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Old 03-11-2004, 08:58 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 169

Rep: Reputation: 30
Firefox only runs as root

Okay, I messed up and I need some help bailing myself out.

I recently installed the browser Firefox on my Mandrake 9.1 system. It was running fine. Then I decided I wanted to install the gestures extension so I could use mouse gestures while browsing (love those mouse gestures). When I tried to install the extension from my regular user I got an error because of lack of permissions. Being lazy and still something of a Newbie to linux I decided to not go through the hassle of figuring out where I needed to set the proper permissions. Instead I logged on as root with the GUI (naughty naughty, I know) loaded up Firefox and installed the extension with no problem. It worked, I was happy.

However . . . I am paying for my sins.

Foxfire will no longer work from my regular user. I open it up from the desktop and it gives me the profile manager. I choose my profile and tell it to start. The profile manager screen goes away and nothing happens. I open up again and try to load from the profile manager again and it gives me a message saying my profile is already running. But I don't see it anywhere. It is as if it is running in another dimension.

I'm guessing (and this is only a guess) that having installed the extension as root has now made the program run in some hidden place as root . . . or something like that.

In any case, I repent for having installed the extension as root and would really like for someone to tell me how to fix things so Firefox will once again work properly (and not just when logged onto the GUI as root).

Old 03-11-2004, 09:03 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 288

Rep: Reputation: 32
more likely that extension is running with root permissions. find out where it installed, and chmod it so you have user permissions.
Old 03-11-2004, 09:34 PM   #3
Registered: May 2003
Location: Cambridge, MA
Distribution: SuSE, RedHat, and OpenBSD
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 15
What's the output if you list all processes with:

ps -aux
Old 03-11-2004, 11:59 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: USexIRL
Distribution: *nix
Posts: 849

Rep: Reputation: 30
had this before.

you have a .phoenix folder in you /home/your_name dir

rename it:
ren /home/your_name/.phoneix /home/your_name/.phoneix.BAK

then start firefox as normal user.
Old 03-12-2004, 05:49 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 2

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after you .bak the phoenix dir you can recover your old bookmarks like so...
start firefox as the user (so it creates the new .phoenix folder and contents) then close firefox. open a term console then - su- to start this so you have the rites to pull this off.
drill down in the .phoenix.bak dir's to the (rand#dir).slt/bookmarks.html file (easy to find)
and copy the bookmark.html file to the same place you find it in the new .phoenix dir.
now fix the user permisions using chown back from root to the intended user/group
(do a ls -l) see what everything else in the dir is set like and match them.
you should end up with a dir that looks somthing like this:

me@here:~/.phoenix/default/6x2ur5pn.slt> ls -l
total 629
-rw------- 1 me users 3264 2004-03-10 19:35 bookmarks.html
drwxr-xr-x 2 me users 336 2004-03-12 17:20 Cache
-rw------- 1 me users 65536 2004-03-12 17:20 cert8.db
drwxr-xr-x 2 me users 160 2004-03-12 02:02 chrome
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 563 2004-03-12 17:20 cookies.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 207 2004-03-12 17:13 formhistory.dat
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 11498 2004-03-12 17:21 history.dat
-rw------- 1 me users 16384 2004-03-12 17:20 key3.db
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 2068 2004-03-12 17:20 localstore.rdf
lrwxrwxrwx 1 me users 15 2004-03-12 17:12 lock ->
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 287 2004-03-12 02:02 mimeTypes.rdf
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 1607 2004-03-12 02:02 panels.rdf
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 516 2004-03-12 16:41 prefs.bak
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 516 2004-03-12 16:41 prefs.js
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 720 2004-03-12 02:02 search.rdf
-rw------- 1 me users 16384 2004-03-12 17:20 secmod.db
-rw-r--r-- 1 me users 527490 2004-03-12 17:20 XUL.mfasl

when you open firefox as your user next time it should have the old bookmarks
(incl folders) in place :-)


please correct anything that is done(wrong or badly) here to simpler terms and actions if you can as i am a newbe also to linux. thnx
Old 03-12-2004, 07:32 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 169

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Firefox is running

Thanks for all of the replies.

czarherr - You are probably correct. The thing is, I didn't (don't) know exactly what file needed to be changed. I was kind of hoping someone else could tell me.

mossy - I don't think my problem was exactly the same as yours. I tried out what you suggested without success. (Maybe I just did it wrong) I also found the same instructions as you gave on the Internet (at the Firefox site, actually, I think) and from what I read of the explination there, my problem was not the same. As I understood this particular solution you gave was for if Firefox was upgraded and there was an old extension that didn't work with the new Firefox. This is my first version install of Firefox

Anyhow . . .

Pingswept - I ran the command line you gave. It said firefox was running under my user.

Netkinex - Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe it will come in use at a later time, but at this point I only just installed Firefox so I don't have anything that I need to save.

. . . . So, either czarherr or mossy could have been right in the advice they gave and I was just to stupid to follow it. However, I did manage to get Foxfire working again . . . only after nearly driving myself insane. In the end I did sort of what czarherr suggested . . . I made changed the permissions to 777 for every freaking thin in the .phoenix directory that mossy brought to my attention. But that was only after I uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox twice, copied and deleted various files . . . I think today was just a day where my ignorance was getting the better of me because I cannot believe that fixing such a bloody simple problem could be so hard.

Anyhow, it is working now, so I try to look at the bright side. Thanks for all the suggestions because they did at least get me started down the path of eventual success.
Old 03-13-2004, 12:28 AM   #7
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: USexIRL
Distribution: *nix
Posts: 849

Rep: Reputation: 30
yes in future the fix should be simple. Just delete the firefox dir and it's profile and then reinstall. Renaming it should have forced it to create another profile.


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