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.
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.
1. Close Pale Moon
2. Windows key + R
3. In the box, paste:
Code: Select all
5. (optional) Move files from the old default Pale Moon profile to the new profile via copy-paste
6. (optional) Delete the old profile
Not sure but the process and command should be similar, e.g.
Code: Select all
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
(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
(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
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.