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Lolu chungechunge lwabekwa kunqolobane. Uyacelwa ubuze umbuzo omusha uma udinga usizo.

Too many profiles

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  • 1 inale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu cor-el

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We have three 2012 R2 terminal servers with about 75 users. Disk space for local windows profiles has recently gotten short and while investigating I found nearly all users have a default Firefox profile and then seven default-release-1 (1-7). Each of these files is from 165mb to 1GB in size so I estimate each user has 3GB of space used by old profiles. This times 75 user that is 225GB of wasted space on each terminal server!

Why is the one 64bit Firefox install creating some many profiles?

Also, is there any way to limit cache file storage. Personally, I've never noticed any performance difference in a 25meg vs 250 meg cache allocation and the impact on space with many users is considerable.


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Hi Marty, Firefox normally re-uses the profile as long as the same or higher version of Firefox is started. It will create a new profile if a lower version of Firefox is executed on the system -- the user gets a warning at run time, so this is not a silent behavior.

If that is not the cause, hmm, could it be something about how updates are installed?

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Thanks for the information but I'm not sure where to go next. We have had complaints of a message about using an old version but have no idea how that can even happen. We reboot the terminal servers each night and have locked down updates on Firefox as the updates seem to happen randomly and inconsistently.

But as you can see with 75 users it is a real problem. And I'm not even clear how can a terminal server have more than one install or version of Firefox on it? I don’t even know how to install multiple versions on one system. Also, it is doing the same thing across all three servers so it is not one install making it more perplexing.

Lastly, pragmatically - how to clean these up? Is the latest one the “safe/active” one?

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Hi Marty, I'm not personally familuar with Terminal Server. However, I assume it looks like a complete Windows installation.

Check both of the default paths for a possible dual install:

  • C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox -- default for new 64-bit installations, or 32-bit installations on 32-bit Windows
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox -- default for new 32-bit installations on 32-bit Windows, legacy installation folder from when Firefox cross-upgraded to 64-bit

There have been reports of updates installing under the default path instead of the legacy path, causing a dual install. I haven't seen anyone explain how it happened.

To know which profile folder is the one the user was using most recently, you probably would need to check the timestamps. However, to know which profile folder is the current default profile that Firefox uses at startup and in which it opens external links, you can look in the profiles.ini and installs.ini files in the %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox folder. If those files show multiple installs, well, user input might be needed to know what they have been using and want to move forward with.

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Firefox shouldn't create new profiles this way. This is not the result of a refresh as that would create a new profile with a timestamp appended. This looks more that Firefox gets installed in a different installation folder (path) and the dedicated profile feature will refuse to use a profile used by another installation path.

Is Firefox installed locally or is it loaded from the terminal server what can make Firefox think that this is a different installation ?

You can check the times.json file in a profile in "AppData\Roaming" to find its original creation date and possibly compare this with the release dates of Firefox.

You can use this JavaScript code in the console to convert the Epoch number to a date-time.

alert(DT+"\n\n"+(new Date(Number(DT))).toLocaleString());