Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Using Firefox profiles

Firefox can get awfully slow once you have all your favorite web-developer tools installed. As much as I love Firebug and the Web Developer extension, they certainly do not enhance your browsing experience.

The solution to that problem is to run multiple instances of Firefox with different profiles. If you run Firefox like this:


firefox -Profilemanager -no-remote


then you get a dialog to configure profiles. You can start a preconfigured profile with:


firefox -p $PROFILE_NAME -no-remote


Every profile has its own settings, most importantly it has its own configuration for extensions. By creating a profile with only the basic Firefox extensions and one with all the web-developer tools you can have a fast browser and one that does all its magic for development purposes.

Note that the "-no-remote" is not always necessary. It stops Firefox from reusing an already running instance, so you really need it only if there is a Firefox open that uses a profile you don't want. Having "-no-remote" will cause errors if there is an instance running that uses the same profile -- it's quite a straightforward error message, though.

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