How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

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firefoxed
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How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby firefoxed » Thu, 23 Nov 2017, 04:46

This thread's title was meant to be:
Mom, I migrated from Firefox!


But that was probably a bit too vague for the Tutorials section.

A bit of history. Like many others, for years I had been watching the move of FF away from power users with some anguish. For me, the last straw was FF57, which killed most of my add-ons, including Classic Theme Restorer, without which I was lost. Many people were in the same boat and landed here for the same reasons.

To cut to the other side of the story: after a few days, I am thrilled to be on Pale Moon. Everything works the way I want. There is a clear path to the future. Best of all, there is a vibrant community of people who share some very similar tastes in browsers. And that's very cool.

Now that I'm 100% on Pale Moon, I thought I'd contribute the thread which I wished had existed when I got started, with the hope that it may help others on the same track.

Acknowledgments
The Pale Moon forum is fantastic. Apart from the things I found through trial-and-error, most of the information I needed was already on the forum, or was promptly contributed in answer to my questions. It's a delight to be part of this community. So big thanks to all those who provided the original threads where I found various tidbits I needed.

Of course, my deepest gratitude goes to the Pale Moon team and the tireless Add-On developers, who make using a browser not just bearable again, but a thrill of the kind I haven't felt since the early days of Netscape.

Call for Improvements
This guide only reflects my needs when I was migrating, and only the tools I found in this process. Please share your tricks, corrections and whatnot in the comments. Once in a while I'll try to roll up suggestions into the original post.

Okay... Let's get started!

Optional First Step: Downgrade Firefox
Before starting my migration, I downgraded FF to Firefox 52.50 ESR. With some nuances and disclaimers, this is kind of a stable "last good version" (just google it for details). Having it in place of FF57 made some operations easier during the move -- because you might need some extensions to help your migration, extensions that won't work in FF57+.

Should I Just Copy My Whole FF Profile?
You could, but that's probably not the best idea. Many times, a FF profile will be polluted from years of abuse. Some of its settings may have nothing to do with Pale Moon, and could disturb some default about:config settings carefully chosen by the Pale Moon team.

For me, it was clear that I wanted to create a new profile from scratch. This does not mean you have to manually recreate everything -- many elements can be imported, as you will see below. At the end, my profile was extremely light, making it easy to carry over to a different machine.

How to Place your Pale Moon Profile Where You Want It
My first concern when setting up Firefox (and therefore Pale Moon) is to make sure my profile is in a convenient place, so that I can back it up and potentially grab files from it. The profile can even live on an encrypted drive.

Windows
1. Close Pale Moon
2. Windows key + R
3. In the box, paste:

Code: Select all

palemoon.exe -profilemanager

4. Create the profile, set it as default.
5. (optional) Move files from the old default Pale Moon profile to the new profile via copy-paste
6. (optional) Delete the old profile

OSX, Linux
Not sure but the process and command should be similar, e.g.

Code: Select all

[code]palemoon -profilemanager[/code]


Migrating Your Bookmarks
Pale Moon / Bookmarks / Organize Bookmarks
Top Menu / Import and Backup / Choose File

Which file to choose?
1. You may already have a suitable html file within (Your Firefox Profile)\bookmarkbackups
2. If not, run Firefox, Bookmarks / Organize Bookmarks / Top Menu / Import and Backup / Export Bookmarks to HTML

How to Get your Add Ons
If you have a lot of add-ons, this step is "a bit of everything" because there are several situations.

0. Familiarize yourself with Pale Moon extensions
As a "before you start" step I suggest you familiarize yourself with the add-ons made specifically for Pale Moon. This may come in handy in step 5 for cases when you need to replace your FF add-on with something that was made for Pale Moon.
https://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/

1. Add-Ons that can be installed directly.
Google "Firefox add-on your_add_on_name"
If there is a working install button, you're (probably) good to go.

2. Add-Ons that require an older version.
If in step 1 you see that the add-on is incompatible, browse down the add-on page until you find the "See all versions" link. On that page, browse down until you find a version with a "Add to Pale Moon" link.

3. Test mode using Moon Tester Tool
If you can't find a version that is marked as working, it still might work.
Download the xpi file of the add-on you'd like to test.
Install the Moon Tester Tool add-on.
https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/moon-tester-tool/
Once you've restarted Moon Tester Tool, navigate to it under Tools / Add-Ons / Extensions. Click Options. At the bottom, click Select File.

4. Add-Ons that are no longer available
So you had a favorite add-on, but you can't find it because the developer had a bout of "I can kill it because it's mine".
In some cases, you can fish out the xpi file from
(Your Firefox Profile folder)/extensions
Sometimes, the names are garbled. Install FEBE on Firefox: it will help you migrate extensions.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/febe/

A number of repositories are also popping up to preserve old Firefox add-ons.
https://github.com/TarekJor/Firefox-52- ... master/xpi

5. Add-Ons for which you'll probably need a native Pale Moon version
If it's not working, there's a chance you'll find a substitution on the Pale Moon add-on page.
https://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/

Some substitutions I've made:
Default Zoom Level => Zoom Page
Self-Destructing Cookies => Cookies Exterminator
Classic Theme Restorer => None (you no longer need it!)
FastestSearch => None (not compatible)

How to Migrate Add-On Settings
There are several ways to implement extension settings, so there are several ways to migrate them.

1. By hand
Simple Preferences menu? Just copy the options by hand.

2. Config files
Some add-ons save configuration files somewhere under (Your Firefox Profile). Then it's only a matter of copy-pasting to the equivalent location under your Pale Moon profile.
Hints:
GreaseMonkey => (Your Firefox Profile)/gm_scripts
Search Engines => (Your Firefox Profile)/searchplugins but read details in the dedicated section below
Session Manager => (Your Firefox Profile)/sessions

3. Buried Preferences (about:config)
Some add-ons bury their prefs in about:config
Hint: Dorando Keyconfig

Two methods:
(i) prefs.js
You will find this file under (Your Firefox Profile) and (Your Pale Moon Profile)
- Back up the Pale Moon file in case you screw up
- Copy entries from the Firefox file (search the file for relevant entries, e.g. Dorando)
- Paste in the Pale Moon file

(ii) OPIE
This add-on lets you export and import configurations. Install in both FF and PM.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefo ... /versions/

How to Import Search Engines
You have a mile-long, lovingly curated list of search engines in your search pull-up menu? Here are the steps to get them back.

1. In FF, install
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... rt-import/
2. In FF, go to Tools / Options / Search and scroll to the bottom
3. Click "Export All Search Engines" and save the zip file to your drive
4. On your local machine, navigate to
(Your Pale Moon Profile)/searchplugins
5. Close Pale Moon
6. If you want to replace all the search engines, delete the engines already in that folder.
7. In that folder, extract all the xml files from the zip file you downloaded.
8. Restart Pale Moon. Done!

How to Import GreaseMonkey scripts
This one is delightfully simple.

Copy the contents of
(Your Firefox Profile)/gm_scripts
to
(Your Pale Moon Profile)/gm_scripts

How to Import "Session Manager" Sessions
If you're not familiar with Session Manager, that's a great add-on. Another easy one to migrate:

Copy relevant files from
(Your Firefox Profile)/sessions
to
(Your Pale Moon Profile)/sessions

How to Make KeePass / KeeFox work with Pale Moon
This is a bit of an art, I'm still working out the details. I never loved KeeFox, and so far I'm happier with the new set-up.

1. Forget KeeFox. At least that's what I did as the only compatible versions were old and I didn't feel like dealing with potential compatibility hiccups with the main KeePass program.

2. Get to learn and love Auto-Key (a feature of KeePass, the fourth tab when you edit an entry). If set up properly, Ctrl + Alt + A works like KeeFox, but (in my view) with a better interface. If several entries match the current web page, you get presented with a menu.

3. Tweak your KeePass entry titles. The way Auto-Key works is that the Entry Title has to be found within the Window Title (i.e. the text at the top of the Pale Moon interface). This is not ideal. There are other ways to match browser windows to KeePass entries -- see step 4.

4. Improve KeePass Entry x Browser Window Matching
I'm at that stage, so I don't have all the answers yet.
(i) The WebAuto-Type plugin is supposed to allow you to match URLs noted in the KeePass entries to browser tabs, but it doesn't work in Pale Moon.
(ii) Some Firefox extensions are meant to add the URL to the Window bar. If that works, you can use the url as your KeePass entry title. Not sure I want to go there as I want to minimize KeePass plugins and prefer clean KeePass entry titles.
(iii) Consider "Custom Sequences". This is found in an entry's Auto-Type tab, in the lower section, where the Add button lets you add some fine-grained matching criteria, for instance using regex. I haven't yet found a formula that works the way I would like -- causing the Title to fail (with the help of a little garbling) to prevent over-matching while allowing a regex to match. To be continued.

How to Replace the Pale Moon icon with something more... Firey
I don't know about you guys, but I already have way too many blue icons, so the PM icon gets lost in my task bar. To complete my set up, I replaced it with the Firefox orange.

These steps are for Windows. In the thread feel free to contribute steps for OSX and Linux, and I'll try to add them here.

Install Resource Hacker
http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/#download

Open File, e.g.
C:\Program Files\Pale Moon\palemoon.exe

REPEATEDLY, Ctrl + R ( i.e. Actions / Replace Icon)
Open file with new icon:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

Select the same on both sides, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 32512


That's it, folks!
Looking forward to reading your own tips, as well as suggestions for improvements, type notifications and the like.

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bawldiggle
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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby bawldiggle » Mon, 27 Nov 2017, 01:33

@ firefoxed ;)

Excellent ... very helpful tute ... while I scramble to "squirrel" away my must-have XPI files
For newbies to Palemoon ... you can save Mozilla/Fox addons by Right clicking the AMO webpage "Download" btn and save the addon as an XPI file
- if the addon file type is not XPI, you have a web-extension that will never work in Pale Moon
Only discovered Session Manager about 2 hours ago (from Tabs Utility Phoenix - developers comments Fox AMO webpage) and have been following links since then.

Would you know the latest compatible AMO version of Session Manager for Palemoon ?
- I have not graduated to Moon Tester Tool ... yet ! ... your brief description has helped to explain how to use it.

Thank you :)
Win-7 PRO x64
Palemoon 27.x.x (32-bit)
Extensions ... still experimenting, changes from day to day.

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back2themoon
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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby back2themoon » Mon, 27 Nov 2017, 13:15

bawldiggle wrote:Would you know the latest compatible AMO version of Session Manager for Palemoon ?

The current 0.8.1.13 version works fine, you just need to make a small modification to its install.rdf file for the installation to proceed (search the forum for more details). You could also use the Moon Tester Tool to install it 'as-is', although the first method is probably the recommended one.
Safe Mode / clean profile info: Menu/Help/Restart with Add-ons Disabled
Information to include when asking for support - How to apply user agent overrides

Windows 10 Pro - Pale Moon x64 - FossaMail x64 - Emsisoft Anti-Malware

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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby Trapper852 » Mon, 27 Nov 2017, 23:59

Here's the pertinent thread explaining how to mod v0.8.1.13

https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14132

firefoxed
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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby firefoxed » Wed, 29 Nov 2017, 16:03

Can't edit my original post, but two additions:

- for Windows installed, there are threads strongly encouraging you install the 32-bit version even if you have a 64-bit system
- not sure changing the icon modification thing makes so much sense after all, as as soon as PM updates, you get the original icon back

Swicher
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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby Swicher » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 10:07

firefoxed wrote:A number of repositories are also popping up to preserve old Firefox add-ons.
https://github.com/TarekJor/Firefox-52- ... master/xpi

Other sites from which you can download Firefox extensions (although they have not been updated for years):
I also take the opportunity to add a small tutorial that could be useful to more than one.

How to import Firefox permissions
I noted that some Firefox permissions were no longer present in Pale Moon (more precisely are the permissions listed in the information dialog of a page when pressing Ctrl + I). After investigating I discovered that it was due to how both browsers manage the permissions.sqlite file.
It turns out that this database has two tables: moz_hosts (used by Pale Moon and older versions of Firefox) and moz_perms (used by recent versions of Firefox). To migrate the permissions, you must do the following:
  1. [Optional] Make a backup of permissions.sqlite and close Pale Moon before starting.
  2. Install a SQLite database manager such as the sqlite3 tool (which works by command line), SQLiteStudio, DB Browser for SQLite or extensions such as SQLite Manager.
  3. Open the file with one of the programs mentioned in the previous step, find something that says "Execute SQL", "Query editor" or similar and run the following:
    /* Creates the table moz_hosts in case it does not exist */
    CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS moz_hosts ( id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, host TEXT, type TEXT,
    permission INTEGER, expireType INTEGER, expireTime INTEGER, appId INTEGER,
    isInBrowserElement INTEGER, modificationTime INTEGER);
    /* Import moz_perms permissions into moz_hosts */
    INSERT INTO moz_hosts (host, type, permission, expireType, expireTime, appId, isInBrowserElement, modificationTime)
    SELECT distinct replace(replace(origin, "https://", ""), "http://", "") as host, type, permission, expireType, expireTime,
    0 as appId, 0 as isInBrowserElement, modificationTime from moz_perms

    where host not in (select host from moz_hosts);

    To better understand what the second query does, it can be broken down into three parts:
    • The green part indicates the way in which the records will be inserted (the id attribute is omitted because it is generated automatically).
    • What is red is the way in which moz_perms permissions are obtained so that they are compatible with moz_hosts.
    • Purple color indicates that the select only displays permissions from sites that are not in moz_hosts to avoid redundant data.
  4. [Optional] Possibly Pale Moon does not use the moz_perms table so it can be removed from the db manager or with the following statement:

    Code: Select all

    drop table moz_perms;

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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby TarekJor » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 21:06

Thanks for good tutorial ;) @Firefoxed

About old-addons and archiving XUL legacy-addons it is related to this thread:
Classic Add-ons Archive - Pale Moon forum

About How or where to get *fox-Addons:
"A number of repositories are also popping up to preserve old Firefox add-ons."
I notice you link "my WIP repo", XPIs are checksum identical downloaded from AMO (last versions compatible with Firefox 52 ESR or 56 sometimes, it is a "RAW WIP" when I have some time I will create more "tidy GitHub pages space"

It is a personal curation collection of "useful" legacy-addons I use or I found useful-influential these years..
... it is not "complete saving" but I am open and happy to receive suggestions to preserve (of course ;)

AMO collection for Firefox 52-ESR compatible legacy-addons +130
Firefox-52-ESR legacy-addon

Everyone could add pull request or send me private message via GitHub, here or on Reddit to add "important XUL legacy.addons" to repo

At this moment (I have a lot of work, and I am busy), but in near future, I want to recreate a AMO/legacy clone for Firefox-56 forks (ESR), like Palemoon/Basilisk, WaterFox, etc at least for "most important and useful addons"... maybe we are a "minority" a "vast minority", of people who cares about features instead "of false Modernity or Evolution"

I think a complete archiving of AMO (Addons.Mozilla.Org) like ArchiveTeam did on Archive.Org, is important, but it is useful too make one "for usability" purposes, as a curation-selection of addons considered "as Hall of Fame".

I think XUL Framework is not dinosaur (killed by meteor), and it is useful (I always love Zotero integration or Chatzilla or DownThemAll).
Thanks for, all the work and community.value this years BTW, PaleMoon is important as this project remembers and respects legacy.

I don't want a world only with Firefox by Mozilla (The Corporation), and Chromium-clones (Chrome, Opera, Brave... etc)

About this
Other sites from which you can download Firefox extensions (although they have not been updated for years):
http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/mozilla/addons
ftp://ftp.netspace.net.au/pub/mozilla/addons
ftp://ftp.up.pt/pub/mozdev

Some addons are/were purged by "own authors", sometime ago I saw:
CheckPlaces, SynPlaces... by Andy Halford on Daniel-Lange blog

... at that moment I realized "the importance of preservation creations, products" beyond authors themselves...
Best regards.

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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby kbhasi » Wed, 20 Dec 2017, 17:57

firefoxed wrote:How to Replace the Pale Moon icon with something more... Firey
I don't know about you guys, but I already have way too many blue icons, so the PM icon gets lost in my task bar. To complete my set up, I replaced it with the Firefox orange.

These steps are for Windows. In the thread feel free to contribute steps for OSX and Linux, and I'll try to add them here.

I have found a safer way to do it, it has to do with the way the supplemental icons for the Moonscape theme are implemented, but no one I know of has actually did such a pack but with the pre-Australis Firefox icons. Oh wait, someone has done something similar, but in the form of an extension.

What I do know, is that on Linux, with Steven Pusser's repacks for DEB-based distros, those install to /usr/lib/palemoon/, but if PM was installed using the pminstaller.sh script, that installs it to /opt/palemoon/.

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Re: How to Migrate from Firefox to Pale Moon for Beginners and Old Hands

Postby Swicher » Mon, 15 Jan 2018, 21:35

I do not know if this is useful for anyone, but I add it anyway since I found it interesting.
In Firefox 38 the preferences dialog box became a tab (about:preferences). For those who are habituated to access the preferences in this way, you can do the following:
  1. Install the modified version of Redirector that I attached in this response. It is the same extension that is in AMO, the only change I made was to disable a couple of ifs that check if the links start with http or https.
  2. Open the Redirector configuration and add a new redirection with the following:
    • Description: Redirect about:preferences to XUL preferences page
    • Include Pattern: about:preferences(#.+)?
    • Redirect To: chrome://browser/content/preferences/preferences.xul
    • Pattern Type: Regular Expression
The only limitation with this tip is that the sections cannot be accessed from a link (for example about:preferences#privacy) because by default it loads the section that was opened the last time.
Attachments
redirector-2.9.3-fx-modified.xpi
Redirector 2.9.3 modified for this trick
(61.17 KiB) Downloaded 5 times


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