FF3 - Upgrade or clean install?

Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds

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Post Posted May 31st, 2008, 12:43 am


IMO, do a fresh Profile for 3.0! Firefox 3.0 has more changes to the makeup of the files contained in the Profile folder over 2.0, than all the previous release versions combined - I am talking Phoenix thru 2.0 combined. The only version that came anywhere close in the number of overall major changes was Firefox 0.9, which is when the "modern" (current) Profile Manager was introduced, but the individual files that comprise a Profile didn't change very much at all from Firefox 0.8 to 0.9.

Personally I create new Profiles when the actual release of a new version is made, even though I may have many "tester" Profiles that I created and used in the months that preceded the actual release of that new version. I am currently using 4 different Profiles in 2.0.0.x that I created in October of 2006 that work as well today as they did back then, and considering the number of extensions that I run in each Profile (like 40 to 70 extensions in each Profile) a year and a half is a long time for a Firefox Profile to work without having problems.

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Post Posted May 31st, 2008, 1:49 am

Toppo wrote:FF3 is still far from stable and not designed to upgrade v2, upgrading will definatelly destroy your cookies, plugins, formdata, bookmarks, and other stuff.

You need to install clean, otherwise your good old v2.0.0.14 is foobar.

As long as you dont install Firefox 3 to the same folder as Firefox 2, even the older profiles will work ok.

afx114 wrote:Hi,

I've been using Firefox since ye olden tymes, and I'm still rocking my 6 year old profile from the Phoenix days, upgrading all along the way. I've got various versions of files laying around from over the years: bookmarks.html, localstore.rdf, signons.txt, cookies.txt, etc. My questions is, for FF3, is is better to upgrade, or run a clean install? Is there any drawback to an upgrade? I have years and years of stored passwords, bookmarks, config tweaks, etc, and I'm wondering how much of that cruft may hinder FF3's performance. Performance is my #1 concern here.

Does anyone out there have experience on FF3 with a migrated profile that has been migrated numerous times in the past? Is it better to start fresh? Or is an upgrade just fine?

I think you should use FEBE.

From the FEBE AMO page: "FEBE backs up your extensions, themes, and (optionally) your bookmarks, preferences, passwords, cookies and just about everything else Firefox offers (it can even backup/restore your entire profile)."

After backing up everithing install firefox 3 to a new folder, remove your old profile and make a new one, and finally use FEBE to install all your setting back; tought, i think you should manually reinstall all of the addons, as many addons dont work animore with firefox 2, have bug or have different separate versions for firefox 3.

You can also use CLEO to make packages of your FEBE backups and install them over firefox or store them for safeguarding.


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Post Posted May 31st, 2008, 3:18 am

The problem with installing 3RC1 alongside 2 is that both will end up using the same profile unless you are careful.

Make sure you have a separate profile for each.

Make sure that whichever version is default, that version's profile is default in profile manager.

Make sure that whichever version is default, the path to that version's exe file is the path set in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > App Paths > firefox.exe
(an easier way to do this is to make sure your default version is installed last).

My RC1 is using a copy of my old profile, is running alongside as described above and is running fine. Lost nothing from the copied profile when RC1 upgraded it.

If you do these three steps, you will have no problems running the two versions side by side
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Post Posted May 31st, 2008, 6:34 am

the-edmeister wrote:"On Windows, Firefox 3 installs in a new folder." I found that to be totally false on W2K.

And totally false on Windows XP Pro SP2 too. The custom installation suggests installing in my Fx directory, Mozilla Firefox.

I'm not surprised. I expect an RC to behave like a normal update, i.e. overwrite the current installation and use the "default" profile. People who install an RC should know what they're doing and be very careful.

Edit: And it looks like everyone in this thread is "being very careful".
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Post Posted May 31st, 2008, 11:46 am

madmouse wrote:I think you should use FEBE.

From the FEBE AMO page: "FEBE backs up your extensions, themes, and (optionally) your bookmarks, preferences, passwords, cookies and just about everything else Firefox offers (it can even backup/restore your entire profile)."

FEBE sounds great. My only concern is that a lot of those preferences changed file formats (eg, bookmarks & history are now in a SQLlite database). Is FEBE smart enough to convert FF2.0 profile data into FF3.0 profile data?

I'm not concerned with ever going back to 2.0, or having 2.0 run in parallel to 3.0. I'm just formulating my gameplan for upgrading to 3.0 so that all of my data is retained, but it is done in the most efficient way. I want a lean, mean, 3.0. I don't want any 2.0 profile leftovers in my FF3.0 install. But I want to make sure all my stored passwords, form values, bookmarks, cookies, etc, are all retained.

I have the same concerns about addons like Foxmarks bookmarks synchroniser, but that is for another thread.


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Post Posted June 3rd, 2008, 1:09 pm

About using FEBE to migrate from Fx 2 to Fx 3:

First of all, FEBE was written as a backup/restoration tool, not a migration tool. In particular, FEBE Fx 2 profile backups should not be used to restore into a Fx 3 installation. With the introduction of the “Places” API in Fx 3, items such as bookmarks, cookies, passwords, and browser history will not restore successfully from a pre-Fx 3 install. FEBE 6.0 (currently in beta) is being completely re-written to accommodate the changes in Fx 3 and is not downward compatible.

Secondly, Fx 3 seems to migrate Fx 2 installs quite effectively and efficiently. I’ve upgraded many machines and have experienced little in the way of problems. I let Fx install into the default location and all bookmarks, cookies, passwords, extension preferences, history, and search plugins imported properly.

The only gripe I have (and it is a minor one) is that extension preferences are imported for all extensions -- currently installed and previously installed (and since deleted) whether enabled or not. Over time, the prefs.js (about:config) file becomes hopelessly bloated. But this not really a Firefox issue as much as an extension developer one. Since there is no enforced standard for creating preferences, there is no real way for Fx (or third party apps, for that matter) to clean them out.
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