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Re: [kde-linux] KDE sessions problem - Firefox

Thomas Taylor posted on Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:36:22 -0800 as excerpted:

> Not sure if this is the correct list for this message.  Please advise if
> not.

It is. =:^)

> It seems that since OS 13.1-Ã1 (?) I've been having a problem with the
> Firefox session not being restored (history) after shutdown/reboot.  It
> opens with only my home page shown, all other tabs open at
> shutdown/reboot are lost.  When I click on history, the "restore
> previous session" button is greyed out.  (see attached screenshots). 
> Current system in signature.
> In configure desktop I have "restore previous sessions" checked and this
> worked until Ã1.  What has changed?  I'm wondering if it's a Firefox
> version change as I seem to recall that previously it was 22.0.

> --
> openSUSE 13.1_RC2-x86_64 KDE 4.11.12, FF 24.0, claws-mail 3.9.2

FWIW, I'm a gentooer, not on opensuse, and while I run kde (4.11-branch, 
so between 4.11.3 and 4.11.4 ATM) and firefox (25) is my primary browser, 
my usage is apparently enough different than yours that I'd be unlikely 
to notice this problem.

My firefox sessions tend to be short, click on something, read it, maybe 
browse around some, open a few related tabs and read them, close each 
when I'm done and close the firefox window when I'm done with the last 
one. I open new windows for separate topics and close them too when I'm 
done with them.  And I normally don't shut down kde unless I'm done with 
what I'm doing, so there's only rarely a firefox window (or for that 
matter, much of anything else) open when I shut down kde.  And when I 
restart either kde or firefox, it's for a new task, so probably something 
like 98% of the time, having the same thing open up again would only be 
an irritant.

So indeed, I'd be unlikely to have noticed your problem.

That said, it sounds like your problem could be one of several things:

0) Check firefox preferences, privacy, history, and make sure it isn't 
set to never remember, always use private browsing mode, or clear history 
when firefox closes.  I'd guess than any of these are likely to disable 
firefox's session restoration functionality.

It may be that either firefox or opensuse (or possibly you, not 
understanding the consequences) decided that a more private default was a 
better default, and set these preferences accordingly, and by resetting 
them, you'll fix the problem.

While in firefox preferences, also check general, startup, when firefox 
starts.  Perhaps it was previously set to "show my windows and tabs from 
last time", but is now set to "show my home page" (or "show a blank 
page").  Even if that's not the problem, it's possible that setting it to 
show last time's windows/tabs will be a sufficient and not too 
complicated workaround. =:^)

That's the simplest problem to fix, if it /is/ the problem. =:^)

1) Perhaps wherever firefox is storing the session information is now 
either read-only or on tmpfs in memory so the restore file is removed if 
you reboot and thus clear that tmpfs.

Many distros now (sometimes optionally or automatically based on the 
amount of system memory) use tmpfs for "temporary" files they used to 
store on disk, especially now that (1) memory is often 4-16 gigs these 
days and (2) many people are using SSDs, which are generally faster and 
more energy efficient than "spinning rust", but have a limited write-
cycle issue that didn't apply to "spinning rust".  I know I have my temp 
files on tmpfs here, but of course I'm running gentoo, where the user is 
expected to configure such things to their own liking, so temp files are 
on tmpfs because I deliberately PUT them there!  =:^)

If you can logout of kde and log back in, and the firefox restore works 
correctly, but when you reboot it doesn't, that's a very good clue this 
is the root issue.  Of course that the problem occurs with simply logout/
login doesn't mean it's NOT this problem, since a script could be doing 
cleanup, but if it /does/ happen on reboot, but not on simple logout/
login, that's a strong indication that it IS this problem.

This one's distro-specific, tho it's possible that if you ask on a good 
firefox list/forum, you can get instructions on how to tell firefox to 
store the session information elsewhere where it will stick around.

2) Some other firefox session restoration problem.  For this one you'll 
likely need to ask on either your distro forums/lists (if it's a distro 
related problem or you get lucky and someone there knows the problem), or 
find an appropriate firefox forum/list and ask there (if it's an upstream 
firefox problem).

None of these three (0-2) are directly kde related, so if you get an 
answer here, it's by pure luck of someone happening to know.  But luck 
does happen... =:^)

3) KDE session restoration problem: Perhaps kde /was/ storing firefox 
session information, so it could re-open the same firefox session, but 
for some reason, now only stores the generic fact that firefox was open, 
and reopens it, but without opening the same session as it is no longer 
storing that information.

This is a good list for that if it's the problem, but as I said, I can't 
confirm as my use-case is different, so hopefully someone else can.

Finally, one additional possible workaround.  I wouldn't call this 
exactly convenient, but if you've grown to depend on being able to 
restore a session (and if it's not possibility 0 above, which will 
probably kill this workaround too) it could be better than nothing.

I don't see the option in the firefox main menu, but when I right/context-
click on a tab, a popup menu appears, with a "bookmark all tabs..." 
option.  If I choose that, a dialog pops up, allowing me to create a new 
bookmark-folder to put them in, etc.  You probably want to create a 
subfolder for this workaround in ordered to avoid mixing the new 
bookmarks up with your existing bookmarks.  Hitting the Add Bookmarks 
button then does just that.

The workaround idea here is that before you close kde and firefox, you 
save your tabs as bookmarks.  Then when you restart kde and with it 
firefox, you can open the bookmarks menu and subfolder you created the 
bookmarks in, then use the open all in tabs option to open everything 
back up.  Presumably you'd then open the bookmarks menu again, context/
right-click on that subfolder, and delete it, thus cleaning up the after 
all presumably temporary set of bookmarks.

A bit of a hassle, but as I said, it's hopefully better than nothing, if 
you can't get the normal firefox session-restore to work. =:^\

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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