Using multiple Firefox profiles simultaneously


Some of you may already make use of it but I think it’s useful to know about it. As a web developer it could be speed up your workflow if you have two instances/profiles of Firefox — especially if you’re working with two monitors and want to preserve the window sizes/positions of Firefox. Personally, I’m using two Firefox-profiles: one for browsing (with some basic extensions) and another profile for development (used together with developer-extensions like Firebug, NoScript and MeasureIt).
The creation of Firefox-profiles is quite easy.
Windows-XP: ‘Start-button’ -> ‘Run’ and type
firefox -p

Mac OS X: Open the ‘Terminal’ and type
cd /Applications/
firefox-bin -ProfileManager
This will bring up the Firefox Profile Manager where you can create, rename and delete profiles for Firefox.
Firefox Profiles
So you’ll see the default-profile in the Profile Manager. Create a second profile (e.g. for web development) and remember the exact name of the profile. After creating the profile, press ‘Exit’ in the Profile Manager.
Now, there are different possibilities to use two independet Firefox instances using different profiles simultaneously. You could write a batch-file that includes parameters or you could start Firefox with parameters set in a shortcut.
I prefer the method of using Firefox-shortcuts with parameters. The magic parameter is called MOZ_NO_REMOTE’ and has to be set with some other options. So right-click anywhere on your desktop/folder and click ‘New -> Shortcut’. The line of your shortcut has to be as the following:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /c "SET MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1 && start "" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p "profilename""

So if you have created a second profile called ‘development’, your line has to be like this:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /c "SET MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1 && start "" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p "development""

That’s it. Just create two shortcuts with the corresponding profile-names in order to use two profiles simultaneously.

Article postedPosted in @ 06/20/08