I have three separate Firefox profiles, and while I have no problem running them at the same time (via ProfileSwitcher add-on), the default behavior of the Unity Launcher's Firefox icon is to launch the profile that was used last.

Most of this time, this is fine, but sometimes I'd like to select which one I'd like to run. I am thinking that a quicklist menu on the Firefox launcher is a better way to do this than having multiple launchers.

However, I'm not sure how to do this.

  • Is the ProfileSwitcher add-on still available for download?If not,which Firefox version are you using? – ignite Sep 13 '12 at 16:57
  • I am using 15.0.1. The ProfileSwitcher is not available on the Mozilla add-ons site, so I downloaded and installed it from here: nic-nac-project.org/~kaosmos/profileswitcher-en.html – HDave Sep 13 '12 at 17:50
  • @ignite: you just need to pass -p to the firefox command to get a profile switcher. – RolandiXor Sep 13 '12 at 18:08
  • As @HDave has particularly mentioned ProfileSwitcher add-on,I doubted that he might be using an older version of Firefox for which Profile Manager option might not have existed. – ignite Sep 13 '12 at 18:42
  • @ignite: the profile switcher addon is technically not needed, since the built in profile switcher still seems to be there even in FTP builds. – RolandiXor Sep 13 '12 at 18:53

You can edit the Firefox quicklist with Ubuntu-Tweak.

(Click here to see how to install Ubuntu Tweak).

Once you have Ubuntu-Tweak installed...


  • Open Ubuntu-Tweak.
  • Navigate to "Admins".
  • Choose "QuickLists Editor"
  • Find the icon that matches the one you want to edit (in this case Firefox).
  • To add your new QuickList items:
    • Click the "+" button to add a new item.
    • Enter firefox -p as the command (to open the profile manager).
    • For individual profiles, you can use firefox -P <profilename>.
    • Name it whatever you want.
    • Click save.
  • The quicklist is update automatically.
    QuickList Example
    Above is an example.

The list of options you can use in your quicklist are as follows:

Usage: firefox [ options ... ] [URL]
       where options include:

X11 options
  --display=DISPLAY  X display to use
  --sync             Make X calls synchronous
  --g-fatal-warnings Make all warnings fatal

Firefox options
  -h or -help        Print this message.
  -v or -version     Print Firefox version.
  -P <profile>       Start with <profile>.
  -migration         Start with migration wizard.
  -ProfileManager    Start with ProfileManager.
  -no-remote         Do not accept or send remote commands; implies -new-instance.
  -new-instance      Open new instance, not a new window in running instance.
  -UILocale <locale> Start with <locale> resources as UI Locale.
  -safe-mode         Disables extensions and themes for this session.
  -jsconsole         Open the Error console.
  -browser           Open a browser window.
  -new-window  <url> Open <url> in a new window.
  -new-tab     <url> Open <url> in a new tab.
  -preferences       Open Preferences dialog.
  -search     <term> Search <term> with your default search engine.
  -private           Enable private browsing mode.
  -private-toggle    Toggle private browsing mode.
  -setDefaultBrowser Set this app as the default browser.

      -g or --debug          Start within debugger
      -d or --debugger       Specify debugger to start with (eg, gdb or valgrind)
      -a or --debugger-args  Specify arguments for debugger

Found by running firefox --help.

  • Really could not have been any easier...thanks. – HDave Sep 13 '12 at 18:46
  1. First you need to install Ubuntu Tweak. To install Ubuntu Tweak:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
  2. Now open Ubuntu Tweak (using dash or otherwise). Go to Admins>QuickLists Editor.
  3. There would be Firefox Listed in left panel. Click on that. You will see a list of shortcuts for Firefox in right panel.
  4. Add a new shortcut with name of your choice and in the Command option write:
    firefox -P profile_name
  5. Click Save.
  • Great answer, but the other guy beat you to the punch by a 1 minute...thanks though. – HDave Sep 13 '12 at 18:47

use firefox -P to start with the profile manager and uncheck the box "don't ask at startup."

Every time you start firefox, it will ask you to select a profile.

  • That will work, but it is not nearly the same thing as adding menu items to the Unity Launcher Quicklist. – HDave Feb 15 '13 at 21:10

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