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Old 09-18-2008, 03:59 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 33

Rep: Reputation: 15
Can't get Firefox started

Hi guys, I installed FC8 on my machine a short while ago and until recently it's run just fine. But when I open Firefox as root, it makes me wait for a very long while and when I attempt to open another instance of FF, it informs me that an instance is already running and that I should turn it off first. What's funny and strange is that I don't have the same problem when I open FF as a normal user. Anyone has any clue?
Old 09-18-2008, 06:27 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 12.10 (using awesome wm though)
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Although it is not the reason for the delay, you should not run a web browser as root. A web browser is a very high-risk application from a security point of view, and you should never run one as a privileged user. For a discussion of the reasons for this, please read this post.

As to the reason for being slow... It could be that there is some junk in the configuration of the browser - corrupt or messy cache files, history etc. Maybe some extensions which are not behaving well.

To check if this is the problem, go to the root home directory and rename the .mozilla directory to something else. First close/kill all instance of firefox which are running as root. In a terminal logged in as root (# is the prompt here):
# mv ~/.mozilla ~/.mozilla.old
Then start firefox and see if it works OK.

If not, and you want your old bookmarks and so on back, just kill all firefox instances and then do this to put back the original .mozilla directory. The "cd" just makes sure you are in the home directory of the root user):
# rm -rf ~/.mozilla
# mv ~/.mozilla.old ~/.mozilla
If that helps, or even if it does not, simply stop using a browser as root. You will not suffer the slightest inconvenience from using a browser as a regular user, and will significantly improve your security situation.

By the way, you should not log in to your graphical environment as root either. Re-read the link I posted at the top of this message - it is in response to someone who was asking about logging into their desktop environment as root.
Old 09-22-2008, 10:53 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 33

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks, for some reasons I had to switch to RedHat 4 and now I have another problem: Firefox starts alright but I can't access the Internet. Is there any thing I have to configure (modem, IP, proxy, etc) to get access to the Internet? (I also installed Windows XP on my machine and I still have an Internet connection with Windows).

Last edited by meo_beo; 09-22-2008 at 10:55 PM.


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