I encountered the same problem at our school with a multiple server
setup of ubuntu hardy and Firefox 3.01. No way to keep students working.
We should collect some more information to ensure not to mix different
Is this only a problem with Firefox 3.01 or shows Firefox 2 the same in
What kind of lock files do you get in the various situations?
(cd to firefox profile, ls -la | grep lock)
a. firefox starts normally
b. firefox start is delayed
c. firefox terminates with message "Firefox is already running"
d. firefox crashes without message
Are you working on multiple servers with home directories mounted via
What happens if students start the browser from terminal with the
command firefox -save-mode ?
Explanation to Question # 2.):
I have looked at the firefox profile and the profile locking mechanism
where I suppose the cause of our problem. I found out that Firefox 3 has
a different mechanism of profile locking. In the profile folder
(/home/user/.mozilla/firefox/xyz.default/) a symbolic link is created by
the starting firefox:
ls -l shows the link named "lock":
lrwxrwxrwx 1 wollw wollw 15 2008-09-08 20:32 lock -> 127.0.1.1:+6164
The link disappears as firefox exits.
I am not familiar with the strange "->Ip:+Number" syntax, which are the
loopback IP and the process number of the firefox process. Can someone
explain what kind of link this is? Appending text to the file and
reading from it shows that it is a kind of named pipe.
If I remember correctly: Former versions of Firefox had just an ordinary
file named "lock". In consequence to this change a second firefox
process now just opens a new window but gets part of the existing
process while in former versions the second process terminated with the
error message "Firefox already running".
Please have a look at the lock file. In another situation even on the
local machine insted of loopback IP the IP of the interface eth0 is
lrwxrwxrwx 1 wollw wollw 19 2008-09-08 21:58 lock -> 192.168.0.20:+21469
I describe this in fully detail as we have a multiple server environment
with three secondary servers and one primary ltsp server which holds the
home directories (and therefore the users firefox profiles. The
home-directory is mounted by nfs.
There are issues at bugzilla about former versions of firefox with
profiles at nfs mounted locations.