Migrate stored Mozilla passwords.

Mike A. Harris mharris at www.linux.org.uk
Wed Jun 30 10:39:27 UTC 2004

On Sun, 27 Jun 2004, Sam Varshavchik wrote:

>Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 19:41:12 -0400
>From: Sam Varshavchik <mrsam at courier-mta.com>
>To: fedora-test-list at redhat.com
>Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="===============0246185859=="
>Reply-To: For testers of Fedora Core development releases
>    <fedora-test-list at redhat.com>
>X-BeenThere: fedora-test-list at redhat.com
>Subject: Migrate stored Mozilla passwords.
>I can't figure out how to migrate all my stored passwords in Mozilla 1.4, on 
>FC 1, to another machine, Mozilla 1.6 on FC 2.
>Even if I copy all of ~/.mozilla it doesn't work, in fact Mozilla won't 
>start because the structure of the ~/.mozilla directory has changed.
>I had no luck Googling for it.  Even if I remove the master password, it 
>looks like the format of *.s files has changed between 1.4 and 1.6, so 
>copying over just the *.s files didn't work: hitting 'manage stored 
>passwords' locks up Mozilla.

I recently upgraded one of my workstations from RHL 7.1 to FC1, 
essentially by having 2 separate hard disks and doing a fresh OS 
install.  I then migrated settings from one system installation 
to the other until I had enough things working for the new OS 
install to be useful.

One of the things I had to migrate, was my Mozilla settings.  
When you first run mozilla, it creates a new directory with a 
totally random name to store your settings.  I've no idea what 
the insane reason behind that is, but I assume it's some crazy 
security thing.  Anyway, the directory is named:


Where "????????" is an 8 character combination of random letters 
and numbers.  You can NOT just rename this directory as it will 
no longer function.  Also, if you transfer this directory from 
one user account to another, or from one machine to another - it 
will also not work.

I assumed that Mozilla must "know" what this directory is named 
somewhere, and the only other place it could be informed of this 
is in the other files located in ~/.mozilla.  I popped them open 
in a hex editor and discovered that the "appres" file contained 
the randomized filename.

My solution, was to rename the appres file to 
"appres.<mymozilladir.slt>", and then copy over the appres file 
from my RHL 7.1 installation, and name it the same way, giving 2 
appres files with different filename extensions.  Then I created 
a symlink from appres to my RHL 7.1 appres file.  After copying 
the ????????.slt directory from my RHL 7.1 installation into the 
.mozilla/default directory, then starting up Mozilla, all of my 
bookmarks, cookies, passwords, forms, etc. were properly migrated 
to the new mozilla with no noticeable problems so far.

I don't know how different Mozilla is in FC2, so you may have to 
experiment a bit.

Hope this helps.

More information about the fedora-test-list mailing list