Multiple Versions of Firefox and/or PaleMoon

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Multiple Versions of Firefox and/or PaleMoon

Post by diNovoM » 2011-09-24, 21:20

As the information about using multiple installs of Firefox isn't really detailed at one place available and nearly nothing to Pale Moon and x32/x64 i decided to make this HowTo.

Table of contents
#1# Introduction/Why multiple installs
#2# Pale Moon command line arguments
#3# How to install/use installs of FF & PM
#4# FAQ/Warnings
#5# History - last update 2011.09.24

#1# Introduction/Why multiple installs - (Top, Table of contents, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
So why would you want to install several versions of FF and/or PM - there are several reasons:
  • An Add-On is only working on an old version
  • You want to test a new version/build
  • You want to test/use FF & PM and/or x32 & x64 builds.
  • You are a developer and want to test your Add-On on several versions (and if they interference somehow if using several versions at same time)
  • You are just interested in if it even works or how
#2# Pale Moon command line arguments - (Top, Table of contents, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
First of all you need the path and application name of the browser you want to set arguments for. After that you paste the command line argument. You can do this by using Start -> Run, set an shortcut to it, from any shell, batch or vbs - so whatever is able to call applications with command-line arguments. Following is an example:

Code: Select all

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Pale Moon 7\palemoon.exe" -Profilemanager
Syntax Rules:
  • Command parameters containing spaces must be enclosed in quotes; for example, "Joel User".
  • Command actions are not case sensitive.
  • Command parameters except profile names are not case sensitive.
  • Blank spaces ( ) separate commands and parameters.
List of command line arguments (command - result - example):
  • ProfileManager <<=>> Starts with Profile Manager <<=>> palemoon.exe -ProfileManager
  • CreateProfile profile_name (profile_dir)<<=>> Create a new profile (in specified folder) <<=>> palemoon.exe -CreateProfile test (or "test C:\test")
  • P "<profile name>" <<=>> Starts with a given profile name (profile name is case sensitive) <<=>> palemoon.exe -P "Joel User"
  • profile "<path>" <<=>> Starts with profile located at the given path <<=>> palemoon.exe -profile "E:\myprofile"
  • no-remote <<=>> Enables running multiple instances of the application with different profiles; used with -P <<=>> palemoon.exe -no-remote
  • migration <<=>> Starts the application with the Import Wizard for non-Firefox browsers <<=>> palemoon.exe -migration
  • safe-mode <<=>> Launches the application with extensions disabled and the default theme <<=>> palemoon.exe -safe-mode
Many more commands if you are interested:
  • browser <<=>> Start with the browser component <<=>> palemoon.exe -browser
  • private <<=>> Opens Pale Moon in private browsing mode, regardless of the current user preference. <<=>> palemoon.exe -private
  • <url> <<=>> Launches the application and opens the given URL(s) <<=>> palemoon.exe "" ""
  • chrome <chrome_url> <<=>> Loads the specified chrome <<=>> palemoon.exe -chrome chrome://inspector/content/inspector.xul
  • register <chrome_url> <<=>> Register the specified chrome, but do not start application <<=>> palemoon.exe -register chrome://ffskin/content/images/drag.png
  • new-window <url> <<=>> Loads a URL in a new browser window <<=>> palemoon.exe -new-window
  • new-tab <url> <<=>> Loads a URL in a new tab <<=>> palemoon.exe -new-tab
  • search term <<=>> Search term with your default search engine <<=>> palemoon.exe -search "News Pale Moon"
  • preferences <<=>> Open Options/Preferences window <<=>> palemoon.exe -preferences
  • setDefaultBrowser <<=>> Set the application as the default browser <<=>> palemoon.exe -setDefaultBrowser
  • height <value> <<=>> Sets height of the startup window to <value> <<=>> palemoon.exe -height 600
  • width <value> <<=>> Sets width of the startup window to <value> <<=>> palemoon.exe -width 800
Other Components
  • inspector <url> <<=>> Starts with the DOM Inspector <<=>> palemoon.exe -inspector
  • console <<=>> Starts the application with a debugging console <<=>> palemoon.exe -console
  • jsconsole <<=>> Starts with the Error Console (Javascript Console) <<=>> palemoon.exe -jsconsole
  • venkman <<=>> Start with the JavaScript debugger, Venkman, if installed <<=>> palemoon.exe -venkman
  • install-global-extension /path/to/extension <<=>> Installs an extension globally <<=>> palemoon.exe -install-global-extension "C:\Temp\extension-file.xpi"
  • install-global-theme /path/to/theme <<=>> Installs an theme globally <<=>> palemoon.exe -install-global-theme "C:\Temp\theme-file.xpi"
  • UILocale locale <<=>> Start with locale resources as UI Locale <<=>> palemoon.exe -UILocale en-US
  • remote remote_command <<=>> Execute remote_command in an already running application process <<=>> palemoon.exe -remote "openURL(, new-tab)"
  • silent <<=>> Don't open default windows. Useful with those command-line arguments that open their own windows <<=>> palemoon.exe -silent
  • override /path/to/override.ini <<=>> Load the specified override.ini file to override application.ini ( browser/app/application.ini) <<=>> palemoon.exe -override C:\Mozilla\override.ini
  • -app /path/to/application.ini <<=>> Start a new process running the XULRunner application at path/to. Version 3 and above. <<=>> firefox.exe --app C:\Mozilla\application.ini
The rest
Note: There are still more commands but aren't listed or described in detail as they are undocumented.
If you would like to know about command line install of Pale Moon please visit Details about the ProfileManager can be found at, for example,

#3# How to install/use installs of Firefox & Pale Moon - (Top, Table of contents, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Basically, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:
  1. Close all instances of Firefox and/or Pale Moon, otherwise it will just open a new window/tab if you perform the next step.
  2. Open the Firefox/Pale Moon Profile Manager. To do this, you will need to open the Browser from the command-line, and add the “-Profilemanager” switch to it. So, the command might look something like:

    Code: Select all

    "C:\Program Files\Pale Moon 6\palemoon.exe" -Profilemanager
  3. Create a new profile, and give it a name that indicates which version of Firefox you will be using that profile with. For instance, if you are getting ready to install Pale Moon 7 rc3, you can name your new profile “PaleMoon-7.0.rc3". (You can but should not use spaces and be careful using exotic characters in the names of your profiles, just use standard letters and numbers without accents).
  4. Download a copy of the Firefox/Pale Moon version you want to install
    Note: If you have trouble finding older versions of Pale Moon for download, you can find them at the Archived Versions page.
  5. Install the new copy, but make sure that you choose a “Custom” install. Then, when you get to the point where you select which directory to install Pale Moon to, you want to choose a unique directory. I recommend naming the directory the same as the profile you created.
  6. Once the install is completed, create a shortcut to the version of Pale Moon you just installed. Then, edit the “Properties” of that shortcut and add the following to the “Target”: -P “PaleMoon-7.0.rc3”. Make sure that you place that outside of the closing quotation mark that comes after “.exe” in the current target. Also, replace “PaleMoon-7.0.rc3” with the actual name of the profile you want to use for that version of Pale Moon.
#4# FAQ/Warnings - (Top, Table of contents, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Q: Can i run different Versions at the same time?
A: Sure, but you will need to use the -no-remote command line argument.
Q: Can i install and run Firefox and Pale Moon side by side?
A: Firefox and Pale Moon can easily run side by side at the same time. If you benchmark, though, it's not recommended because they will fight for resources and processor power, of course.
Q: What about using x32/x64 together?
A: They also run fine at the same time but they use same profile folder, so again: since they already install in different folders you only need to create a new profile (if you want to use them at same time or have differences in configuration).
Q: So i can use the same profile for different browser versions?
A: This all depends which browser (versions) you are going to use. See Method 1 for re-configuration below.
Q: Is there an easier way to use multiple installations?
A: For Firefox: Yes, there is and it's called utilu. For Pale Moon you can use multiple versions of the portable browser.
Q: Now, do I really need to set up the whole thing again?
A: No, there are several ways:
  1. The simplest way would be to copy your profile, meaning call: Start\Run\%AppData%\"Mozilla" or "Moonchild Productions"\"Firefox" or "Pale Moon"\Profiles\*Open the profile you want to copy*\*copy everything you want to paste the same way in another profile*. But be warned! This works good on simple x32/x64 change. Else it only might work: if you copy a FF Profile to Pale Moon you will loose some default speed optimizations, if you want to copy from/to different main builds it can cause several problems, especially from 3.x and below to 4.x and above.
  2. Use Firefox Sync for Firefox/Pale Moon settings, Export Settings in Add-Ons if available. For a list of used Add-ons you can use "Nightly Tester Tools" f.e., Mr Tech Toolkit doesn't work well on newer browser versions. This would be the best solution as it's nearly fail-safe, although it's rather cumbersome to set up Sync on each new copy of a browser.
  3. Use export tools like the Add-On "FEBE", these provide a nearly fail-safe and quite easy method to ex-/import settings and add-ons etc.
Q: I can't really distinguish between all these versions:
If you find that you need new Firefox icons in order to distinguish between the different versions, you should be able to find a lot of good ones by simply using Google (Pictures) or choose/find icons here:

#5# History - last update 2011.09.24 - (Top, Table of contents, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • 2011.09.24: 1st draft
  • 2011-09-24: Revised and proofread (MC)


Re: Multiple Versions of Firefox and/or PaleMoon

Post by dversa » 2011-11-07, 20:36

To run multiple versions of PaleMoon portable you still need to un-comment this line in the ini file because standard this setting is commented (;)
;(multiple istances)

Thanks for the clear tutorial diNovoM.