I'm using Firefox and Thunderbird profiles for different activities and have them running as separated instances (processes) on different virtual desktops.

This works great in general. But a big issue is that I can't directly open links from mails. I just get the message "Firefox is already running, but is not responding..."

Is there a way to configure the url handler such that it will open the site in a Firefox instance with a certain profile? I already tried to set the preference network.protocol-handler.app.http to /usr/bin/firefox -P myprofile , but that didn't change anything.

2 Answers 2


I found a fix at the link below. The additional instructions in comment #4 were necessary for me and hopefully will make it work for you.


  • 1
    Welcome to AU! Instead of just posting a link, it's more helpful to actually write out the directions and include a link as a reference. Apr 19, 2012 at 16:15
  • that's what I already tried
    – didi_X8
    Apr 19, 2012 at 17:30

Was looking for the answer to this and eventually found the following working solution:

In thunderbird set network.protocol-handler.warn-external.http (and network.protocol-handler.warn-external.https and network.protocol-handler.warn-external.ftp) to true. This causes Thunderbird to ask for an application when you try to open a link.

For the URL handler, instead of calling firefox directly, use a script where MOZ_NO_REMOTE is unset, e.g.

exec /usr/bin/firefox $1

(from http://forums-test.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=756575&start=0)

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