All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.
I have different Firefox profiles for each version I have installed on my system and I know I can specify the profile name I want to use like this:
/Applications/Minefield.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -P minefield
Is it possible to create a dock icon or alias with additional parameters (just like in this article with shortcuts on windows)? That way I could have as many profiles as I want and wouldn’t see the profile manager everytime I start the browser.
How to solve :
I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.
It’s a bit more work to do this on mac but this is what you want:
The custom Firefox icons are still available from Gnome-Look.org
Script Editor based solution was quite slow for me, so I looked for an alternative.
I ended up creating an application bundle with a bash script inside – see details at Using Firefox profiles on Mac OS X.
Here in the future I run multiple Firefoxes, each with unique Dock icons, app names, and unique & separate user profiles.
- to have multiple GMail, Twitter, Github etc. accounts simultaneously logged-in
- to group websites by concept: coding, comms, news, finance, video, music
- to label them by concept /Applications and the tab-switcher, and provide unique visual identity with different MacOS .icns file
- to bucket my cookie exposure, in order to avoid over-sharing my movements about the internet with le Goog, social media, and advert tracking firms
How I did it
1. Copy Firefox (bulky at 360GB per copy, I know, but haven’t found another viable option, see below)
sudo cp -r ...
- Rename the new app folder from
Firefox copy.appto whatever,
FF Proxied.appin my case
2. Give your FF copy a new visual identity
- Change the icon by right-clicking
FF Proxied.appand clicking
Get Info, then drag your new icon onto the Firefox icon, replacing it. Close the Get Info dialog
- [You can create a
.icnsfile using Python console script
generate-iconsetmade by retif. Be sure to start from a square PNG image, and I use GIMP to turn background into transparency by adding an alpha channel.
- Change the app label (displayed in macOS’s menubar) by editing
FF Proxied.app/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/InfoPlist.stringsand changing its contents from
CFBundleName = "Firefox";to
CFBundleName = "FF Proxied";
3. Give your FF copy its own user profile
mkdirmine under ~/ff_profiles, and you may want to create a similar top-level folder for your FF profiles
mkdir ~/ff_profiles/proxied(for example)
FF Proxiedin Profile Manager, like so-
$ /Applications/FF\ Proxied.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox --ProfileManager
- Once in Profile Manager dialog-
- name the profile whatever
- navigate to the folder you just
mkdir‘d, then click
- Back in the Profile dialog, ensure the profile you just created is highlighted, and that you’ve checked the checkbox
[X] Use the selected profile without asking at startup
- now click
4. Add your new FF copy to the Dock
- in Finder, navigate to
FF Proxied(or whatever you named yours), and drag it onto the Dock
5. Test it
- click your "new app" on the Dock
- separate app instances
- separate visual identities (icons, labels)
- provides a fairly durable and concept-limited container for groups of websites
- I no longer hunt for open tabs anymore (yes I used the
switch to tabfeature before this, but that doesn’t solve the concept-grouping need)
- better than all the tab and window organizer extensions I’ve tried on both FF and Chrome
- more disk space consumed
- each copy will prompt you update when new versions come (but each copy does indeex update only its own copy)
- the overhead of running multiple FF instances
- you have to set up preferences from scratch for each FF copy
- I tried copying prefs folders, but they appear to have baked-in whatever path they were created on, annoyingly
Other options I tried
- Platypus: no joy; it’s meant for CLI scripts, not GUI apps
- Script Editor: same experience as @Nickolay (above)
- Firefox’s Multi-Account Containers extension? Not in my experience, because-
- a domain name can belong only to a single container
- therefore having several gmail.com’s open doesn’t work very well
- opening new tabs for a container is awkward
- the extension doesn’t seem to manage cookie separation very well, and sometimes I find that a site I logged into on one tab, will not be logged in when I visit the same site in a new tab
- Symlinking all but the menubar label file (
- This runs into a weird bug where Firefox cannot access files under symlinked folders, e.g. …/Content/Resources/omni.ja (zipfile archive apparently containing Firefox’s JS chrome code)
- see my attempt at a Firefox symlinker script here
- If the symlink bug was fixed, symlinked clones of Firefox would mainly cost the diskspace for the .icns file, folders & symlinks, and
All corrections & suggestions will be appreciated.
Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂