I do a ton of little changes and tweaks on Firefox to get it running the way I want to.

Starting Firefox

First up, I run multiple profiles which can be set up by running:

firefox -P

This will load up the profile manager and let you add new ones and so on.  Add any ones that you want.  You can then call a version directly by running:

firefox -P Xoke --no-remote

The -P Xoke calls the profile manager and asks Firefox to run the Xoke profile (so you don’t get the box asking you).  The –no-remote allows more then one instance of Firefox to run, so you can run two profiles at once.

Once you have done that I go and edit some preferences.  I am doing this from memory, so I may have missed some, but next time I make a profile I will double check.

Show my windows and tabs from last time

Save files to /home/xoke/downloads
Always show the tab bar
Enable Javascript Advanced, disable everything there

That stops windows popping up and resizing themselves and hiding the address bar.  It does not stop javascript from running.

Default front Freesans.  Advanced.  Fonts to Sans Serif, Freesans or Terminus.  Minimum size 12 and do not allow pages to choose their own fonts.

This is just because I hate the serif fonts.  Also minimum size makes sure you don’t get websites with really really small text.  You will want to change this depending on your vision and what your screen size / resolution is.

That is about it for preferences.  I tend to install the following extensions on all profiles:


I set up a collection for most of the standard ones (except Firekeeper – it’s not under the mozilla addons).  So to load Ghostery, NoScript, CookieSafe, Adblock Plus, Secure Login, Download Statusbar and Tree Style Tabs just click here.

Security Related Addons
  • NoScript – don’t forget to go to about:config and search for noscript.first and turn it off.  This stops scripts running globally (but you can permit certain ones).
  • CookieSafe – a NoScript for Cookies.  Allow only certain ones (turn global off first!).
  • Firekeeper – in theory prevents various exploits on your browser (anyone know how useful this is?).
  • User Agent Switcher – Useful for pretending to be a different browser.
  • Adblock Plus – block all those annoying flash ads
  • Secure Login – if you use firefox to remember passwords, this addon helps prevent them being stolen by not automatically filling the fields in etc.
  • Ghostery – blocks the web bugs and similar
UI Related Addons
  • Download Statusbar – turns the download box into part of the status bar, so you can see when the download is finished, but not have a box on screen.
  • Tree Style Tabs – makes the tabs appear on the left and have tree style expansions.
Other Addons I don’t run over all profiles
  • Too Many Tabs – alpha, but lets you save tabs for later.  Playing around with.
  • Morning Coffee – opens websites up on particular days.
  • Greasemonkey – allows user scripts to be run.  VERY cool.
  • Scrapbook – save websites, annotate them and so on.
Development Related Addons

In addition, I run various Greasemonkey Scripts:

  • GReader – tidies up Google Reader a little.
about:config settings
  • Search for REFER and change network.http.sendRefererHeader to be 0 to stop firefox sending the ‘referer’ out.  This can break some download sites however.  You can also set network.http.sendSecureXSitereferrer to false also.
  • Search for VIEWERS and change browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to some low number.  This is the number of pages you can do ‘back’ for to use a cached copy.  -1 is as many as fit in memory.  0 would be none.  I set it at a low number as it’s nice to go back a couple of pages!
  • Search for PREFETCH and change network.prefetch-next to false to stop Firefox from loading any links on a page before you click on them.  This takes up memory and also slows your connection down.
  • Search for SPELLCHECKDEFAULT and change layout.spellcheckDefault from 1 to 2.  This allows the spell check to check text boxes and forms and things.
  • Search for DIV and change browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground from false to true to stop new tab links loading in the foreground.  I believe this is the same as if you middle-click on links.
  • Search for RE.I and change browser.sessionstore.interval from 10000 to 300000.  This changes saving the sessions you have open from every 10 seconds to every 5 minutes.  This can help videos play more smoothly (if you noticed freezing every 10 seconds).
  • If you have incompatible add-ons right click and add new boolean called extensions.checkCompatibility and set it to false to disable the add-on version check.

If anyone has any other fun little tweaks, let me know please.