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I can't migrate my Firefox profile between different Linux installations

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I have been a Linux and Firefox user for many years. Whenever I wanted to migrate my profile to a new Linux installation, all I had to do was copy the contents of the old Linux installation profile folder to the new Linux installation profile folder (No matter that they had different names). Now I am trying to do it from Kubuntu 18.04 (Firefox 73.0 from PPA) to Kubuntu 20.04 (Firefox 73.0). I am doing what is explained in this guide: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles

But after doing that when I start Firefox in Kubuntu 20.04, a message appears warning that my profile data may get corrupted and therefore to protect my data it gives me only two options, starting Firefox with a new empty profile or quit firefox. So I am not able to perform the migration. How can I migrate my old profile in ofline mode? I don't want anything that requires having an account or uploading my data to some cloud thing (which I think what that Sync thing is). That is, I want to do the migration in offline mode, locally, on my machine. Thank you.

I have been a Linux and Firefox user for many years. Whenever I wanted to migrate my profile to a new Linux installation, all I had to do was copy the contents of the old Linux installation profile folder to the new Linux installation profile folder (No matter that they had different names). Now I am trying to do it from Kubuntu 18.04 (Firefox 73.0 from PPA) to Kubuntu 20.04 (Firefox 73.0). I am doing what is explained in this guide: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles But after doing that when I start Firefox in Kubuntu 20.04, a message appears warning that my profile data may get corrupted and therefore to protect my data it gives me only two options, starting Firefox with a new empty profile or quit firefox. So I am not able to perform the migration. How can I migrate my old profile in ofline mode? I don't want anything that requires having an account or uploading my data to some cloud thing (which I think what that Sync thing is). That is, I want to do the migration in offline mode, locally, on my machine. Thank you.
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Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:73.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/73.0

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Rasmus Kallas 3 solutions 38 answers
  • Do you still have access to the 73 from PPA browser?
  • Do you have any backups/snapshots? Any way to roll back?
  • Could you send over a tree of the profile directory? ( run ls -d */ )
* Do you still have access to the 73 from PPA browser? * Do you have any backups/snapshots? Any way to roll back? * Could you send over a tree of the profile directory? ( run ls -d */ )

Modified by Rasmus Kallas

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Question owner

I have both Kubuntu 18.04 and 20.04 installations in different partitions, therefore both are perfectly functional and I can debug Firefox and content in any of the two Kubuntu installations when required. It happens that my intention is to migrate to Kubuntu 20.04 and that is why I need my old Firefox profile. It is really an old installation, with some about:config tuning of some options. So it will be tedious if I have to configure everything again from scratch. That is, Firefox works perfectly in Kubuntu 18.04 anyway in this old installation. This is the profile folder tree in old installation:

ls -d */

bookmarkbackups/ crashes/ features/ mediacapabilities/ sessionstore-backups/ browser-extension-data/ datareporting/ gmp/ minidumps/ storage/ chrome/ extensions/ gmp-gmpopenh264/ saved-telemetry-pings/ weave/

I have both Kubuntu 18.04 and 20.04 installations in different partitions, therefore both are perfectly functional and I can debug Firefox and content in any of the two Kubuntu installations when required. It happens that my intention is to migrate to Kubuntu 20.04 and that is why I need my old Firefox profile. It is really an old installation, with some about:config tuning of some options. So it will be tedious if I have to configure everything again from scratch. That is, Firefox works perfectly in Kubuntu 18.04 anyway in this old installation. This is the profile folder tree in old installation: ls -d */ bookmarkbackups/ crashes/ features/ mediacapabilities/ sessionstore-backups/ browser-extension-data/ datareporting/ gmp/ minidumps/ storage/ chrome/ extensions/ gmp-gmpopenh264/ saved-telemetry-pings/ weave/
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Rasmus Kallas 3 solutions 38 answers

Ok,

are you sure you copied the profile folder when Firefox was closed for a few seconds? Could you close Firefox on 18.04, count to 10 and then copy the profile again?

Addittionally, could you create a new profile in 20.04, open up some stuff and then close it and copy it to 18.04 and see, if it works?

Also how are you copying the files? Mounting the other partition or..?

One thing you could do is

  1. compressing the profile with: tar -czf myprofile.tgz 12345678.profilename/
  2. then checksum the tar file https://itsfoss.com/checksum-tools-guide-linux/
  3. transfer both the tar and checksum to 20.04 and verify the cheksum
  4. decompress with tar -xf myprofile.tgz
Ok, are you sure you copied the profile folder when Firefox was closed for a few seconds? Could you close Firefox on 18.04, count to 10 and then copy the profile again? Addittionally, could you create a new profile in 20.04, open up some stuff and then close it and copy it to 18.04 and see, if it works? Also how are you copying the files? Mounting the other partition or..? One thing you could do is # compressing the profile with: tar -czf myprofile.tgz 12345678.profilename/ # then checksum the tar file https://itsfoss.com/checksum-tools-guide-linux/ # transfer both the tar and checksum to 20.04 and verify the cheksum # decompress with tar -xf myprofile.tgz
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Question owner

To copy the files I directly navigate the partitions from Dolphin file browser. Anyway I have done what you suggested packaging and checking the checksum, and I still get the same message when I open Firefox in Kubuntu 20.04 new installation: http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=185eb9c725850701b87bb3250f4ca564

But I found that a backup of the Firefox profile in Kubuntu 18.04 that I had done about 7 months ago is working correctly when I copy the content to Firefox profile backup in Kubuntu 20.04. So the problem is something related to current data of the current profile that I am using in Kubuntu 18.04. The backup that is working is not as outdated with respect to the current profile, and I could use that one. Anyway I would like to debug and analyze the problem about why I cannot migrate with current up to date profile.

To copy the files I directly navigate the partitions from Dolphin file browser. Anyway I have done what you suggested packaging and checking the checksum, and I still get the same message when I open Firefox in Kubuntu 20.04 new installation: http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=185eb9c725850701b87bb3250f4ca564 But I found that a backup of the Firefox profile in Kubuntu 18.04 that I had done about 7 months ago is working correctly when I copy the content to Firefox profile backup in Kubuntu 20.04. So the problem is something related to current data of the current profile that I am using in Kubuntu 18.04. The backup that is working is not as outdated with respect to the current profile, and I could use that one. Anyway I would like to debug and analyze the problem about why I cannot migrate with current up to date profile.
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cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17759 solutions 160617 answers

You can delete compatibility.ini in that profile to prevent this profile message from being displayed.

Note that it isn't recommended to migrate a full profile because files like pkcs11.txt contain absolute paths and files like prefs.js can also store configuration data that is profile dependent.

You can delete compatibility.ini in that profile to prevent this profile message from being displayed. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/understanding-depth-profile-installation Note that it isn't recommended to migrate a full profile because files like pkcs11.txt contain absolute paths and files like prefs.js can also store configuration data that is profile dependent.
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Question owner

Hi That doesn't help either. Now the Firefox message does not appear, but Firefox does not start. If I launch Firefox from the terminal it does not show error messages. But I think I could solve the problem. In old profile there is a file called "addonStartup.json.lz4". I delete that file in the new installation profile. The first time I start Firefox now it starts without the addons, a new "addonStartup.json.lz4" file has been created. I close Firefox and open it again. This time the addons seem to be there and I can use my old profile. What does the "addonStartup.json.lz4" file do and what problems could I have because having removed it?

Hi That doesn't help either. Now the Firefox message does not appear, but Firefox does not start. If I launch Firefox from the terminal it does not show error messages. But I think I could solve the problem. In old profile there is a file called "addonStartup.json.lz4". I delete that file in the new installation profile. The first time I start Firefox now it starts without the addons, a new "addonStartup.json.lz4" file has been created. I close Firefox and open it again. This time the addons seem to be there and I can use my old profile. What does the "addonStartup.json.lz4" file do and what problems could I have because having removed it?

Modified by YAFU

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