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I have always used a separate partition/drive for Data as well as having a separate partition for my home folder. I have now upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 and I found none of my profiles run under Classic Ubuntu or Unity. They still run perfectly if I use the 'straight' Firefox 4 firefox-mozilla-build from the Ubuntuzilla PPA.

The error message is:

Firefox cannot use the profile "??????" because it is in use. To continue, close the running instance of Firefox or choose a different profile.

This message is apparently given if the profile is locked or if the profile can not be found. It is clearly not a stale lock file as it occurs when you try to create a new profile so it would seem firefox cannot find or has access blocked to the Profile.

I have narrowed the problem down even further and my existing profiles will run in the default location ~/.mozilla/firefox or in a sub-folder below that location. I can also create new profiles in the same locations but not elsewhere.

I have edited profiles.ini to see if it is related to the IsRelative addressing and that is not the cause as one can change a relative to absolute location without problems.

I am baffled. Is this a bug in the modifications for Unity compatibility or a security feature which can be enabled/disabled? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The answer from comments below ended up being to change Firefox's AppArmor settings.

Below maintained for history


First I would remove the firefox-mozilla-build, since Ubuntuzilla is no longer an active project. Also make sure your browser is actually using ~/.mozilla/firefox and not ~/.mozilla/firefox-4.0. Depending on the ppa you are using, the profiles will be cloned to different folders.

I suppose you have already tried to delete the lock file under your profile.

As "maco" already pointed out, you can create a symlink for the entire profile folder. If that doesn't work (it should work), then verify the profile paths by opening the profiles.ini file with a text editor.

I also recommend using the new standalone Profile Manager.

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Thanks, The problems is not to do with lockfile - I tried that first. –  Peter Curtis May 11 '11 at 13:10
    
I have been using firefox-mozilla-build and first got the problem when I removed it. I have checked profiles.ini and edited it to check IsRelative as the source of the problems. No firefox-4.0 folder. I am sure the symlink approach will work but I would like to get to bottom of it as I use Unison for transferring and backing up profiles between machines. It still looks as if it is a real restriction on the location of the profile perhaps for a Unity fudge. Has anyone duplicated the problem/feature –  Peter Curtis May 11 '11 at 13:32
    
It could be a permission issue. Try the symlink approach, just to make sure Firefox is able to save that in the data drive. –  lovinglinux May 11 '11 at 19:20
    
I have now tried a symlink from .mozilla/firefox to my normal folders on my DATA drive and again I can not access the profile in the folder to which the link has been set although I can use firefox -P to set up an entry in profile.ini which looks correct. Permissions look OK –  Peter Curtis May 12 '11 at 16:38
    
And just to make sure I can make a symlink to a folder under .mozilla and use a profile in it by running the old profile manager by firefox -P. If one can not even use a symlink then the common use of a profile on a USB drive carried between machines is ruled out. –  Peter Curtis May 12 '11 at 21:13

Create a symlink for the profile.

ln -s /Data/.mozilla/firefox ~/.mozilla/firefox
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Thanks, I will try that. –  Peter Curtis May 11 '11 at 13:26
    
I have now tried a symlink from .mozilla/firefox to my normal folders on my DATA drive and again I can not access the profile in the folder to which the link has been set although I can use firefox -P to set up an entry in profile.ini which looks correct. –  Peter Curtis May 12 '11 at 16:37
    
Please also see my comments to lovinglinux –  Peter Curtis May 12 '11 at 21:57

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