Not starting (silently) when data directory is a bad symlink

Bug #433565 reported by Daniel Koć on 2009-09-20
8
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Firefox
New
Low
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned
firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox

When a data directory is a bad symlink (it links to not existing directory) Firefox doesn't start and gives no error message, even when run in CLI.

When run by issuing a "strace firefox" command there are two relevant lines, one by one:

access("/home/kocio/.mozilla/firefox", F_OK) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
mkdir("/home/kocio/.mozilla/firefox", 0700) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)

Looks like Firefox doesn't take symlinks into account here, but worse thing is it even doesn't inform about the error.

I get it when I share the profile between Linux and Windows - the profile is stored on the Windows partition and when it is not mounted for some reason the link becomes dead (typically not clean exit from Windows or Windows reinstallation resulting in changing the partition UUID).

Bug checked in 3.0.14+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.9.04.1 version, but shows also in current Intrepid package.

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.0.14) Gecko/2009090216 Ubuntu/9.04 (jaunty) Firefox/3.0.14
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.0.14) Gecko/2009090216 Ubuntu/9.04 (jaunty) Firefox/3.0.14

When a data directory is a bad symlink (it links to not existing directory) Firefox doesn't start and gives no error message, even when run in CLI.

When run by issuing a "strace firefox" command there are two relevant lines, one by one:

access("/home/kocio/.mozilla/firefox", F_OK) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
mkdir("/home/kocio/.mozilla/firefox", 0700) = -1 EEXIST (File exists)

Looks like Firefox doesn't take symlinks into account here, but worse thing is it even doesn't inform about the error.

I get it when I share the profile between Linux and Windows - the profile is stored on the Windows partition and when it is not mounted for some reason the link becomes dead (typically not clean exit from Windows or Windows reinstallation resulting in changing the partition UUID).

Bug checked in 3.0.14+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.9.04.1 version, but shows also in current Intrepid package. The newest night build of Firefox (firefox-3.7a1pre.en-US.linux-i686.tar.bz2) acts the same.

Also reported by me in Ubuntu ( https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/433565 ).

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Change /home/user/.mozilla/firefox directory into a broken symlink
2. Start the Firefox
Actual Results:
Firefox doesn't start and gives no error messages even in CLI

Expected Results:
Firefox should start, probably with a message box informing that symlink is broken and asking if it should remove this symlink and make a new data directory or just exit leaving resolution of this problem to the user

Daniel Koć (kocio) wrote :

I've reported it also directly to the Firefox bugzilla, since the problem persists even with newest night build: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=517779

Changed in firefox:
status: Unknown → New
Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Moving to firefox-3.0 package as firefox is for Firefox 2.

affects: firefox (Ubuntu) → firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

I'm marking this Low as this seems to be an edge case.

Changed in firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → Low
Changed in firefox:
status: New → Unknown
Changed in firefox:
status: Unknown → New
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