Firefox and profile locking: Chapter 2

Dan Nicholson dbn.lists at
Wed Aug 24 13:30:17 PDT 2005

On 8/24/05, Randy McMurchy <randy at> wrote:
> Using the installer as Archaic points out creates a Firefox that
> doesn't call the profile manager when invoked more than once.
> Invoking firefox a 2nd time simply opens another window of Firefox.
> As one would expect.
> Invoked like this (with an already running firefox window):
> firefox -remote "(openurl(,new-tab)"
> causes firefox to use the existing window of firefox and open a
> new tab with the specified URL.

The issue of profile locking when trying to open a URL in an already
running Firefox received some attention on blfs-support.  Kevin
Somervill went through the script and found there was
an error where a variable didn't get set for the remote condition. 
You can see his post here:

He has a patch for the firefox script that adds in the correct
variable and defaults to adding a new tab for the url.  This works as
firefox is expected to and gets rid of the requirement for a wrapper
script.  In other words, you can call
firefox "http://some-url"
and it will open a new tab or start a new instance.  (Note -remote is
unnecessary)  At least in my experience.  I used this fix and removed
wrapper scripts and everything works great.  I think it is something
worth looking into if it's the entire cause for this change in the
book instructions.  I haven't finished testing, but I have a patch for
the source to apply the same change.

One last thing, what is the danger of using
--prefix=/opt/firefox-$VERSION instead of using the installer method?


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