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Exporting Firefox with Addons and Profiles

Created: 26 Mar 2010 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010 | 3 comments
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I want to export firefox together with all addons and profiles installed already,
so I can reimport the vsa-file on another machine and can use all addons and profiles immediately.
What is the best way to manage this?
Firefox is installed in an application layer with option "keep in layer" activated.

Thanks for hints.

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Jordan's picture

Yes you can do this.

There are two ways.  The first is Firefox has global settings that include plug-ins and some profile stuff, you can set everything there and when you bring it to a new machine everything will automatically default to those settings for a user.

The second way is to record all those changes from a single SID to the layer's User Template which is basically like Default User in windows, all SIDs in the layer will inherit all of those settings.

Both of these methods can be created with the layer in capture mode (either during initial creation or by selecting "add to layer" in the context menu) or by using Create New Reset Point after having set everything (be sure to check "Copy current user's settings").

If a forum post solves your problem please flag is as the solution

herbon's picture

Jordan, thank you for reply.
I tried to follow your hints.But there were some problems.

My original idea was to create a vsa-file with all user defined changes included to use this on other machines.
My procedure was as follows:

I installed Firefox in an application layer and closed the installation process in SWV after that.
Then I have edited the profile menus and step by step I have installed several Firefox-addons.There were no problems and all worked fine.
I had activated the option "keep in layer" and thought the export of Firefox in a vsa-file would proceed together with the saved
profile and installed addons. But only the naked Firefox was exported as a reimport test in a virtual machine (Virtualbox) showed and the addons and profile changes were missed.
This is what I don't quite understand.

Following your hints didn't succeed unfortunateley.

Starting the capture process again or doing a new installation seems to be no way to install addons.
During the installation with still rotating icon of SWV I got no net access I need to download and install addons.
On the other hand while the capture process is open only exe- and msi-files are optional to add in that layer using the admin tool. So xpi-files of addons are not optional.

Editing the Firefox profile while installation capturing is still running is a solution but for saving the profile only.

I tried the the creation of a new reset point too and with "Copy current user's settings" activated. After that I couldn't start Firefox though the layer was activated.

Another way to solve the problem by Firefox itself needs a backup of the profile options and addons. But it seems that for addition of this in the Firefox application layer an exe file is necessary for installation as explained above.

Firefox is perhaps a prototype for applications with some or even a crowd of addons like Thundebird or media viewers.
To find out a simple and save handling for export and reimport of processes with specified user options included so maybe of some value and interest.

Jordan's picture

The issue with what you're seeing is that when you install the plug-ins they by default go to Appdata, so when you export the layer to a new machine you will not see them because they're in a user area (inside the layer) that doesn't exist. 

The easiest way to install plug-ins globally is to use the firefox command line switch -install-global-extension and point it to an XPI while still in capture mode.

I know that you can do this with firefox because I do this with our HP Virtual Firefox VSA that we ship.

If a forum post solves your problem please flag is as the solution