Firefox 3.6 refusing to start

I started having an issue on my Linux box shortly after firefox 3.6 came out:  it simply refused to start.  It'd try, but then just quit, without ever displaying anything or printing any errors.

Whenever I investigated with 'firefox -safe-mode', it'd start OK, and then when I quit and started it normally, it'd be OK again.  I vaguely recall having this happen to me on the odd occasion before, but this time it had become 100% [un]reliable, to the extent that I wrote a script that started firefox in safe-mode every time, letting me quit it, and then started it normally.

Fortunately, I stumbled across a discussion about this issue (well, several, but most were unrelated), and I thought I'd share the outcome, in case anyone else sees the problem (there don't seem to be many of us).

This is not an explanation, but a work around:  it seems to be something to do with a file in your profile called compatibility.ini.  I've no idea what it does for you, but it appears as if it's removed by safe-mode, and when it's there, at least for me, firefox won't start.

And yes, I did try going through all my extensions to see if one was the culprit.  Unfortunately, it wasn't anything obvious:  I could make things work when all extensions were disabled, but simply turning them back on one-by-one didn't help:  I'd reach one that seemed to cause a failure, skip it, but then the next would too, even though that had worked stand-alone.  It seems to be more a case of the volume of extensions turned on.

Anyway, I'm now using this script (~/bin/firefox) to start firefox.  When the next version comes out, maybe I'll try without and see what happens.  It doesn't seem to have any adverse affects.

  1. #!/bin/bash
  2. PATH=/home/nabird/usr/mozilla/install/firefox:${PATH}
  3. pgrep -U $USER firefox-bin > /dev/null  ||  \
  4. { [ -f "$HOME/.firefox/compatibility.ini" ]  &&  \
  5. mv "$HOME/.firefox /compatibility.ini" "/tmp/$USER-compatibility.ini"; }
  6. exec firefox "$@"

I'm moving it to /tmp and not deleting it ... well, just in case.


About fnx

PSN: the_phoenix
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