How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time

In: Mozilla|Open Source

20 Aug 2007

Firefox 3, or Gran Paradiso, is really shaping up with some pretty cool new features being implemented in the recent months. That’s not including the cool FUEL (Firefox User Extension Library) JavaScript library that promises to make extension development a bajillion times more productive, Places for data storage, and the use of Cairo for graphics.

The problem with playing around with Firefox 3 is (by default) you can’t run both Firefox 2 and 3 at the same time since they both insist on using the same profile and insist on running only 1 copy of Firefox at any one time.

Want to get in on checking out the new features but still want good old Firefox 2? Here’s how:

  • First, you should create a new profile just for testing Firefox 3. You should do this to keep your precious Firefox profile safe from any problems in Firefox 3. Otherwise, Firefox 3 will use your current Firefox 2 profile by default. You can create a new profile easily with the Profile Manager, which you can access by running:

    /path/to/firefox -profilemanager -no-remote

    (Thanks to Jeff for pointing out that there is no need to close Firefox first before creating a new profile.)

    Firefox profile manager


    Create a new profile (I gave it an obvious name, ‘minefield’, which is the codename of the current Firefox trunk). If you get confused, the official Firefox website has more detailed instructions on how to create a new profile.

  • Now, you should already have one of the Firefox nightly builds. If not, you can download the latest nightly build from the Firefox nightly build directory. You can start up Firefox 2 normally (just so you can see Firefox 2 and 3 running side by side). For Firefox 3, we’re going to start it differently.
  • We’re gonna run Firefox 3 using our newly created profile. I’d written earlier on how you can run two Firefox profiles at the same time, and you can still do the same with Firefox 3:

    /path/to/firefox3 -P minefield -no-remote &

    The ‘minefield’ in the command is the name of the profile we created earlier. Windows users should leave out the ‘&’ (on UNIX-based systems, this just runs Minefield in the background so that you can exit your terminal).

  • Firefox 3 should start up with your new clean profile!

    Firefox and Minefield icons in my Mac OS X dock


    That’s the Firefox 3 (Minefield) icon living right next to my Firefox 2 icon in my dock (yeah, I use a Mac).

Andy Croll (who works at Bezurk too) has written a convenient little AppleScript so you don’t have to repeat these steps.

Just so I can put up another screenshot (as if I needed to prove that this really works), here’s Firefox 2 and one of the recent Firefox 3 nightly builds running side by side:


Have fun! I think I’ll get back to watching the development of the trunk (now that it’s getting more exciting) like I used to in the build up to Firefox 1 and 2. I may even make some posts!

76 Responses to How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time

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How to run Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 at the same time « Linker’s researches

August 21st, 2007 at 4pm

[...] Pubblicato da linker su 21 Agosto 2007 I’ll provide a link to a good article explaining how to obtain this: here. [...]

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K-IntheHouse

August 21st, 2007 at 9pm

Hey, that’s a great tip! I have been waiting to get my hands on but didn’t realize I could use Profiles to run them side by side! :-)

Cheers.

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jeff

August 22nd, 2007 at 11am

:) this is great!!! you’ve managed to blog down (as well as add some stuff to) what i’ve known previously…

Btw, you can improve on that “first” point by adding ‘-no-remote’, so that there is no need to close firefox first before creating a new profile…:

/path/to/firefox -profilemanager -no-remote

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User First Web » links for 2007-08-23

August 23rd, 2007 at 3pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time – redemption in a blog (tags: firefox testing) [...]

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jeff

August 23rd, 2007 at 5pm

AHEM, AHEM!!! :) Making more noise than a twitter, hopefully…

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How to Run Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 Simultaneously | ShanKri-la

August 24th, 2007 at 10am

[...] if there was a way to run Firefox 3 & Firefox 2 simultaneously, I came across a post on Redemption in a Blog on how to do [...]

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Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time | Firefox.hk

September 20th, 2007 at 12pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time [...]

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Firefox 3 beta test at folbert dot com

November 21st, 2007 at 5pm

[...] The first beta of Firefox 3 is out. If you, like I, want to test it and want to be able to run it alongside Firefox 2, here’s how. [...]

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WWD Coffee Break - Firefox, Shopping & Comics « Web Worker Daily

November 22nd, 2007 at 12am

[...] yesterday, Firefox 3 Beta 1 is out. If you want to test without messing up your Firefox 2 install, create a separate profile. Or install the Nightly Tester Tools to re-enable any addons that get disabled if you upgrade. To [...]

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» WWD Coffee Break - Firefox, Shopping & Comics - Your Gadget Pro

November 22nd, 2007 at 1am

[...] yesterday, Firefox 3 Beta 1 is out. If you want to test without messing up your Firefox 2 install, create a separate profile. Or install the Nightly Tester Tools to re-enable any addons that get disabled if you upgrade. To [...]

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Does Not Piss Me Off » Blog Archive » Multiple Instances of Firefox at the same time

November 24th, 2007 at 11am

[...] turns out that there’s a -no-remote option that seems saner than MOZ_NO_REMOTE (also at How-To [...]

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monk.e.boy

December 3rd, 2007 at 6pm

Hey, cool. Thanks for the tip man!!

monk.e.boy

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?????? ?? ???????????? ? ??????… « ???? ?????? ???????

December 7th, 2007 at 8pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time [...]

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Firefox Mastery » How to use Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 on the same system

December 10th, 2007 at 2am

[...] the normal versions of Firefox 3 and Firefox 2. This is understandable as well. A post on the Codefront blog explains how this can be achieved without facing the difficulties of sharing a profile. The [...]

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Black Dove

December 11th, 2007 at 3am

great post but how can we do that with both of portable firefox 2,3 ?

its portable so where we can save the new profile that we will make so we can use both of them at any pc ?

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How to use Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 on the same system - www.Tech-Dump.com

December 13th, 2007 at 1am

[...] the normal versions of Firefox 3 and Firefox 2. This is understandable as well. A post on the Codefront blog explains how this can be achieved without facing the difficulties of sharing a profile. The [...]

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Y Karmi

December 22nd, 2007 at 7am

So here’s a little thing I’ve done after following the instructions.

I’ll start by saying that I created two profiles. First one was called firefox2 and the second one firefox3 (I completely ignored the default one) – Now I figured that I wouldn’t want to go through this whole process every time – and appending the -p firefox flag to the shortcut didn’t work so I created a batch file. Here’s what I did – follow carefully.

For firefox2

1. Open notepad
2. Write this:

cd C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox
firefox.exe -P firefox2 -no-remote &
EXIT

3. Now there are two things you might want to change:
-The path (mine was C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox)
-The profile name (mine was firefox2)

4. Now choose file -> save as
5. Change “Save as type” from “Text Document (*.txt)” to “All Files”.

5. Save the file to your firefox installation folder

5. Choose a file name of firefox2.bat and click “Save”

6. Now download this nifty program: http://www.download.com/Bat-To-Exe-Converter/3000-2069_4-10715331.html

7. Open it. Under Bachfile select your file from your firefox folder.

8. Choose Ghost application right above complie

9. Click compile

10. Now go to your firefox installation folder and get rid fo the bat file

11. Right click the firefox2.exe file (which was converted from the bat file) and choose “Create Shortcut”

12. Right click the shortcut and click “Properties” then click “Change Icon” – you might receive an message saying there are no icons present – click okay.

13. Click browse and navigate to your firefox installation folder – select firefox.exe (the original) – then choose the top first icon and click ok, then ok again.

14. Right click the shortcut (which is now supposed to have the firefox icon) and choose “Pin to start menu”

15. Now click the windows “Start” button and you’ll see it (feel free to rename it).

Repeat those steps for firefox3!

Yay! :)
Chu Yeow – feel free to add this to your tutorial, and thanks for your great help with running both firefox2 and 3 alongside!

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A Fresh Cup » Blog Archive » Double Shot #88

December 28th, 2007 at 9pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time – Useful if you don’t want to gamble too much. If you’re on a Mac remember to put the package in a folder somewhere so you don’t overwrite your Firefox 2 install. [...]

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joe

January 21st, 2008 at 5am

Thanks a bunch for the info, it works perfectly. Now how can I make this browser with this profile my default browser, so that if I click on links in my email client etc, it will bring it up in minefield with this profile?

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Aaman

February 14th, 2008 at 1am

Thank you so much for this wonderful tip!

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VP

February 14th, 2008 at 5pm

Thanks, great tips!

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Andrew Hedges

February 15th, 2008 at 4am

A problem I’ve run into is that now I can’t set my default browser to be Firefox 2. Each time I set it, the system sets it back immediately to Firefox 3b2. Any workaround for this?

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fireyy blog » MultiFireFox ???firefox??????

February 24th, 2008 at 1pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time [...]

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??????, ??????, ???? ???? ??? » Blog Archive » ???????? 3 ??? 3

February 24th, 2008 at 2pm

[...] ??? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???????? 2? ??, ?? ??, ???? ??????? ?????? ???????? :). ?????? ?????? ??? ?? ????????? ???? ???: [...]

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Firefox

February 25th, 2008 at 3pm

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Eric Nguyen

March 14th, 2008 at 1pm

This worked great! A reminder that, in OS X, you have to use the path to the actual binary. So, for my Firefox:

/Applications/Firefox2.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox

I tried the path just to the .app, first, but that won’t work.

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Its all about feeling good » Blog Archive » Install and Run FireFox 2 and 3 simultaneously

March 15th, 2008 at 1pm

[...] Reference blog.codefront.net [...]

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links for 2008-03-17 | horrocio.us

March 18th, 2008 at 1am

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time – redemption in a blog Firefox 3 and 2 running simultaneously – mac and windows! (tags: Firefox firefox3 HowTo Tips firefox2 OSX Windows testing webdesign webdev debugging browsers development) [...]

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| ????

March 21st, 2008 at 7am

[...] ??3?4??????????Firefox3?Firefox2???????????? ????? How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time [...]

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Dominic

March 29th, 2008 at 2am

Hi, thanks for this posting, it helped me try out FF3 besides FF2 on Mac.

Now, I just found this app that even makes it easier to run them:
http://www.dangerouslyawesome.com/2008/02/22/more-than-one-firefox-beta-to-rule-them-all-a-dave-martorana-concoction/

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trm96

April 6th, 2008 at 4am

Hmmm alls I had to do on my Mac (Leopard) is create a new and i ran the profile selector and i just choose the appropriate profile for the version of I launch. It is kind annoying to have select the profile form the profile manager but it works ok for me (I can run 2 instances of firefox.app at the same time). Just today however I decided to install FF3 on my windows boxx and I found I could not do the same thing as I did on my Mac. Thanks for the info, I now can run both FF2 and FF3 on both my Mac and my windows boxx!

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Drew

April 9th, 2008 at 5pm

Thanks for the method! The new beta (beta 5 as I write) is actually looking good.

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From The Front-End » Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 windows media support

April 9th, 2008 at 10pm

[...] Fortunately there is an excellent guide on getting both Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 running at the same time thanks to Hikikomori’s blog redemption in a blog [...]

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SeanG

April 22nd, 2008 at 9pm

Very helpful! Thanks!

You can also launch Firefox’s profile manager like this:
firefox.exe -ProfileManager

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Emiel Mols

April 24th, 2008 at 6am

Hi,

Could you tell how you changed your dock item to pass the necessary arguments to the firefox3 binary? Thanks!

Emiel

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Shazbot Blog » Blog Archive » How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time | redemption in a blog

April 30th, 2008 at 5am

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time [...]

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jDavid.net “@” gmail.com

May 5th, 2008 at 3am

[...] my plug-ins break, I feel very web naked, which makes it hard to stay on the edge. You might try to install both FF2 and FF3b5 side by side so that you can dev in one, and play with the other, but you may not have success even if you [...]

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Firefox 3 trying to create world record - Page 3 - TechEnclave

June 5th, 2008 at 12am

[...] Release Notes ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.or…0%20RC%202.exe For separate installation.. <clicky> Note: while installation choose different [...]

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June 8th, 2008 at 6pm

[...] How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time | redemption in a blog(Ou comment gerer des profil sous firefox , faudras que je teste sur FF3.5, style pour avoir des profil fonction de la session de rbowse et accelerer le load de la version portable de Gellule [...]

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Confluence: General

June 13th, 2008 at 5pm

Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 running at the same time…

In case you haven’t heard, Firefox 3 is officially released on 17 June 2008 and they are promoting the hell out of it hoping to break the record for the number of downloads in a single day.  If you’re like me,……

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Francesco Biacca blog » Firefox 2 e Firefox 3 sullo stesso pc

June 18th, 2008 at 7am

[...] (via blog.codefront.net) [...]

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June 19th, 2008 at 12am

[...] of Firefox 3? What works and doesn’t? Did this installation walkthrough help? Hat Tip to Chu Yeow and Angus. addthis_url = [...]

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Como trabajar con Firefox2 y Firefox3 simultaneamente | aNieto2K

June 19th, 2008 at 2pm

[...] Si necesitas tener trabajando en paralelo las dos versiones de Firefox, puedes hacerlo siguiendo estos pasos: [...]

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June 20th, 2008 at 1am

[...] Eu encontrei um pequeno tutorial na internet que explica isso. [...]

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Running Firefox 2 & 3 in parallel … « Axel’s Travelog

June 24th, 2008 at 3pm

[...] procedure is available here in the “redemption in a blog”. This procedure worked for me a well under Windows but lacks a [...]

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deepak

July 2nd, 2008 at 10pm

i can’t found xxxxxxxxxxxx.default
when i was found that tj0gmw6d.default
what can i do
neewpali@gmail.com

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??????? ?? firefox 3 - Blog??? Portal v2 : The Next Step - Greek Community Portal & Forums

July 5th, 2008 at 9am

[...] ???? ?? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ??? firefox. ?? ????????? ?? firefox.exe -profilemanager -no-remote ???? ?? ??? ??????? ?? ????????? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ????????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ?????? firefox.exe. ???????????: How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time | redemption in a blog [...]

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Lenny

July 7th, 2008 at 5am

Great site though i also reccomend http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=613873 Both together sites is what it took for me to get ff v.2.0.0.15 and v.3 working at the same time.

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Khasali

July 14th, 2008 at 4pm

This works beautifully.. Thanks for the great tip.. However, when I try to open a link in say an email, I get the error message – “Firefox is already running but not responding”. This happens when I try to open html files from my local disk as well. Have you encountered this before?

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Khaz

July 24th, 2008 at 5pm

I thing that the better way is using one install firefox and second firefox in portable version or both to have in portable version

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Doppio Firefox? - Videogiochi Forum su Multiplayer.it

August 20th, 2008 at 9pm

[...] Mah prova qui se capisci anche solo un poco l’inglese How to have Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 running at the same time | redemption in a blog [...]

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MBWD

August 28th, 2008 at 1pm

For mac users, there’s a nifty little program that does this:

http://codecontortionist.com/software/mac-osx-software/multifirefox/

Also, I would like to point out to the dolts like myself that the instructions above (for using the terminal or command prompt) must be followed each time you want to run the two versions of Firefox simultaneously. It isn’t a “set it and forget it” instruction — and neither is Multifirefox.

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krajicek

September 4th, 2008 at 8pm

Hi lads,

i wonder is it possible to achieve some way that each version of firefox starts with its default profile even if it’s called by firefox.exe (e.g. from other application)?
i know there’s batch file trick or option to run firefox from cmd.exe but non of these solutions cover what i am after.

thanks in advance
tty
kr

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Update: More thoughts on Upromise

September 17th, 2008 at 5am

[...] one for you daily use and one for shopping. I run dual instances of Firefox (which I finally learned how to do a few months [...]

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Hello Firefox 2 at ITCOW

September 25th, 2008 at 12am

[...] to Fire 2.0.17 for me. It’s easy to do using Firefox’s Profile Manager. Read about it here. It allows me to run both 2 and 3 at the same time if needed to test stuffs out like the 360 pano I [...]

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Rob Marchand

November 21st, 2008 at 12am

Works like a champ! I need to run FF 2 for an application, but like the speed of FF 3. So now running both, thanks to your tips.

Thanks!
Regards,
Rob

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tom

November 21st, 2008 at 5pm

Hi there, could anyone explain more clearly how do I assign FF3 to my new profile as all I get after creating new profile is another copy of FF2. Also have not seen any info about installation it self as before I run it need to install it and that means overwrite the FF2 “firefox.exe” file unless there is any other way to do this which am missing. (talking MAC) thanks.

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leoo

November 30th, 2008 at 8pm

Thank you so much for this wonderful tip!

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craig

December 5th, 2008 at 6am

Thank you so much this will really help with my testing as I have found a number of inconsistencies between the two versions of FF.

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deniz33x

December 11th, 2008 at 11pm

Thanks for the tip!!

Happy Day’s

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Firefox ? - Page 3 | keyongtech

January 19th, 2009 at 12am

[...] Firefox-2 will be in the Internet Menu. Follow the link to get v 2 & 3 working together. > http://blog.codefront.net/2007/08/20…the-same-time/ It was wasy to downgrade and I now have Firefox-2. Have a nice day and enjoy the fruits of your [...]

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January 27th, 2009 at 7am

[...] to codefront.net I have two versions of firefox running at the same time on my windows xp machine. Something they [...]

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Ribx

February 10th, 2009 at 3pm

I am using 2 Profiles for a long time. The first one to browser the web, only with some addblocking extensions, the sencond one with dev tools and stuff. I guess until here its nothing special.

But, if you are on a *UNIX system as i am, you can link the password and bookmark files with each other, and have the same bookmarks and passwords in both browsers, also automatically updated in both.

regards

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Alex

March 24th, 2009 at 5pm

Thanks for the post! There is a quicker way to install FF2 next to FF3 (Windows only though…): http://www.whatwasithinking.co.uk/2008/06/26/on-web-development-how-to-install-firefox-2-next-to-firefox-3/

Keep up the good work :)

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jeroo

May 16th, 2009 at 11pm

“& (on UNIX-based systems, this just runs Minefield in the background so that you can exit your terminal).”

don’t know about MacOS, but in bash on linux, that will only run the command in the background so you can run other commands on the same terminal.

if you want to be able to close the terminal without exiting the program, you need to use nohup.

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NOdaddy.com

July 10th, 2009 at 5pm

it’s about time newer versions of firefox recognize prior version profiles and WARN the user before hijacking them… and go the extra mile of helping the user keep v2, v3, v3.5, v4 apart from new profiles

duh

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Kelly

January 17th, 2010 at 1am

thanks for the article. It prove useful for my code testing on the two browser version.

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AgeseamNask

August 9th, 2010 at 3am

good day !

my name is Glenda Morgan .
I need help to buy a 2009 Jaguar XKR-S .
perhaps someone can help to get such a 2009 Jaguar XKR-S .

Thank you

Glenda Morgan .

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AgeseamNask

August 9th, 2010 at 4am

hi to all !

my name is Paul Woods .
I need help to buy a good looking 2006 Mazda Kabura Concept .
please help to buy 2006 Mazda Kabura Concept .

Thank you

Paul Woods .

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Rodney Provo

December 31st, 2010 at 8am

Hi – really good web site you have made. I had a blast reading this posting. I wanted to publish a remark to let you know that the design of this site is very aesthetically sweet. I used to be a graphic designer, now I am a copy editor in chief for a software development company. I have always had fun playing with computing machines and am attempting to learn code in my spare time (which there is never enough of lol).

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Andrew

April 25th, 2011 at 5pm

Nice tips!

Is it possible to run three profiles at a time? Or even more?

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Chu Yeow

April 25th, 2011 at 6pm

@Andrew Sure, you can – I’ve 3 profiles running right now :) You just need to launch Firefox 3 times with “–no-remote”.

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Eli Rench

October 15th, 2011 at 1am

Hi there, You’ve performed an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and in my view suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

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Running Firefox 8 and Firefox 5 simultaneously

May 7th, 2012 at 12pm

[...] Source Answered by avirk [...]

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