A Firefox window appears, but there is no menu bar and keyboard focus cannot be directed to the window.

Assigned to



11 years ago
9 years ago


(Reporter: cbartley, Assigned: smichaud)


Bug Flags:
wanted1.9.1 +
wanted1.9.0.x -

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




11 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008070206 Firefox/3.0.1

When launching Firefox from the command-line on OSX it is possible to launch it in such a way that a Firefox window appears, but there is no menu bar and keyboard focus cannot be directed to the window.  The Firefox application does not appear when you hit Command-Tab or in the list of applications under "Force Quit..." even though a Firefox window is visible.  It is necessary to kill the Firefox process from the command-line.

This problem occurs in a very specific case.  To launch Firefox on a typical configuration, the following command would be used:


If the path is just slightly mistyped, for example:

/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOs/firefox-bin (note MacOS ==> MacOs)

the described problem occurs.  Case mismatches only seem to occur in the "MacOS" part.  Case mismatches in other parts of the path (e.g. "applications" for "Applications") don't seem to hurt anything.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.Log on to a Mac, and verify that Firefox is *not* running.  Quit Firefox if it is running.
2.Open a terminal window.
3. Type "ls /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOs/firefox-bin" to verify the correct path to the executable (adjust if necessary).
4. Paste the (possibly) adjusted good path from step 3 (minus the ls), but don't hit return yet.
5. Edit the good path, changing just the case of one of the letters in the "MacOS" part.
6. Hit return.
7. Enjoy.

Actual Results:  
A Firefox window appears, however, there is no menu bar for Firefox, Firefox doesn't appear in the applications list when you hit command-tab or in the list if you select "Force Quit..." from the Finder Apple Menu.  Additionally, it is impossible to direct keyboard focus to the Firefox window.

Expected Results:  
Either a) Firefox should fail to launch altogether, or b) it should work just as if Firefox had been launched by clicking the Firefox icon on the Dock.

This may be, strictly speaking, an OSX bug.  Even if that's the case, if we can prevent the bug or at least diagnose it with a warning to the user, that would be a big improvement.

This bug might be present in Seamonkey as well.
> This may be, strictly speaking, an OSX bug.

It definitely is :-)

But when you try the same thing with Safari, it doesn't launch and you
get the following error message (in Terminal):

  No Info.plist file in application bundle or no NSPrincipalClass in
  the Info.plist file, exiting

The same thing should happen with Firefox.  And I suspect we could get
this to happen by making some kind of alteration to the Firefox

Categorizing this as Cocoa widgets ... because I don't know where else
to put it.
Assignee: nobody → joshmoz
Component: General → Widget: Cocoa
Ever confirmed: true
Product: Firefox → Core
QA Contact: general → cocoa


11 years ago
Assignee: joshmoz → smichaud
Priority: -- → P5


11 years ago
Flags: wanted1.9.1?
Flags: wanted1.9.0.x?
(In reply to comment #1)

> Categorizing this as Cocoa widgets ... because I don't know where else
> to put it.

Probably Toolkit:XRE or Toolkit:Startup and Profile (or whatever similar-sounding component may have replaced those in the recent Bugzilla component re-org; I haven't checked in on them recently).
Both of those seem to have disappeared in the Bugzilla component re-org, without any obvious replacements.  So I'm leaving this in Cocoa widgets, at least for the time being.
Firefox: Startup and Profile System (which we used for years as Toolkit: Startup and Profile System) merged with Toolkit: XRE Startup to make Toolkit: Startup and Profile System.

Hmm, does this maybe help explain why nobody who might understand them ever looks at any of my pet Mac startup bugs?
Component: Widget: Cocoa → Startup and Profile System
Product: Core → Toolkit
QA Contact: cocoa → startup


11 years ago
Flags: wanted1.9.1? → wanted1.9.1+
Doesn't really meet the "wanted" criteria (security, stability, regression from maintenance release) for 1.9.0.x. However, we'll look at a reviewed and baked patch.
Flags: wanted1.9.0.x? → wanted1.9.0.x-


10 years ago
Priority: P5 → P2

Comment 6

9 years ago
I just ran into exactly this bug when trying to launch Firefox 3.6.6 from the command line as the root user (so that I could install a web applet with root privileges to enable access to my corporate network via their SSL VPN). Is this ever going to be fixed? OS X 10.6.4.
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