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Firefox obeys to local registry and i can't do what i want

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VanJackie
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Firefox obeys to local registry and i can't do what i want

I had firefox portable since a long time at work; some other day, a stupid admin decided to put some registry keys to disable some features of Firefox. Whenever i start it, it keeps going on some dumb "workplace intranet" i don't care about, passwords can't be remembered - nor used, and about:config show a lot of options as "locked".

My guess is this come from the registry. Is it possible to have a version that doesn't read the registry or the policies.json file ? From what i read here and there, this seems to be the two ways for your "organisation" to decide what you can do (as is they know better).

More than a solution, i want to know if my diagnostic is correct. I can't use "regedit" (it has been disabled, even for just reading - brilliant)...

Thanks a lot for any help.

Kendall456
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Bump, same issue here, I

Bump, same issue here, I haven't found a fix yet.

John T. Haller
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Publisher

When it's done in HKLM and you don't have rights to it, there is no workaround by design of the publisher. If you'd like this changed, you'll need to contact Mozilla.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

AlexMail
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Just curious

Just curious, if we keep a local copy of policies.json on the Firefox Portable, will it overwrite whatever is stored on the machine?

infohighwy
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Registry Independence should be the rule, right?

I was under the assumption that portable apps are supposed to be registry independent. That way you can run them off of a external drive or a thumb drive or something else that is not the hard drive on the computer ruled by the registry. I just went through an issue where Firefox could not run in two separate unconnected accounts on Windows 10 simultaneously which surprised me because I thought Firefox was not supposed to look in other accounts on my Windows 10 machine to see if something is running there. But apparently it is and I was able to work around that. The implication of your post is that portable Firefox is looking in the computer's official registry and being controlled by that. I'm confused because I thought the whole idea of portable applications was to ignore the registry and make it registry independent. I'm really confused now!

Ken Herbert
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Not quite

Our aim is to provide software that keeps all your personal settings as you move between machines, and leaves the minimal possible behind on the machines they are run on (we can't clean 100% of everything - there will always be some trace left behind with firewalls, antivirus, or the OS itself)

We don't do anything to change how software interacts with the computer (including the registry) unless the software itself gives us a way to bypass using the local registry or filesystem. If it doesn't we just make sure your settings are where they need to be before running, then make sure your settings stay with the app after it has closed and are removed from the local machine.

If an app uses the registry, but the registry is locked by a group policy or otherwise there is nothing we can do to bypass this.

infohighwy
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Thanks for the clarification

Thanks for your clarification. Now I think I know why starting a few months ago that I could not run two Firefox portables simultaneously, not in the same account, but in separate windows accounts that are in no way related or can see each other's data (and neither account is running as administrator).

I was able to work around the problem by allowing multiple instances, so I am a happy camper about that. Now I believe I know what was going on and that is that one of the Firefox portables running in Windows account A was writing something to the registry saying "I'm here, nobody else get in while I'm here." Then when I tried to run Firefox portable in Windows account B, it was no doubt going to the registry and seeing that another Firefox was squatting there, and if multiple instances were not allowed, would refuse to run.

Ironically, this did not affect the Firefox non-portable running from my drive C! It could coexist simultaneously just fine with the portable version, something that was a bit surprising to me but not disappointing. Certainly Firefox is not the first application in history to use the Windows registry to talk among multiple windows accounts. That is both expected and in many cases desired. Thanks for helping me better understand that process! I now see the whole thing more as a feature rather than a bug!

AlexMail
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Alternative solution

An alternative solution is to use live OS.

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