If you are ever in a situation when your HDD got busted and you are left alone with nothing but a Ubuntu ISO; If you find installing Flash Player and Firefox Add-ons every time you boot up the system is annoying, then here is a way to resolve that.
In this following article I will describe you, how exactly you can copy your whole Mozilla Firefox Web Browser along with you where ever you go (Or how you can keep a complete portable backup of your Firefox profile).
Let me assume here, you are running everything from a Live USB and you are running Ubuntu 11.10.
The first thing we need to do is download the Firefox tarball from Mozilla.org. To do so fire-up your default browser and point that to : http://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/26.0/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-26.0.tar.bz2
The file you will get is : firefox-26.0.tar.bz2
Now follow the following steps:
Step 1. Go to Desktop. Create a Folder “Mozilla Firefox” there.
Step 2: Extract the contents of “firefox-26.0.tar.bz2”. After extracting, rename the folder “firefox” to “Executables”. Move the “Executables” folder into the “Mozilla Firefox” folder.
Step 3: Create a another folder “Profiles” inside “Mozilla Firefox”. Again create another folder “Default” inside “Profiles”. The path will be like this: (Mozilla Firefox/Profile/Default).
Step 4. Go to the home directory (/home/ubuntu/). Un-hide all hidden folders. If you have used Firefox before, then you will see a folder (.mozilla) there (/home/ubuntu/.mozilla). Close (all instances of) firefox if running and Delete that .mozilla folder.
Step 5: Now go to your newly created “Executables” folder. There you will find a executable file “firefox”. Double click it. It will fire-up the Firefox browser.
Step 6. Install all the add-ons, make all the preferences changes, theming etc. After completing all these, close all instances of Firefox.
Step 7: Again open your home directory. You will see a newly created .mozilla folder there. Open that folder. Go to ->firefox -> xxxxx.default.
Copy the “xxxx.default” folder to “/home/ubuntu/Desktop/Mozilla Firefox/Profile/. This is folder which contains all profile data (Installed Addons, Bookmarks, themes, Preference changes etc.)
Rename xxxx.default to “Default”.
Step 8: Create an empty document within “/home/ubuntu/Desktop/Mozilla Firefox/”. Open the document in Gedit and paste the following lines there:
“../Mozilla Firefox/Executables/firefox” -profile “../Mozilla Firefox/Profile/Default”
Save it as “Launcher”. Make the file (Launcher) executable by Opening its “Properties” -> Permission tab -> Check “Allow executing file as a Program”.
You are done. Now double click on “Launcher” -> “Run” to run Firefox.
Step 9. After you finish testing, close all firefox instances. Compress the folder “Mozilla Firefox” as “Mozilla Firefox.tar.bz2” and save that to your Pen Drive or DVD for future use.
In future when you need to use Firefox again, just Copy/Extract the “Mozilla Firefox.tar.bz2” to desktop and then double-click the “Launcher” to fire-up the browser. You will find all the customizations and add-ons are there intact.
Now if you do not intend to install Flash Player again and again, do the following things:
Step 1. Go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and get the .tar.gz file. Here is a direct link:
Step 2: Extract the contents of “install_flash_player_11_linux.i386.tar.gz” to desktop. Copy/Paste “libflashplayer.so” to “/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins”. Restart the browser to load the Plugin.
Step 3: For future use make a copy of “libflashplayer.so” to your Pen Drive or DVD. Again in future, when you need to install Flash Player just copy/paste that “libflashplayer.so” to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins.