Citrix XenApp

Using Firefox in an environment with Microsoft roaming profiles

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By default, Firefox stores it’s profile cache in "C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles". This can be problematic when using roaming profiles with a limited amount of profile storage space due to quotas. As you add extensions, it grows even bigger. This is a big problem in XenApp/XenDesktop/View and other VDI environments using roaming profiles. You’ll soon start getting errors saying you are almost out of profile storage space or that you have exceeded your profile storage space. Something like this (note I just grabbed this screenshot from a Google Image Search, you would normally see a bunch of Mozilla Firefox related files in there eating up the space):

The solution is to move the profile out of the user folder and into another local folder or onto a network drive/home folder, thus reclaiming the profile storage space. For example, I created "c:\FireFoxProfile" to house the profile. Here is what you need to do to begin using this folder:

1. Edit "C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini" in Notepad and change:

IsRelative=1

to

IsRelative=0

What this does is allow you to use an explicit path that you specify for the profile.

2. Change the next line from:

Path=Profiles/xxxxxxx.default

to

Path=c:\FireFoxProfile\xxxxxxx.default

3. Save profile.ini and restart Firefox. You will notice that immediately, the new profile folder is populated. Keep in mind when you open Firefox for the first time, it will be like a brand new install and you will lose all of your bookmarks, extensions, customizations, etc. unless you restore them from the old path.

4. You can delete everything in your old profile path once you have Firefox working in the new profile path. This will immediately reclaim your roaming profile storage space.

NOTE: If deploying to the entire corporation, there are other methods to centrally manage Firefox and control the deployment. This solution is good for the one off users though.

About Jason Samuel

Jason Samuel lives in Houston, TX with a primary focus on strategic advisory and architecture of end-user computing, security, enterprise mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, & VMware. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and networking over his 20+ year career in IT. He is an Author, Speaker, and Local User Group Community Leader. He is certified in several technologies and is 1 of 63 people globally that is a recipient of the prestigious Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award. He is 1 of 42 people in the world that has been awarded as a VMware EUC Champion and VMware vExpert. He is a featured author on DABCC which provides the latest IT Community News on Cloud, Data Center, Desktop, Mobility, Security, Storage, & Virtualization. In his spare time Jason enjoys writing how-to articles and evangelizing the technologies he works with. Disclaimer: The content and opinions expressed in articles and posts are his own and are by no means associated with his employer.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrew Newey

    April 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Awesome Jason. Was sick of cleaning out my cache. Will try moving profile out of this standard folder to fix my space probs. Cheers!

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