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Restart Add-On is not portable

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billiebub
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Restart Add-On is not portable

An example I found where portability mode does not work anymore. I make use of the "restart" addon in Firefox. Having to restart Firefox for performance reasons is something I do all the time, but then once you restart, the launcher is gone, cauzing firefox.exe to work on its own without its supervision. How would you work around that?

[Subject updated by mod JTH]

John T. Haller
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Unsupported

Normal restarts of Firefox by Firefox itself (when you add or remove an Add-On and it asks to restart) as well as closing and re-opening Firefox itself will work just fine and the launcher will check for that. The restart add-on is non-standard and does not restart Firefox in a standard or trappable way. So, it should not be used with Firefox Portable.

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billiebub
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what other plugin

what other restart plugin would you recommend then?

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John T. Haller
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None

Firefox should only be restarted by itself (when it offers the "restart" button when you alter something) or by closing it and the opening it again.

Also, I've never needed to restart Firefox for any performance reasons and regularly keep it running for over a day at a stretch. Firefox 4 has better memory management and if its RAM use you worry about, you can set it to trim down what it uses when minimized (can't recall the about:config entry at the moment).

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computerfreaker
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config.trim_on_minimize

I believe config.trim_on_minimize is the about:config setting you mean.

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carterrk
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Need to restart may depend on sites you visit

In the Usenet Firefox forum, users seem to be divided between those who need to restart frequently, and those who never need to and can't understand why any reasonable person would need to.

In my experience, need to restart seems to depend on the sites you've had open. And, no, I'm not necessarily talking about "disreputable" sites. Wink

Being a Delphi programmer, I spend a lot of time at forums.embarcadero.com, and I can watch the memory usage and swap file size climb as I navigate that site. One of these days I guess I'll set up nntp access in a newsreader for that site.

For now, I just watch the memory usage and swap file size in Task Manager, and periodically close Firefox and reopen it. I don't use an extension for that; I just close Firefox, do something else for a short while, then start Firefox again.

Rick Carter

3D1T0R
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If you really need to restart, then ...

If you really need to restart, and you don't want to exit and reopen Firefox, then you could install/uninstall/update an add-on, and Firefox will ask to Restart, AFAIK using that Restart button should work correctly.
(Someone correct me if I'm wrong)

Edit: Stupid Typographical Errors. ≡¦¢Þ

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billiebub
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thanks

Thank you guys for taking the time to explain the issue and the ways to properly restart FireFox.

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GlennAllen
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"portability mode does not work anymore"

In what way does "portability mode not work anymore" if you restart? What exactly is no longer "portable"?

John T. Haller
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built in works

Built in restart works fine when installing and uninstalling addons. Using a restart addon as mentioned above though is the same as kaunching firefox.exe directly and starts it in local mode using or creating a local profile.

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GlennAllen
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Thanks, but I guess what I'm

Thanks, but I guess what I'm asking for (among other things) is some method of verification or, if you will, demonstration? A restart maintains the environment in specific ways (session information, for example) and resets other things. What is it that's essential to "portability" that gets reset instead of maintained when you eRestart?

John T. Haller
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Different Things

We're talking about entirely different things. Firefox's built in restart system which automatically shows up when you install, uninstall or disable something that requires a restart to take effect works just fine. The FirefoxPortable.exe launcher detects the restart and keeps running.

An add-on that 'hard' restarts Firefox doesn't work the same way and doesn't properly pass the profile location to the new instance of firefox.exe, so it's running in local mode.

Bottom line: don't use restart extensions. Firefox isn't designed to be restarted like that.

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GlennAllen
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Thanks. That helps (gives me

Thanks. That helps (gives me something to look at).

OK, from what I can tell (test) so far, a restart--by Firefox--from, say, installing an add-on (to enable it--old-style, not "restartless") does the same thing as a restart "forced" by an add-on (QuickRestart, for example): same start syntax and same switches (as in, none). Firefox still uses its own default profile in the same profile folder as before the restart. So, I'm not seeing any difference yet. It's an interesting "search" (or research Wink ) though.

(FWIW, you have some odd lookin' smileys here.)

BTW, I couldn't say that it works this way for everyone, but once FirefoxPortable.exe kicks off firefox.exe it terminates (on my Win7 box anyway); I remember that it used to keep running on other machines/systems. Now, since it isn't running, how would it "see" that restart? (Did I mention that I'm not using the "PA.c platform" (launcher?) to start Firefox Portable?)

solanus
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You should see both in the running processes

In the Task Manager, click the Processes tab (not the Applications tab) and you SHOULD see both firefox.exe and FirefoxPortable.exe.
It doesn't matter if you are using the platform, it behaves exactly the same.

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GlennAllen
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Works, in theory...

"SHOULD" see both perhaps... but I don't. I use Process Explorer (as opposed to Task Manager--subtle difference) BTW, and I watch the launcher start, then kickoff Firefox, and then terminate. Maybe it should continue running, but it doesn't. And while I do remember that it used to on XP, it never has on Win7 [for me--and I don't do anything special with the environment that "should" affect it].

John T. Haller
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INI

You using an INI for MultipleInstances or similar? If so, that doesn't support restarts and always leaves files behind.

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GlennAllen
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Yep...

always have--since the early days when it was called 'Portable Firefox'. (So, does that have some bearing on the launcher terminating now instead of continuing to run?)

John T. Haller
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Yup

Technically, AllowMultipleInstances is unsupported and not recommended due to the fact that the FirefoxPortable.exe launcher can't stick around and clean up after Firefox (can't tell which process is which and they step on each other). Similarly, Firefox can't properly restart itself portably in such a situation.

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GlennAllen
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OK, thanks. Well,

OK, thanks. Well, fortunately, my #1 reason for using Firefox Portable is so I can run as many distinct and separate instances of Firefox as I wish at the same time (in the easiest way possible), so portability and cleaning up aren't a factor (except for the rare instances when I'm actually being "portable"--where there's no need for multiple instances anyway). So, just wondering... where do files get not-cleaned-up as far as their being outside the path where Firefox Portable is installed? What kind of files are we talking about here?

John T. Haller
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Everything the launcher does

Basically everything the launcher does on exit, so some stuff in APPDATA\Mozilla and APPDATA\Mozilla Firefox.

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GlennAllen
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Not a problem...

I haven't installed a local version of Firefox in years except on one machine I was using for testing something or other. Plug-ins aren't a concern either (beyond Google--for Chrome, mind you--installing theirs in Firefox and every other browser on a machine [talk about malware]).

carterrk
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AllowMultipleInstances

Ah! I think I'm beginning to understand why AllowMultipleInstances is not recommended and not supported.

My preferred way of working (with non-portable Firefox on the local drive, so far) is to be able to run multiple profiles simultaneously using the -no-remote switch. That allows me to keep tabs for each window down to a minimum, and if one window crashes, it doesn't bring down everything else with it.

I had been thinking about switching all my browsing over to Portable Firefox, mostly as a way to keep all my bookmarks and settings identical when I switch machines. And I was puzzled why the support page says "Note that only one profile can be used at a time, even with MultipleInstances turned on in the advanced launcher INI. This is a limitation of Firefox itself." I know darn well I can successfully use two profiles simultaneously with non-portable Firefox.

For me, would the new Sync option of non-portable Firefox be a better option for keeping my bookmarks and settings the same on two machines?

Rick Carter

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Firefox Sync

To answer that last part, yes, the Sync option in Firefox 4 will be a much better option: it is the supported way of sharing bookmarks, passwords, preferences, history and tabs between multiple computers. You can choose which combination of settings you wish to sync. You can also access synced bookmarks, history and tabs on mobile firefox browsers.

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