Firefox profiles tip!

30 Nov 2010

I like Firefox. Not because it is the fastest or it has the smallest memory footprint. I like it because I like it...

Ok, I have other reasons too. One main reason is its customization abilities. It can be a simple whitespace with an address bar or a web developer’s toolkit or everything you can build with the thousands of Firefox plug-ins (now called add-ons – extensions) https://addons.mozilla.org/.

My daily/casual internet browsing requirements differ from the web developing ones and one thing for sure is that I hate bloated software. Too many extensions installed equals to “bloated” for me.

Extensions I use for my daily/casual browsing:

Extensions I use for Web Developing:

Problem:

I/You do not want Firefox to load all these extensions every time I/you run it (especially the firebug extension…).

Solution:

Firefox profiles.

  1. Edit your desktop (or other location) Firefox shortcut (right click > Properties) and add the “ -profilemanager” (without quotes) at the end of the “Target” input. Click OK.
    firefox shortcut edit
  2. Rename that shortcut as Firefox Profile manager and move it under the Firefox program group for quick access later.
  3. Run the Firefox Profile manager shortcut. We will use the “default” profile for the daily/casual browsing. Create a new profile named whatever you want – in this case “WebDeveloper”.
    firefox profile manager
  4. Use the Firefox Profile manager to start the default profile. Make the changes you like and install the extensions you want. Exit Firefox. Start the Web Developer profile and install the relevant extensions. Exit.
  5. Create two new shortcuts of Firefox. Leave the one as “Firefox” and rename the other as “Firefox – WebDev”.
  6. Edit the first shortcut > Target:  > delete the “-profilemanager” (if you created the new shortcut by clonning the one you made at step 1,2) > add “ -p default” (without quotes) at the end.
    Edit the second shortcut > Target: > delete the “-profilemanager” (if you created the new shortcut by clonning the one you made at step 1,2) > add “ -p WebDeveloper” (or whatever you named the new profile) at the end.
  7. Now you have three shortcuts. The Firefox Profile manager, the Firefox and the Firefox – WebDev. The first one starts the profile manager, the second one starts the Firefox customized as you daily browser and the last starts the Firefox loaded only with your web developer extensions.
  8. Act accordingly. Copy and paste them at whatever locations you think is best for you (Desktop, Program Groups, Windows Taskbar etc.).

 

p.s. a good safari like Firefox theme https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/11227/

References