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Using Firefox Portable over a network share

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rpycroft
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Using Firefox Portable over a network share

Hi, is there any way to use Firefox Portable for multiple users over a network share? I know there is an MSI available somewhere to do the normal install but I think it'd be easier to keep track of it over a network share. Whenever I try to run 2 instances of it on 2 seperate PCs it says that it's already running (but when I try and run one it works ok). I've tried the AllowMultipleInstances=true change to the .ini file but doesn't seem to affect anything.

Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Richard.

Simeon
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I dont think so

Firefox Portable is meant to be run one instance at a time. In a network using the standard install its not such a big problem to run several because the profiles are on different PCs. But the portable one only has one profile so even if you get it to work with 2 instances things could get messy. The easiest/safest/cleanest thing is to give everyone his copy.

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

bakerb04
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Why only one profile

Why is it that its only meant to run with one profile? I'm also curious why it stops if it finds firefox already running.

John T. Haller
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Firefox Itself

Firefox Itself is designed to only run for a single user at a time. It locks itself. That's the way it is made.

It's also designed not to let multiple copies of itself run at the same time. You can override this with an environment variable (which the portable version exposes via an INI), but this isn't recommended in the portable version as it can't clean up after itself.

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

bakerb04
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Ahh... at the moment I have

Ahh... at the moment I have a two launchers for firefox. One uses the FirefoxPortable binary and the other calls the original firefox binary with the -no-remote. This is so that I can quickly jump onto a mates computer and still use firefox portable if he already has an instance running.

Is there a better way for me to be doing this?

What doesn't it clean up?

What should I have read instead of harassing you?

Cheers Smile

rab040ma
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The situation you describe

The situation you describe sounds like the one allowed for in the INI. If FFP can keep its files separate from the other FF that is running, the cleanup should go okay.

I'd expect that the two instances running (your mate's, and the one from your FFP) could easily get mixed up. I'd try to run the FFP on your mate's machine while her FF is running only if there is some reason why you can't close your mate's instance -- not just because it is a minor inconvenience, but because it would seriously hamper her work -- and only if it is something you absolutely cannot do in a new window of the existing FF. I think you can configure your mate's FF so it opens with the same set of tabs/windows as when it closed, so unless there are a bunch of passwords to enter, it shouldn't be too onerous.

This is not the same situation described by the original poster (OP), but it is vaguely related. The OP wants to have one FF instance launched from the network in each user's space, which should work fine unless they all try to use an FFP configured so all share one profile on the network -- which is how FFP behaves, but not how the regular FF works.

MC

rab040ma
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FirefoxPortable is set up so

FirefoxPortable is set up so the UserProfile and Temporary Files are on the USB drive -- by convention it is assumed that the person using the USB drive is the only one using the USB drive, so for simplicity no effort is made to support multiple profiles. So FirefoxPortable is surely not going to work in a multiuser environment, unless each user has her own copy.

If you are running in a multiuser environment, where each person has her own unique UserProfile directory, the regular Firefox knows enough to create its profile for someone in that person's UserProfile, and not mix up one person's profile with another. It would have a hard time keeping things straight when one person is running more than one instance, since all the instances are trying to use the same files.

If you have more than one FF window open, it is not several instances, it is one instance managing several windows. You can confirm this by opening several windows with FF, and going to Task Manager to confirm that there is only one instance showing up. Normally when you click on the FF icon when FF is already open, the icon simply tells the one Firefox instance to open another window (or tab). What you are talking about, I assume, is not several instances in one user space, but just one instance (perhaps with many windows) in each of several users' spaces.

You could modify the FFP launcher so it forces the profile and temporary files to a unique place for each user, preferably in the UserProfile. That should work. But the launcher as distributed is not designed for a multiuser environment.

If you want to have a network install of FF being used by more than one person, you probably need to go to the Mozilla site and see what advice they have for system administrators. FFPortable is certainly not designed for use in a multi-user environment, but FF itself ought to work fine that way. It would most likely need to work that way in a multiuser Linux environment, where everyone uses a centrally maintained FF executable, while their profiles are stored in their home (profile) directories. So there should be some way to do it in a Windows multiuser environment (e.g. Terminal Services, or the network setup you are proposing).

MC

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