OS X trying to run a profile from a mounted DMG file (read-only) shows error "Another copy of Firefox is running" (Tor 14631)

NEW
Unassigned

Status

()

Toolkit
Startup and Profile System
P3
normal
2 years ago
a year ago

People

(Reporter: arthuredelstein, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Blocks: 1 bug)

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Whiteboard: [tor][tor-standalone])

Attachments

(1 attachment)

At a Tor Browser UX field test, we noticed users trying to run Tor Browser from a DMG. This fails because the DMG is read-only and the profile directory is therefore unwritable. Unfortunately, the error message reported is confusing -- it says "Another copy of Firefox is running,"

So patches was added to Tor Browser to present more helpful user-facing error messages in situations where read or write access to the profile directory is denied.

For reference, the latest versions of the Tor Browser patches are here:
https://torpat.ch/14631

Note there are two patches in Tor Browser, but only the patch with the title "Bug 14631: Improve profile access error messages." is likely to be useful for uplifting to Firefox.
Hardware: Unspecified → All
Whiteboard: [tor]
Created attachment 8677775 [details] [diff] [review]
0001-Bug-1217166-Improve-profile-directory-access-error-m.patch

Here is the proposed Tor Browser patch, rebased to the latest version of mozilla-central.
Attachment #8677775 - Flags: review?(dtownsend)
Comment on attachment 8677775 [details] [diff] [review]
0001-Bug-1217166-Improve-profile-directory-access-error-m.patch

Review of attachment 8677775 [details] [diff] [review]:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

There are a couple of problems with this patch that I think would need to be resolved before we would take this.

First it adds new file I/O to every startup, I think that could be avoided by making this check either something that only happens if the profile appears locked or you might even be able to get the same information out of the work the profile locker does.

The second problem is that the messages you have here talk about moving Firefox to a new location but in the normal case the profile isn't part of the Firefox directory so that won't help. We'd need instead to reference the settings directory or something, we can ask UX if they can come up with a useful message here. That might mean this no longer solves the problem for Tor though.
Attachment #8677775 - Flags: review?(dtownsend) → review-

Updated

2 years ago
No longer blocks: 1243899
Component: Profile: BackEnd → Startup and Profile System
Product: Core → Toolkit

Updated

2 years ago
Priority: -- → P3
Summary: OS X trying to run from DMG files run into "Another copy of Firefox is running" → OS X trying to run from DMG files run into "Another copy of Firefox is running" (Tor 14631)

Updated

2 years ago
Summary: OS X trying to run from DMG files run into "Another copy of Firefox is running" (Tor 14631) → OS X trying to run a profile from a mounted DMG file (read-only) shows error "Another copy of Firefox is running" (Tor 14631)

Updated

2 years ago
Blocks: 1260929
Whiteboard: [tor] → [tor][tor-standalone]
Is this happening with Tor Browser because you're overriding the profile location to be inside the app bundle?
See Also: → bug 516362

Comment 4

a year ago
(In reply to Ted Mielczarek [:ted.mielczarek] from comment #3)
> Is this happening with Tor Browser because you're overriding the profile
> location to be inside the app bundle?

Yes, that is what makes it much more likely that Tor Browser users will encounter this situation compared to Firefox users. But note that since this bug was originally filed we have stopped placing the profile inside the .app bundle on macOS; if someone tries to open a recent version of Tor Browser from a readonly DMG, their profile should be placed under ~/Library/Application Support.

I still think it would be good to display better error messages when the profile directory is not accessible.
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