Exporting my Firefox Profile to Debian

After installing Debian Etch, I have had trouble importing my Firefox profile. Debian has Firefox 2, whereas Windows has Firefox 3. Debian Lenny(testing), and Sid(unstable) have Firefox 3.

After a bit of research, I found that the problem is due to a change in the way Firefox bookmarks are stored. Firefox 3 stores bookmarks in places.sqlite, a sqlite table. (For the curious, sqlite is what the name implies – a lite subset of SQL). Previously, bookmarks were stored in bookmarks.html. Consequently, when I copied the profile folder from Windows to my Debian home, the bookmarks were as of the date just prior to installing Firefox 3.

Firefox does have an option, under Organize Bookmarks, to export bookmarks as HTML. However, all my attempts to do so failed. I tried running Firefox in safe mode (with all add-ons disabled), per a Mozillazine article, and with all other applications shut down. Further research found a bug report, 457441, Firefox will NOT Export bookmarks html file. The bug report is marked as fixed, as of Firefox 3.1. The problem is I don’t know when to expect Firefox 3.1, so I will probably just sit on my hands and wait. The second beta has just been released, so hopefully it won’t be too long a wait.

And the moral of the story is – Know Thy Software.

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