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Tom C.
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Joined: 2010-06-28 10:34
Change/move profile path

Hello,

I am system adminstrator and would like to use the portable FF in our network, as updating the regular FF is a PITA Sad

We have the following configuration: Our employees are using Windows clients (at this time: XP), having their data stored on a SAMBA share on the network, so they can use every PC. The FF profile is also stored on the network, exactly at "Y:\Application data\Firefox\Profile\default" and I would like to use this location in the future, too. Of course, there is the possibility to use portable FF by copying it to every single user home share (Y:\), but would like to use only one on each PC ...

Is there a known solution to solve my configuration wishes (one portable FF per PC, user data on the network)? I could use links, if I had only NTFS systems, but this is not possible with NTFS and SAMBA ...

Any help would be VERY appreciated!

Thank you,
Tom

ottosykora
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sure there are solutions

but as far as I met such scenarios in real life, this all gets rather complex and people tend to use professional solution then. For this you can contact someone like VMware company, their thinap department, they deal only with such setups, often using only thin client computers with only very small operating system and applications being common on one server depot, the individual profiles on other and often even the actual operating systems and profiles stored on a server and just loaded on demand.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Tom C.
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Last seen: 13 years 12 months ago
Joined: 2010-06-28 10:34
Thank you for your reply,

Thank you for your reply, Otto.
I know, that there are companies, which will offer me such solutions, but I thought, that there should be also some ways with the portable FF itself. I guess there is ("somewhere") a setting, where the profile data is saved, so I would be able to change this entry and move the data to another place.
Or maybe there are other ways to do it? I am definitly not the only admin, thinking about the advantage of such a configuration Wink

Simeon
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Nope

Sorry but that isn't possible with Firefox. In fact I think none of our Apps support this. You can change the path to the Data folder but it has to be a subfolder of FirefoxPortable, ie you can only go down the file-system-tree and not up.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Tom C.
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Last seen: 13 years 12 months ago
Joined: 2010-06-28 10:34
Well, your answer ist not

Well, your answer ist not really satisfying, but I allready thought that FF would not be able to work like that. Anyway: Thank you very much for your answer!

ottosykora
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Last seen: 23 hours 45 min ago
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reasons are complex

it is not just some bad design or so with many software that this functionality is not supported.
I learned in some lectures recently the big complexity behind such network systems. It helps the IT department to maintain the apps easy, but the initial setup is complex. This is why some specialized companies do big $$$$ of it. If this would be so simple, just some setting, some ini file , short script, those companies would be out of business immediately.
While it is common to save user profiles on a central server even in smaller networks today, the central store for apps was used for MS apps like MS office long time ago, but it was often very difficult to make it work for non MS apps. In fact I remember we had a MS system with central stored MS apps and ipx network in the times of w3.1.
So no problem in installed apps, where the profile handling is basic function of the operating system.
Not so in portable apps. The aim is here to bypass the profile handling by OS and have the profile stored together with the app in one place so it can be moved around with the app.

Todays approach is to make all software kind of 'portable' and store it central. Special licensing deals are done with the manufacturer of the software, MS makes such deals too. User can get the app then on demand. Then he will get his own profile from other place. And when he finishes his work, all can be stored back where it was, the app itself not being changed in any way.

We have here whole county network set up this way, all administration offices, police stations, justice dept etc are connected this way, but the initial setup was very complex to meet also certain security standards and make things reliable.

So to solve part of your need, simply use ordinary installed apps which place all their variables to the common predefined places of profile, set up your network so that the profiles are copied to central storage and downloaded from there when the user logs in on any workstation. This way you can simply backup profiles during idle times etc, while you will still have to maintain apps 'manually', but for many apps this is not so bug problem, they are designed to be maintained in such way from central point.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

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