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In Linux Firefox doesn't read/write password from Window profile

Posted

I moved a Firefox profile created in Windows inside Linux Mint 19 and firefox can't read/write password anymore.

The version of Firefox is 66.0.2.

In the past this operation has always worked without issues.

The format of the files key4.db and login.json are OS specific? Are there other files i should be aware of?

I moved a Firefox profile created in Windows inside Linux Mint 19 and firefox can't read/write password anymore. The version of Firefox is 66.0.2. In the past this operation has always worked without issues. The format of the files key4.db and login.json are OS specific? Are there other files i should be aware of?

Chosen solution

Do not copy pkcs11.txt and a possible secmode.db. Best is to only copy database (SQLite and JSON) files you really need because some file can store path/file information that isn't compatible. The pkcs11.txt and prefs.js are examples of files that you shouldn't copy. Some folders may cause issues as well.

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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 20.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:66.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.0

More Information

Question owner

update: the password files are ok, if I move only those files they are read and written correctly, so there is other sort of incompatibility between OS that affect the password managment..

update: the password files are ok, if I move only those files they are read and written correctly, so there is other sort of incompatibility between OS that affect the password managment..
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Question owner

I would add that the profile I moved is the basic one, without any plugin or extension installed, maybe the problem is not the profile but the executable itself?

I would add that the profile I moved is the basic one, without any plugin or extension installed, maybe the problem is not the profile but the executable itself?
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cor-el
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Chosen Solution

Do not copy pkcs11.txt and a possible secmode.db. Best is to only copy database (SQLite and JSON) files you really need because some file can store path/file information that isn't compatible. The pkcs11.txt and prefs.js are examples of files that you shouldn't copy. Some folders may cause issues as well.

Do not copy pkcs11.txt and a possible secmode.db. Best is to only copy database (SQLite and JSON) files you really need because some file can store path/file information that isn't compatible. The pkcs11.txt and prefs.js are examples of files that you shouldn't copy. Some folders may cause issues as well.
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Question owner

cor-el said

Do not copy pkcs11.txt and a possible secmode.db. Best is to only copy database (SQLite and JSON) files you really need because some file can store path/file information that isn't compatible. The pkcs11.txt and prefs.js are examples of files that you shouldn't copy. Some folders may cause issues as well.

Thanks for your reply, it solved the problem.

The only file that proved to be incompatible was the pointless "pkcs11.txt".

If somebody copy own profiles from Windows to Linux Firefox won't read/write passwrod due to that file, it is a bug that must be solved.

Apparently no other files give issues, what else problems can cause other files like pref.js?

This issue should be highlighted in the main help pages of Firefox.

Should we report this problem as a bug?

''cor-el [[#answer-1211603|said]]'' <blockquote> Do not copy pkcs11.txt and a possible secmode.db. Best is to only copy database (SQLite and JSON) files you really need because some file can store path/file information that isn't compatible. The pkcs11.txt and prefs.js are examples of files that you shouldn't copy. Some folders may cause issues as well. </blockquote> Thanks for your reply, it solved the problem. The only file that proved to be incompatible was the pointless "pkcs11.txt". If somebody copy own profiles from Windows to Linux Firefox won't read/write passwrod due to that file, it is a bug that must be solved. Apparently no other files give issues, what else problems can cause other files like pref.js? This issue should be highlighted in the main help pages of Firefox. Should we report this problem as a bug?
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cor-el
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Helpful Reply

Did you check the content of pkcs11.txt ?

Then you will likely see that it contains a Windows style path to the current profile and not a valid Linux path. The Password Manager runs in a separate thread and need to be able to access the profile folder and with a wrong or invalid path this isn't possible. Copying a profile or renaming a profile isn't supported. You may be lucky if it works without problems, but it is not a bug if it doesn't work.

Did you check the content of pkcs11.txt ? Then you will likely see that it contains a Windows style path to the current profile and not a valid Linux path. The Password Manager runs in a separate thread and need to be able to access the profile folder and with a wrong or invalid path this isn't possible. Copying a profile or renaming a profile isn't supported. You may be lucky if it works without problems, but it is not a bug if it doesn't work.
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Question owner

I understand, but I didn't setup that path, it is based on user directory according to the OS rules, so when Firefox finds a path belonging to another OS can take an action to solve the issue, even asking for the user intervention with a popup or some other fix.

Not to mention the fact that, more importantly, this problem is not documented at all but instead the user is encouraged to simply copy and paste profiles which make this issue a bug from a user perspective.

I hope this thread is helpful to other users.

I understand, but I didn't setup that path, it is based on user directory according to the OS rules, so when Firefox finds a path belonging to another OS can take an action to solve the issue, even asking for the user intervention with a popup or some other fix. Not to mention the fact that, more importantly, this problem is not documented at all but instead the user is encouraged to simply copy and paste profiles which make this issue a bug from a user perspective. I hope this thread is helpful to other users.
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