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about:home search engine not working

Posted

When I attempt searching in about:home it fails. It seems to be a JS error since the html form appears quite valid. My aboutHome.js is here: http://pastebin.com/muSihvGt . As can be seen below, I'm on linux 3.2.0-29-generic , 64 bit. In Aurora.

Chosen solution

The problem seems to be that you can't initialize the chromeappsstore.sqlite file properly.

Deleting the chromeappsstore.sqlite and resetting the browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone pref and restarting Firefox should normally fix this, but in you case even a manual edit doesn't work.

This is the data that I get if I use Copy Row(s) to SQL in the right-click context menu with the SQLite Manager extension.


INSERT INTO "someTable" VALUES ("emoh.:moz-safe-about","search-engine","{""name"":""Google"",""searchUrl"":""https://www.google.com/search?q=_searchTerms_&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-aurora""}","0",null);

CREATE TABLE webappsstore2 (scope TEXT, key TEXT, value TEXT, secure INTEGER, owner TEXT)
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Additional System Details

Sites Affected

about:home

Installed Plug-ins

  • This plugin provides integration with Cinnamon for live extension enabling and disabling. It can be used only by extensions.gnome.org
  • The IcedTea-Web Plugin executes Java applets.
  • The Totem 3.0.1 plugin handles video and audio streams.
  • DivX Web Player version 1.4.0.233
  • Shockwave Flash 11.0 r1
  • Gecko Media Player 1.0.4Video Player Plug-in for QuickTime, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player streams using MPlayer

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/16.0 Firefox/16.0

More Information

Application Basics
Name
Firefox
Version
16.0a2
User Agent
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/16.0 Firefox/16.0
Profile Directory
Open Directory
Enabled Plugins
about:plugins
Build Configuration
about:buildconfig
Crash Reports
about:crashes
Memory Use
about:memory
Extensions
Name
Version
Enabled
ID
Aptana Debugger
1.7.2
true
debugger@aptana.com
Download Statusbar
0.9.10
true
{D4DD63FA-01E4-46a7-B6B1-EDAB7D6AD389}
FEBE
7.0.3.5
true
{4BBDD651-70CF-4821-84F8-2B918CF89CA3}
Firebug
1.10.2
true
firebug@software.joehewitt.com
Stylish
1.0.7
true
{46551EC9-40F0-4e47-8E18-8E5CF550CFB8}
Test Pilot
1.2.1
true
testpilot@labs.mozilla.com
Mint Search Enhancer
1.0
false
mint-search-enhancer@linuxmint.com
Important Modified Preferences
Name
Value
accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar
0
browser.cache.disk.capacity
1048576
browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run
false
browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value
1048576
browser.cache.memory.capacity
61440
browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion
4
browser.startup.homepage
about:home
browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID
20120809071137
browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone
16.0a2
browser.tabs.warnOnClose
false
extensions.lastAppVersion
16.0a2
keyword.URL
https://google.com/search?q=
network.cookie.prefsMigrated
true
network.protocol-handler.app.apt
/usr/bin/apturl
network.protocol-handler.app.apt+http
/usr/bin/apturl
network.protocol-handler.warn-external.apt
true
network.protocol-handler.warn-external.apt+http
true
places.database.lastMaintenance
1344546200
places.history.enabled
false
places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages
104858
privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs
true
privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown
true
security.warn_viewing_mixed
false
Graphics
Adapter Description
NVIDIA Corporation -- GeForce GTX 580/PCIe/SSE2
Vendor ID
NVIDIA Corporation
Device ID
GeForce GTX 580/PCIe/SSE2
Driver Version
4.2.0 NVIDIA 295.49
WebGL Renderer
NVIDIA Corporation -- GeForce GTX 580/PCIe/SSE2 -- 4.2.0 NVIDIA 295.49
GPU Accelerated Windows
0
AzureBackend
skia
JavaScript
Incremental GC
1
Accessibility
Activated
0
Prevent Accessibility
0
Library Versions
Expected minimum version
Version in use
NSPR
4.9.2
4.9.2
NSS
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC
NSS Util
3.13.5.0
3.13.5.0
NSS SSL
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC
NSS S/MIME
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC
3.13.5.0 Basic ECC

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2344 solutions 20791 answers

What happens when you try to search. No response?

Is there a script error in the Error Console (Tools > Web Developer)? To isolate issues related to a particular website function, I suggest the following:

(1) Click the Clear button in the console
(2) Reload the page
(3) Check for Errors (use the Error button to filter out the noise)
(4) Submit your search
(5) Check for Errors

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

If there is a problem with searching via the default about:home page then try to reset the search engine used on the about:home page.

Reset the browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone pref via the right-click context menu to the default on the about:config page and close and restart Firefox to restore the about:home page to its default.

  1. Open the about:config page via the location bar
  2. Type in the Filter bar: mstone
  3. Right-click the browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone line and select: Reset
  4. Close and restart Firefox

If this didn't help then delete the delete the chromeappsstore.sqlite file in the Firefox Profile Folder and repeat the above.

Question owner

Thanks, wasn't aware of that feature, took note of it. However it came out uneventful (no errors). @ jscher

Modified by Shingetsu

Question owner

@Cor-el , It was the 1st thing I attempted ( browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone ). After deleting chromeappsstore.sqlite and letting firefox re-generate it, the problem persists.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

How is the about:home search engine being reported?

You can inspect the current search engine via this code in the Web Console panel with the about:home page on display.
Paste this code in the command line that gets selected when you open that panel via Firefox > Web Developer > Web Console or Ctrl+Shift+K.


localStorage["search-engine"]

Copy the result via the right-click context menu to the clipboard and paste it here.


I see this:

"{\"name\":\"Google\",\"searchUrl\":\"https://www.google.com/search?q=_searchTerms_&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a\"}"

Modified by cor-el

Question owner

@cor-el it seems you found it, I get "undefined". Which is in itself weird since in about:config I have: browser.search.order.1;Google browser.search.selectedEngine;Google

I tried manually setting it in the Console (with the \ breaks), but unfortunately it is not persistent (doesn't work after set before restart and I have firefox dump tmp files upon close which may explain it not staying post-restart, though it may be made to do that)

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

In the web console you can use this:

localStorage["search-engine"]="{\"name\":\"Google\",\"searchUrl\":\"http://www.google.com/search?q=_searchTerms_&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a\"}";

If this doesn't stay then you may have (security) software that is preventing Firefox from saving the data in the chromeappsstore.sqlite file properly.

Question owner

As I've stated previously, I'm on Aurora Linux (x86_64). There's no security software needed here as long as I don't install random packages... And when I feel I have to I scan them with an on-demand scanner and/or look at source. However I *do* have firefox clear tmp files on each restart. Also, changing that field (and checking and seeing it changed) did not affect about:home before restart.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

You can use the SQLite Manager to inspect the chromeappsstore.sqlite file and check if the content gets removed after a restart.

Question owner

Actually, I was just about to write about that -> I've used sqlitebrowser (I'm more comfortable with a terminal). chromeappsstore.sqlite was empty. I tried adding a value that the owner was "search-engine" and marked all the other fields as the above (I knew it was "owner" by analyzing the log of the database. It seems that when I try to get the value of localStorage["search-engine"] firefox looks in the DB, but writing to it only happens in memory) (but without \ parsing as the DB was UTF-8). It managed to stay there (after a restart I checked back), however, the value of localStorage["search-engine"] still returns "undefined".

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

I recently posted some code on the Contributors forum to be used in the Error Console.

You can give that a try as well.

Note that it isn't simply creating a search-engines entry, but also have set the scope value of that entry to emoh.:moz-safe-about

Modified by cor-el

Question owner

Upon attempting that I recieved the following error: "Error: TypeError: defaultEngine is null"

As I said, chromeappsstore.sqlite is entirely *empty* except for the one field I added manually. It seems that there's either a parsing problem or something similar.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

Try this extension to reset the default search engine:

Question owner

Apparently, it did not work. It's supposed to uninstall after doing so and it didn't, about:home not fixed either. It seems it probably ran into the same error.

Weird fact -> my brand new arch install had no such problem.

Chris Ilias
  • Moderator
115 solutions 1064 answers

Helpful Reply

Try resetting Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/reset-preferences-fix-problems

Question owner

I have a few special about:config settings to clear all temp data and remnants (e.g. cookies and all) in place... oh well, I guess it's worth trying.

Question owner

And no result from that either. Can someone just point me towards the location of about:home locally, so I can modify it? I'm sure making the form plain html (I only want google to be honest) shouldn't be that hard!

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10737 solutions 96600 answers

Chosen Solution

The problem seems to be that you can't initialize the chromeappsstore.sqlite file properly.

Deleting the chromeappsstore.sqlite and resetting the browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone pref and restarting Firefox should normally fix this, but in you case even a manual edit doesn't work.

This is the data that I get if I use Copy Row(s) to SQL in the right-click context menu with the SQLite Manager extension.


INSERT INTO "someTable" VALUES ("emoh.:moz-safe-about","search-engine","{""name"":""Google"",""searchUrl"":""https://www.google.com/search?q=_searchTerms_&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-aurora""}","0",null);

CREATE TABLE webappsstore2 (scope TEXT, key TEXT, value TEXT, secure INTEGER, owner TEXT)

Modified by cor-el

Question owner

Ok, entering data into SQL manually including emoh.moz-safe-about seems to have worked. Can you list the local location of about:home for future reference though?

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2344 solutions 20791 answers

Can you list the local location of about:home for future reference though?

If you View Source on about:home, you can see the "location" in the title bar. It is generated from a template in the omni.ja file.