History wiped out if disk full when firefox exits

Bug #40610 reported by Lee Revell on 2006-04-21
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Firefox
firefox (Ubuntu)
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

If the disk is full when Firefox is closed (or crashes, or is OOM-killed by the kernel) the history will be completely wiped out. This is a grave bug as it leads to data loss.

Of course it can't save the new history if the disk is full but it should fall back to the last saved history rather than losing data.

Gary Coady (garycoady) wrote :

I'm confirming this because multiple people upstream have confirmed the same issue.

The upstream bug at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=242207 has 50 votes, and has been open for two years. If it's okay, I won't add another comment to the already long thread, as it won't make fixing the bug any faster.

The probable way that this will be fixed is through the implementation of a new history/bookmark backend: in the release notes for the first alpha release of FireFox 2.0, a new feature was:
New data storage layer for bookmarks and history (using SQLlite)

I would expect that when Ubuntu moves to FF2.0, this bug will be fixed.

Changed in firefox:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Lee Revell (rlrevell) wrote :

FWIW the upstream bug seems to be at least 2 separate bugs

1) shift-delete with a single tab (comment #51)
2) disk-full at FF exit (comment #77)

#1 may only affect Windows, #2 affects Linux. #2 is much more serious IMHO as it seems to be easier to trigger

Lee Revell (rlrevell) wrote :

Would it be acceptable to work around this by having the wrapper script save a copy of the history file so the user at least has the option to restore the last known good history if FF decides to blow it away?

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060608 Ubuntu/dapper-security Firefox/
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060608 Ubuntu/dapper-security Firefox/

If Firefox is closed or crashes when the disk is full, history will be lost.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Launch firefox
2. Generate a disk full condition
3. Exit Firefox

Actual Results:
Next time Firefox is started the history is blank

Expected Results:
History should not be lost. It's not possible to save the new history with a full disk, but the previous history should not be lost.

Related to bug #242207

I just submitted a disk-full-related bug concerning context menus.

Regarding the history, I think a 'feature' should be added where the oldest entries in the history are removed to accomodate the new ones when the disk is full.

These disk full issues are more important as more people run Firefox from USB devices and (like me) from encrypted volumes.

Well, it would be a huge improvement if it simply didn't unlink the old history file until the new one was safely created. Better to lose the new entries than lose everything. It could also give the user a chance to free up some disk space rather than silently discarding the history (currently a transient disk-full condition causes the history can be lost in mid-session, without having to restart FF)

A lot of bad things happen when the disk is full. I had to basically delete my profile since all extensions just disappeared and none were able to install (no matter how many times I restarted the browser, they just kept asking for restart.)

IMHO firefox should refuse to start (or start in some kind of read-only mode) when the device that stores current profile is full.

I have also experienced this.

Changed in firefox:
status: Unknown → Unconfirmed
Alexander Sack (asac) wrote :

needs upstream confirm ... tagging accordingly

Changed in firefox:
assignee: nobody → mozillateam
David Farning (dfarning) on 2007-02-24
Changed in firefox:
assignee: mozillateam → mozilla-bugs

I confirm that.
In addition, all remembered form data is lost (but the stored passwords remain, thankfully) and the toolbars are reset to default. At least that happened to me yesterday when I run out of disk space.
I've also lost the whole Adblock Plus filter list, though I'm not sure if it's a Adblock or Firefox bug.

looks like a resurrection of bug 86501

Alexander Sack (asac) wrote :

confirmed bug upstream

Changed in firefox:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Changed in firefox:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Alexander Sack (asac) on 2008-10-31
Changed in firefox:
assignee: mozilla-bugs → nobody
status: In Progress → Triaged
Changed in firefox-3.0:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Firefox 2 is EOL. Is anyone having a problem with this on Firefox 3.5?

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Won't Fix
John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

Sorry but Firefox-3.0 has reached EOL and will no longer receive updates.
This is an old bug, can anyone confirm that this is still happening on firefox-3.5 from our repos?

affects: firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu) → firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu)
John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

Can anyone confirm this happens on 3.0.17

affects: firefox (Ubuntu) → firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Won't Fix → Triaged
Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → Critical

is this issue still seen in current firefox?

bug was filed when history was in mork so perhaps this can be closed.

xref bug 286988

*** Bug 453305 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Confirmed (the hard way) with Firefox 8.0.

We (Ubuntu) just had a confirmation on Linux that this was still happening with Firefox 8. (See linked Launchpad bug)

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Invalid
affects: firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu) → firefox (Ubuntu)

Lots of bad things do happen when the disk is full. (Session Restore doesn't save the session, visited links don't turn purple, etc.) It would be *really* helpful if Firefox would alert users about the problem so they can remedy it ASAP, preferably before Firefox crashes/power goes out/etc. and they lose their session.

Hi, I don't know i am the right person to take up this bug as i am still new to open source. But i would still like to take it up with help provided.

Lee Revell (rlrevell-k) wrote :

This bug no longer appears to be present in Firefox 38.0 on Ubuntu 14.04. Better late than never!

Changed in firefox:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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