when firefox corrupts

I note that as of writing this post, firefox3.5 is out, but I have yet to switch to it. I do not know if it will alter behaviour, but I’m on firefox 3.0.11 under ubuntu.

So my system crashed. It’s done that a little bit recently (thrice in the last 6 months, but that is not what this post is about). On return, firefox is a bit fail. Some files are corrupted…

If this has happened to you, this is some information which might help you cope…

So, it’s worth noting that my $HOME is nfs mounted, which I imagine causes (or at least, exacerbates the problem). The problem being that sqlite databases get corrupted.

The two I have had to fix have been: places.sqlite and formhistory.sqlite. These are located within your firefox session directory – so go looking within $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/<session name>/


Effect: You have no bookmarks, and no navigation buttons working.

Solution: delete places.sqlite, and ensure that the newest file within ‘bookmarkbackups’ is also non-zero sized (which it may be if you have run firefox with a broken places.sqlite). On restart, firefox will recreate places.sqlite from the bookmarks backup file.


Effect: form submits no longer work. (I find I get one, then it fails afterwards till I restart firefox completely)

Solution: delete it. Note that as this will delete your form history, all those nice auto-filled forms will need to be filled in again.

Remember also that backups are invaluable, and being able to restore these files from backup is generally a better alternative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>