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v41.0 causes problems when using AllowMultipleInstances

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lwc
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v41.0 causes problems when using AllowMultipleInstances

Unlike previous versions, in the new version 41.0 you can't launch multiple profiles natively. What caused this change?

John T. Haller
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-no-remote on all

You must set AllowMultipleInstances on every portable instance and run the local version with the -no-remote option for it to work properly. Previous versions of the launcher did not properly check for this so it could have unexpected results.

Note that, as always, this feature is neither supported nor recommended and will leave things behind.

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lwc
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But it's in the website

Isn't https://portableapps.com/support/firefox_portable#second_profile officially supported? It doesn't state otherwise there. Nor does it state it leaves things behind.

Plus it does work if the second profile runs first.

John T. Haller
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Different Feature

A second profile is designed so you can have two separate Firefox profiles to use with Firefox Portable (or more if you copy the directory out). Running two at the same time was not its intention, though it will work if you setup AllowMultipleInstances. At least it should. I've not tested this.

AllowMultipleInstances is a separate feature and must be enabled in both Firefox Portable launchers for it to function. We don't recommend or support using it. It will leave things behind on every PC. This has always been the case.

I'm unsure what you mean about starting one first vs the other. I do know that the Firefox Portable launcher prior to 41.0 was bugged and didn't work right in terms of detecting another running copy of Firefox and alerting on it.

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lwc
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Reverse launch

If it leaves things and is unsupported, I think both should be mentioned in the aforementioned link.

I meant that it works if you launch FirefoxPortable2ndProfile.exe before FirefoxPortable.exe and not the other way around.

John T. Haller
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Second Profile vs AllowMultipleInstances

That link is for Second Profile which has nothing to do with running two copies of Firefox at the same time. No place in that documentation does it state that's what it's for. It's to take the place of the Firefox Profile Manager which doesn't work portably (and similarly doesn't let you run two profiles at the same time). AllowMultipleInstances is the issue that causes that.

If running Second Profile and then Firefox Portable allows multiple instances without setting AllowMultipleInstances or using -no-remote, that's a bug and I'll need to get that sorted to prevent that from working. If it's happening that way, the shutdown will be unpredictable. Is that what's happening? Is it running two separate profiles without AllowMultipleInstances set in FirefoxPortable.ini?

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lwc
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Exactly

That's exactly what happens. But I have to tell you multiple instances is a basic element in how I work. I wish you'd support it officially.

John T. Haller
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Can't Reproduce

With the latest Firefox Portable 41.0 and the Firefox Portable 2nd Profile 2.1, I can't reproduce this. Starting either one and then the other properly shows the Firefox is already running alert. Please ensure you don't have a FirefoxPortable.ini file within your PortableApps\FirefoxPortable2ndProfile\Data directory set to allow multiple instances.

Firefox itself is not meant to run multiple instances. That's why it can't handle file associations. I added support in terms of AllowMultipleInstances but the launchers won't stick around and run cleanup (they step all over each other if they do) so there will be non-personal stuff left behind on every PC and you won't be able to associate files with FirefoxPortable.exe and run them because firefox.exe won't know how to pass off the process due to the aforementioned limitation in Firefox itself.

In short, you're free to use AllowMultipleInstances and have it work as you move around. We just can't guarantee what will/won't be left behind or how each new version of Firefox might respond to the -no-remote switch (which is what AllowMultipleInstances causes the launcher to pass to firefox.exe).

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lwc
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The original launcher does have AllowMultipleInstances=true

While FirefoxPortable2ndProfile.exe doesn't have AllowMultipleInstances=true, the original launcher does.

This somehow allows it to run simultaneously with FirefoxPortable2ndProfile.exe, as long as FirefoxPortable2ndProfile.exe starts first.
I would have expected it to be reversed.

John T. Haller
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By Design

That's the way Mozilla has it designed. Starting firefox.exe with -no-remote is what tells that process not to look for another running instance of firefox.exe. If you run it without that, it'll just pass it off. So, we have the launcher work basically the same way.

Fun fact, if you have one of the pair configured for AllowMultipleInstances, start that instance second, then close it before the original instance, the first instance will clean up the bits left behind by Firefox Portable. But you have to do it in that exact order.

I think we've determined that it's working as expected and designed now. Feel free to continue using it. I think you now see why we neither recommend nor support this configuration as it's confusing to end users.

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ecran64
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I don't know if it is the

I don't know if it is the same for all of you, but for me, firefox slow down my computer (win XP) it is horrible, and the version installed on the computer (not portable) works fine! strange!

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Separate

This would be a separate issue. Likely due to a difference in the speed of the media you're running from (hard drive is much faster than flash drive) and whether cache is installed. Please create a new topic in the Firefox support forum with the complete details if you'd like some help with it.

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