How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

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Posts: 59
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 20:03

How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

Postby UncleSam » 07 Sep 2019 16:52

Yesterday, I burned solydk_10_64_201909.iso to DVD-$ and
tried it on my AMD64 machine running solydk 9. It looks great! It looks like an improvement to my stretch version of solydk 9.

So I am thinking about saving my URLs for Firefox-ESR 60.9.0esr(64-bit)
in solydk 9 so I can save them to an external USB drive and reuse
them in soldk10 after I replace solydk 9 with solydk 10.
I think this is called "exporting bookmarks" and "importing bookmarks"
but I don' t know how to do it.

Reviewing 5 pages here from searching "bookmarks" did not reveal
anything I could understand.

So I decided to try it myself.

I remembered that bookmarks are URLs loaded into a web browser,
along with some plain text, that are saved to a file on my hard drive.
So I clicked on every tab of every open window in my Firefox-esr
browser and then <Ctrl> d and then clicked "Done" on the Firefox
dialog box that popped up.

Then I searched for the file from my home directory:

Code: Select all

$find ./ -name "*bookmarks.html" | xargs ls -Fdltr
-rw-r--r-- 1 sam users 1993 Jun 13  2014 ./bookmarks.html
This is not what I was looking for. Today is September 7, 2019.

So I did a search for recently modified files containing "bookmarks".

Code: Select all

$find ./ -mtime -1 >temp
$grep -i bookmarks temp
$file ./.mozilla/firefox/vkxttw93.default/bookmarkbackups/bookmarks-2019-09-07_84_kCSC-3WuzNzezmn1i-XmDw==.jsonlz4
$file ./.mozilla/firefox/vkxttw93.default/bookmarkbackups/bookmarks-2019-09-07_84_kCSC-3WuzNzezmn1i-XmDw==.jsonlz4
./.mozilla/firefox/vkxttw93.default/bookmarkbackups/bookmarks-2019-09-07_84_kCSC-3WuzNzezmn1i-XmDw==.jsonlz4: data
great.....a binary file.

Code: Select all

$grep bookmarks.html temp
$grep bookmarks.htm temp
No file I can read. I can only assume this file contains the URLs that
I saved to bookmarks.
I can save this binary file to a USB drive. Does anybody know if I can
import this file back into FIrefox-ESR after upgrading to the new Firefox
on the new operating system?
Obviously I am trying to avoid third party solutions that require my email address.

If you know of another thread by another user with this same problem,
would you be so kind as to direct me to it ?

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Location: The Hague, NL

Re: How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

Postby grizzler » 07 Sep 2019 17:55

If I'm lazy (i.e. I don't have time to check whether Mozilla made any more incompatible changes since the last time I checked...) and don't want to run any risk, I just copy the entire profile directory to the other machine.

As a test - and running the risk - I copied just the places.sqlite and favicons.sqlite files and that was enough.

Do make sure you don't have Firefox running when you copy them, or things might go wrong anyway.

SolydX EE 64 - tracking Debian Testing

Posts: 17
Joined: 12 Oct 2015 12:33

Re: How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

Postby pitfd » 08 Sep 2019 10:34


go to "Manage Booksmarks" or open it with "CTRL-Shift-O".

On the right hand upper side you will see a drop down
menue called "Import and Save", which will allow you
to export and import bookmarks.

hope this helps

Posts: 59
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 20:03

Re: How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

Postby UncleSam » 11 Sep 2019 20:49

Thanks, grizzler, for your admonition to copy the .sqlite files when firefox-esr was NOT running.

I successfully upgraded from Debian 9 to Debian 10 using solydk_10_64_201909.iso burned to DVD.

Code: Select all

sam@solydk:~/linux$ cat showme
 egrep -l '^Origin: Debian$' /var/lib/apt/lists/*Release \
     | xargs egrep -l '^Label: Debian$' \
     | xargs egrep -L 'Codename: .*-' \
     | xargs fgrep Codename \
     | awk '{print $2}'

sam@solydk:~/linux$ showme
Before replacing my OS, I had searched all my /home/sam subdirectories for filenames containing spaces and then replaced all the spaces in filenames with underscores. I also backed up the .sqlite files grizzler mentioned, all onto external media.

Then after installing the new OS from DVD, which took about 26 minutes, I discovered
that my old /home/sam/ directory had been left undisturbed. WOW! I don't know how I managed to do that, but am really happy that solydk 10 could do that. Superb! KUDOs! I restored firefox-esr's .sqlite files from the ones I had saved to external media.

If I had known the new Gparted on the liveDVD could do that, I would have skipped all the stuff I did to my /home/sam files in the last couple days.

Better that I did remove all those spaces from filenames, just in case I try something dumb in the future.

I learned some years ago wildcards in the rsync source field can also be a very bad thing, just as bad as omitting the final / from both source and destination fieldnames. I suppose that by now I ought to have tried the --dry-run option to rsync.

Thanks for the firefox GUI tip, pitfd My firefox bookmarks were all unchanged, but I saved my firefox-esr bookmarks-2019-09-11.json on my external media for later use, just-in-case.

Thank you all for your wise advice, and for this great experience with Solydk 10.

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Location: Berlin

Re: How to copy Firefox-esr bookmarks to another OS

Postby amnesix » 12 Sep 2019 09:34

When I Install FF on a new machine, I like to transfer :

- bookmarks
- search engines (and the keyshorts I use — a lot)
- passwords
- way to handle the links (.pdf, .whatever)

The best way to do this I found : replace in the new machine's FF profile the following directories / files with your source machine version thereof

- bookmarkbackups (directory)
- searchplugins (directory)
- handlers.json
- key4.db
- logins.json
- places.sqlite
- places.sqlite-shm
- search.json.mozlz4

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