Provide an option to store files opened with helper applications in the Downloads directory




File Handling
8 years ago
8 years ago


(Reporter: Alf Eaton, Unassigned)


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)





8 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100105 Firefox/3.6
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100105 Firefox/3.6

Currently, any files set to open with helper applications are stored in /tmp and deleted when Firefox exits.

This is unlike the behaviour on Mac OS X, where these files are stored in the user's designated Downloads directory and never deleted.

This has the following consequences:
a) Files that have been opened in the current session are visible by any user who can list the contents of /tmp.
b) If the user could edit the file in the helper application then press "Save", it would be saved in /tmp and lost on reboot. To prevent this, the file has to be set to read-only.
c) Files open in the helper application disappear when Firefox exits, preventing a 'revert to saved version'.
d) Files are no longer available for re-opening after Firefox exits, unless the user has made a conscious decision to save a copy elsewhere.
e) Opening downloaded archive files with a helper application (e.g. "file-roller --extract-here") causes them to be extracted in /tmp, rather than the user's designated Downloads directory.

I would like an option provided to store these files in the user's designated Downloads directory (usually ~/Downloads).

It may even be a per-content-type option, e.g. store and open .pdf files from my Downloads directory, but open temporary .torrent files from /tmp.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Set PDF files to open in a helper application.
2. Click a link in a web page that opens a PDF file.
3. Quit Firefox.
Actual Results:  
The PDF file is saved to /tmp using its actual filename, then opened with the helper application. When Firefox exits, the file is deleted.

Expected Results:  
The PDF file is saved to the users designated Downloads directory, then opened with the helper application. The file is not deleted when Firefox exits.

Bugs 59808 and 69938 are related but different, as they apply to all downloaded files, not just those opened with helper applications.

The discussion for bug 69938 mentions the case where a user may have a restrictive disk quota but still need to open a large file for viewing or printing. For this reason, this setting should be a preference, allowing users without restrictive disk quotas to store and open these files from their designated Downloads directory.

Comment 1

8 years ago
I've now found the setting browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit, which helps with c) and d) above, by not deleting the files when Firefox exits.
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