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Install FireFox Quantum but keep FireFox 52 ESR

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  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu James

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Hi,

I wish to install and test the new FireFox Quantum BUT DO need to keep FireFox 52 ESR fully functional (because I need it for acessing some specific sites that require specific plug-ins). Will both FireFox coexist nicely (Win 7 and Win 10) ?

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

bornival said

Can you elaborate on those problems. A key point for me is that the links in my E-mail software should open the correct FireFox (probably the Quantum after I have made sure it works for most of my applications).

If Firefox 57 is already running, the odds are the link will open in Firefox 57. If it's not running, I'm not sure what will happen or what profile will be used.

Do I need to have different profiles (since each shortcut will point to s specific Firefox) ?

The profile folder holds your data (e.g., bookmarks, passwords, history, settings, add-ons). Even though they are in different program folders, if not told what profile to use, each Firefox will look to a single file named Profiles.ini to see what profile folder is the default profile and use that. When a newer version of Firefox uses a profile folder, it upconverts any files that have a different format, and that may create incompatibilities with older versions. It also may record a flag that it modified the file already and become confused if the file has the older format. Some data loss might occur. Also, legacy extensions you install in Firefox 52 ESR are not compatible with Firefox 57, and some new extensions in Firefox 57 require features not available until Firefox 56 or later, so sharing a profile with any number of extensions could be a disaster that doesn't wait long to happen.

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All Replies (14)

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I have 32-bit ESR and 64-bit Firefox 57 coexisting on a Windows 10 test machine. However, there are a lot of wrinkles:

  • Due to file format differences, the two versions should NOT share the same profile folder so you need to create a new profile before installing Firefox 57
  • Firefox 57 has a more aggressive installer that cross-checks for the 32-bit folder. As a workaround for that, you might try renaming

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\

    to

    C:\Program Files (x86)\MozHidden\

    but I haven't tested that myself to make sure Firefox 57 ignores it
  • You will need to create separate shortcuts to each version that points to a specific profile folder. This involves editing the command line of the shortcut (Properties > Shortcut > Target field) with the profile name, e.g,

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P "default"

    "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P "newfor 57"
  • That method creates problems for links in external programs, so depending on which you plan to use more (57 or ESR) there may be an alternate approach

Sorry if this sounds like good backups are required and improvisation is inevitable, but I think those are both true. But you might find documentation from others on this forum, the Mozillazine forums, or elsewhere on the web.

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You can also consider to use the portable Firefox ESR version.

You can install a portable (ESR) Firefox version to access websites that do not work with the current Firefox release.

The portable version comes with its own profile folder and doesn't interfere with currently installed Firefox versions.

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Both replies are useful, but both seem a bit tricky although workable. Too bad that FireFox makes these things complex... I reply in more details to jscher2000. Thank you to both of you. Paul

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jscher2000 said

  • You will need to create separate shortcuts to each version that points to a specific profile folder. This involves editing the command line of the shortcut (Properties > Shortcut > Target field) with the profile name, e.g,

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P "default"

    "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P "newfor 57"
  • That method creates problems for links in external programs, so depending on which you plan to use more (57 or ESR) there may be an alternate approach
Can you elaborate on those problems. A key point for me is that the links in my E-mail software should open the correct FireFox (probably the Quantum after I have made sure it works for most of my applications). Also, if I hide the "Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" during installation (by changing "Mozilla Firefox" and "firefox.exe" into other names) and restore them to their original name after installation of Quantum in the newly created "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe", should I not simply need to have two different shortcuts (one pointing to the 52 ESR version (in "C:\Program Files (x86)") and the other to the Quantum version (in "C:\Program Files". Do I need to have different profiles (since each shortcut will point to s specific Firefox) ?
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Can install the Developers Edition https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/ and at the end of the install it has a compatibility option. Do not need to use the tools.

Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

bornival said

Can you elaborate on those problems. A key point for me is that the links in my E-mail software should open the correct FireFox (probably the Quantum after I have made sure it works for most of my applications).

If Firefox 57 is already running, the odds are the link will open in Firefox 57. If it's not running, I'm not sure what will happen or what profile will be used.

Do I need to have different profiles (since each shortcut will point to s specific Firefox) ?

The profile folder holds your data (e.g., bookmarks, passwords, history, settings, add-ons). Even though they are in different program folders, if not told what profile to use, each Firefox will look to a single file named Profiles.ini to see what profile folder is the default profile and use that. When a newer version of Firefox uses a profile folder, it upconverts any files that have a different format, and that may create incompatibilities with older versions. It also may record a flag that it modified the file already and become confused if the file has the older format. Some data loss might occur. Also, legacy extensions you install in Firefox 52 ESR are not compatible with Firefox 57, and some new extensions in Firefox 57 require features not available until Firefox 56 or later, so sharing a profile with any number of extensions could be a disaster that doesn't wait long to happen.

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OK. I'll test that and report. But see also my answer to Pkshadow. Thank you.

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Pkshadow said

Can install the Developers Edition https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/ and at the end of the install it has a compatibility option. Do not need to use the tools. Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

Thank you. Can you elaborate on this ? What sort of dialogue shall I see and which choices will I have at the end of the installation ? Also, in case I'd discover that FireFox 57 (Quantum) will not work properly for what I want, how shall I be able to continue using Firefox 52 ESR ? Will the latter have remained intact (including my current profile) or would I need to reinstall it ?

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cor-el said

You can also consider to use the portable Firefox ESR version. You can install a portable (ESR) Firefox version to access websites that do not work with the current Firefox release. The portable version comes with its own profile folder and doesn't interfere with currently installed Firefox versions.
is the portable version only for windows? I don't see any other option. Is that a mobile app? It looks like on a video that you're able to use the portable version on a desktop? Thanks
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hithx said

cor-el said
is the portable version only for windows? I don't see any other option.

I think it is only for Windows. Are you still running on Mac? I don't know if you can install two versions of Firefox on a Mac at the same time.

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jscher2000 said

I think it is only for Windows. Are you still running on Mac? I don't know if you can install two versions of Firefox on a Mac at the same time.
oh, well I'm using an old Mac that might have other problems running multiple browsers at the same time anyway. I think I would be willing to only use the ESR version so that I can get some apps to work again. And I can still use quantum on a different desktop. Will the ESR version be much slower or use more memory than the quantum? And thanks for the reply! ... Would it be very time-consuming to Delete quantum[guess I would have to start a new profile in order to be able to use quantum on a different computer?] and install ESR? Is there a specific forum for Mac users that I should look at?

Okulungisiwe ngu hithx

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hithx said

Will the ESR version be much slower or use more memory than the quantum? And thanks for the reply! ... Would it be very time-consuming to Delete quantum[guess I would have to start a new profile in order to be able to use quantum on a different computer?] and install ESR? Is there a specific forum for Mac users that I should look at?

I find Firefox 52 slower than Firefox 57-58, but that could be partly because I started a new profile for Firefox 57, and don't have as many add-ons now.

Here's the article on switching to ESR: Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use.

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I am finding quantum much better for my old Mac with older OS X, I suppose because of less memory usage, than what I was using before. Thank you, I hope it won't be too painful to switch

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hithx said

is the portable version only for windows? I don't see any other option. Is that a mobile app? It looks like on a video that you're able to use the portable version on a desktop? Thanks

Portable Firefox is basically the desktop Firefox for Windows from www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ but in a more self contained setup with profile so you can even run it completely off a usb flash drive for example. Normally third-party options are not allowed to use the Firefox name and icons however portable Firefox is allowed.