Bug 511192 - firefox -ProfileManager command line option does not work
firefox -ProfileManager command line option does not work
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: firefox (Show other bugs)
x86_64 Linux
low Severity medium
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Assigned To: Gecko Maintainer
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
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Reported: 2009-07-14 02:33 EDT by Michael Hampton
Modified: 2009-07-20 19:22 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2009-07-20 08:45:37 EDT
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Tracker ID Priority Status Summary Last Updated
Mozilla Foundation 505353 None None None Never

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Description Michael Hampton 2009-07-14 02:33:26 EDT
Description of problem:
The -P (-ProfileManager) command line option to firefox does not work if Firefox is already running. A workaround is available (below).

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Install Fedora 11 and current updates.
2. Create two or more Firefox profiles and uncheck the "Don't ask at startup" option in Firefox Profile Manager.
3. Start a copy of Firefox with one profile.
4. Start a second copy of Firefox with "firefox -P" or "firefox -P SecondProfile".
Actual results:
The running copy of Firefox opens a new window with the Fedora start page http://start.fedoraproject.org/ using the original profile.

Expected results:
A new copy of Firefox should start with the Profile Manager open, to choose or create a new profile, or start with the profile specified on the command line, if any.

Additional info:
The issue occurs whether firefox is called as firefox, /usr/bin/firefox, or /usr/lib64/firefox-3.5/firefox.

In testing, I found that using -no-remote along with -P gives the desired behavior. However, I found that -no-remote was not necessary with -P on Firefox 3.5 on Windows, which is the expected behavior.

Using -P should start a new copy of Firefox regardless of whether -no-remote is given, as it does on Windows, since this is the behavior users will expect. I describe it as a problem here precisely because the current behavior is unexpected. For instance, it is possible for an unwary user to attempt to start a second profile using, e.g. firefox -P SecondProfile and think that the new profile is in use when the new window appears, when the new window is part of the originally opened profile. The unwary user could inadvertently compromise his own security if he uses multiple profiles to segregate his browsing activities, as many people do.

This may be an upstream issue, but a search of mozilla's bugzilla turned up nothing describing this issue.
Comment 1 Matěj Cepl 2009-07-20 08:45:37 EDT
> Using -P should start a new copy of Firefox regardless of whether -no-remote is
> given, as it does on Windows, since this is the behavior users will expect.

Do you see that word "should"? This is a request for change, because Firefox behaves as its authors intended it to work (you are just supposed to use "-no-remote"). You may not agree with programmers' decision that -no-remote should be used, and you won't be alone in this disagreement, but the proper venue for such change is upstream, and you should file this bug upstream (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org) yourself.

Closing as NOTABUG, because we don't believe this is a bug (i.e., a difference between expected and real behaviour of the program). If you disagree, please, reopen with reasons why you do so.
Comment 2 Michael Hampton 2009-07-20 19:22:10 EDT
Thanks for confirming that this should be reported upstream.

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