causes it to check extension compatibility on every startup (because read-only profile).
  2. I close Firefox, manually copy the pristine profile to ~/.mozilla/firefox and start Firefox from the command-line (with -P clean). I let Firefox do its compatibility check thing and close it again.
  3. I rename the old stash directory to have a .O postfix. I then copy (cp -a) the updated profile from ~/.mozilla/firefox to the original stash location. (This is how I created it in the first place.)
  4. I start Firefox with my read-only profile script, and watch it go nuts (search engines are reset, Pocket integration is all fucked up etc.).

Like I said, the syncing back is no different from how I originally created the profile, and this issue doesn’t always manifest itself. When it does, I have to use some yet-to-be-pinpointed-exactly combination of cp’s, rsync’s, stoppings and startings of Owncloud to make work as intended.

The irritation this causes naturally correlates with how often Firefox gets updated.

In other, unrelated news, I finally dropped Tor browser from Firefox’s .desktop file. I simply never used it and it only caused me to accidentally launch it when I just wanted a new disposable Firefox.