Firefox use of appdata Roaming has serious shortcomings. How can I continue to use Firefox on company's virtual desktops?
In my searching, almost everthying I've found related to managing Firefox is from a manual user perspective. Most of our users are not very computer literate to begin with. They are of sort who refer to the browser as "Google" or "MSN", whichever default search engine they have grown accustomed to, learn just enough to get their job done. That leaves it to IT to preserve their settings.
Firefox is writing a majority the user profile information to appdata\roaming. Windows is preventing appdata\roaming from being redirected. This means whenever IT needs to rebuild the desktops, all the users that prefer Firefox as a browser lose their setup. As of yet, we have no specific policy for users creating a Mozilla account to backup their profile to the cloud, but that is a manual process for the users to implement.
During the last recomopose, users were dismayed they lost their Firefox settings, especially their bookmarks. The auto export of bookmarks is useless , as it writes its files to appdata\roaming and I can find no setting to redirect that. Being impossible to redirect, appdata\Roaming is destroyed every time a virtual desktop is recomposed.
IT is currently exploring removing Firefox from the next recompose image, because we cannot find a way to support it internally. I am wondering if anyone else out there has Firefox in a VDI environment, and what do you do to preserve the profiles during remaking the desktops?
Additional System Details
- Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:70.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/70.0
It seems I posted my question too soon.
Looking closer, I see there is a sizeable amount of data in appdata\local, which we are able to redirect. What I think the problem is in recreating the desktop, the user signs in with only the profile data appdata\local and no supporting data in appdata\roaming. At that point, something happens, depending on the individual user's configuration.
Note, I am making guesses here based on what we have seen
If there are no settings that depend on something existing in appdata\roaming, Firefox starts normally.
If there setting that rely on existing data in appdata\roaming, firefox detects a broken profile, and creates a new one.
Still, it seems the location for bookmarks is appdata\roaming and there is no way to change that. Is that where the passwords are stored as well?
moved to the Firefox for Enterprise support queue
My understanding is that Roaming is pretty much the default place where all Windows applications store data.
Is it common for apps to allow you to store data elsewhere?
That being said, if you point Firefox to an explicit profile:
firefox -profile "profile_path"
It will put all the data in that one location.