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Why can't I run two separate instances of FirefoxPortable?

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snowdrift
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Why can't I run two separate instances of FirefoxPortable?

... or can I? I get an error message that "Another instance of Firefox is already running."

I need to run two separate versions for me and my partner, both who use the same logon on our XP box.

Thanks.

John T. Haller
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Not Recommended

It's not recommended to run multiple FF instances at the same time. Close one and then use the other. You can do it by using an INI file. Check the help.html for a link to the advanced options.

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Ryan McCue
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Yes

And especially don't use the Erase Personal Data option if you do.
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R McCue
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And before anyone complains about the grammar, I'm so jetlagged that my
hands aren't even in the same time zone...

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

snowdrift
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I don't mean to be impertinent...

... but what's the big deal? If both .exe's are in two separate directories and writing to their own, what could possible be the harm?

Ryan McCue
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A lot

Firefox can edit the other profile. Just because there is a portable launcher, doesn't mean they are both completely isolated.
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R McCue
PortaBlog Home and My Website
And before anyone complains about the grammar, I'm so jetlagged that my
hands aren't even in the same time zone...

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

snowdrift
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So should I expect...

... ever to be able to run two separate instances of FirefoxPortable at once?

John T. Haller
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Re-Read My First Post

You *can* do it. Just read the help.html file. It has a link to advanced options, detailed in the readme.txt. That explains how to use an INI file. The INI tells the launcher to set a specific environment variable for Firefox (the *only* way that Firefox itself will allow multiple instances). If you do all that, then you can run the two side by side.

Firefox itself expects to be running ONLY one instance. It's the way it's designed. There's a specific environment variable that can be set, mainly for testing purposes. I added this ability to the launcher. The caveat is that the multiple instances switch disables the ability for Firefox to clean up after itself (APPDATA stuff) and it doesn't work with Live mode.

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snowdrift
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John, what I meant...

... wasn't two instances of the *same* directory's Firefox executable, but the running of two *separate* directories... say:

\DirectoryABC\FirefoxPortable.exe

and

\DirectoryPDQ\FirefoxPortable.exe

Are you telling me a switch will let me run these two separate EXEs simultaneously?

John T. Haller
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Yes

I understood exactly what you meant. This is what multiple instances means. Firefox is made to specifically *NOT* allow you to run two different copies at the same time. This switch allows you to... but it disables the ability to use Live mode and have FFP clean up after itself. Please read the readme.txt for full details. And, keep in mind, as an advanced option, there is not much support for this. Mozilla may even drop this ability from future releases. In short, if you can do it another way... do it that way.

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snowdrift
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Well, I swear...

... I've enabled the multiple instances setting in both .ini's, but I still get this message:

http://philaphonic.spymac.com/firefox_already_running.png

I will triple-check my typing but I'm sure they're both set correctly.

Would running each as a limited user with DropMyRights effect this outcome, I wonder? I don't think so, but...

==

I just checked again:

Both .ini's read:

[FirefoxPortableSettings]
LastProfileDirectory=C:\ABC\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile
AllowMultipleInstances=true

[FirefoxPortableSettings]
LastProfileDirectory=C:\XYZ\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile
AllowMultipleInstances=true

Still, no dice.

John T. Haller
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New INI?

Are you using the *new* ini format from 1.5.0.7? Or attempting to use an old INI from a previous version? It changed. Old INIs are no longer supported and will be ignored. With each update, you need to check your INI for compatibility. And you need the *WHOLE* INI, you can't pick and choose which lines to include.

God I hate supporting INIs...

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snowdrift
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New .ini's

... I copied and pasted the entire \FirefoxPortable\Data\ subdirectories when I upgraded both sets. All else came directly from your upgraded, packaged version, so I think I am OK there.

Perhaps this is a bug, then?

Here are the two .ini locations, John:

C:\ABC\FirefoxPortable\Data\settings\FirefoxPortableSettings.ini
C:\XYZ\FirefoxPortable\Data\settings\FirefoxPortableSettings.ini

John T. Haller
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Full INI

But are you using the *WHOLE* INI as I stated. You only pasted in a couple lines. You need all of them. And it has to be in the FirefoxPortable directory. The FirefoxPortableSettings.ini file is totally unrelated to what we are discussing. We're talking about FirefoxPortable.ini. Please go read that whole readme.txt file before proceeding. I'm tired of talking in circles on this, especially when I'm just repeating what is very well detailed in there.

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

snowdrift
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OK, John!

I got it working. I just needed to put the right .ini in the directory with FirefoxPortable.exe.

So... the next time I upgrade... can I just hit upgrade from the Help ==> Check for Updates and have it all work from that point on?

John T. Haller
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Yes and No

It will update FF, but not the portable components. So you wouldn't get any upgrades to those pieces without upgrading that.

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

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