I use Dropbox religiously. I own a laptop, two personal desktops, and an internet cafe full of computers, not to mention I’m constantly on the go with my phone. Since you can’t selectively sync folders on your computer with Dropbox, I’ve moved my entire My Documents folder to the Dropbox. You can move your My Documents folder by right-clicking on it and clicking “Move”.
Since I have my work and regular documents properly synced across all my machines it was time to sync the rest of my work flows. I run all my email through various Google App accounts and I check them on my main computers using Thunderbird. For web browsing I use Firefox exclusively unless I’m forced to use something else.
I have a basic set of add-ons that I use, such as Minimize to Tray, Faviconize Tab, All-in-One Gestures, Delicious, and Copy Link Text. I had installed these separately but various settings like my bookmarks toolbar and icon arrangement get changed. The way to fix this was to move my Thunderbird and Firefox profiles to the Dropbox so they stay in sync.
It’s quite simple:
- Create two folders in your Dropbox for both profiles. I just called mine “Firefox” and “Thunderbird”.
- Locate your current default profiles and copy their contents to the respective ones you just made.
- Mozilla.org says to find them like this:
- On Windows Vista/XP/2000 the path is usually %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\
- On Linux the path is usually ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/
- On Mac OS X the path is usually ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/
- More details here
- On Windows Vista/XP/2000 the path is usually %APPDATA%\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\ or just browse to C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\ on Windows XP/2000 or C:\users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\ on Windows Vista, and the rest should be obvious.
- On Windows 95/98/Me the path is usually C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\
- On Linux the path is usually ~/.thunderbird/xxxxxxxx.default/
- On Mac OS X the path is usually ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/
- More details here
- Once you’ve copied the contents of your default folders over you need to delete them.
- Now run the profile manager for each program by running each one with the -p flag enabled. It’s easiest to type “firefox.exe -p” and “thunderbird.exe -p” from the run command in the Start menu.
- You now need to create new profiles for each
- Once you’ve create a new profile you can delete the old default one from the list. The new one will become the default option.
- That’s it! You’ve now moved your Firefox/Thunderbird profiles to your Dropbox. On subsequent computers simply create a new profile and point it at your Dropbox profile folders, you shouldn’t copy the old profiles over. Make sure you delete the default profile and then start up Firefox/Thunderbird and your settings will be the same (once Dropbox syncs).
The only problem I’ve had is that some existing plugins needed to be reinstalled after the first copy, however, before you reinstall anything that claims to be incompatible you should simply try searching for updates and restarting Firefox/Thunderbird.
Leave a comment if you’ve managed to do this or something similar with success.
Ok, so for the record the above “does work”. However, I quickly realized that all my email takes up a crapload of space in the Dropbox and Thunderbird doesn’t necessarily change for me that often, so I undid my profile changes.
Also, for the sake of speed, and proper caching, you should definitely move your Firefox cache by typing “about:config” in the address bar. Find (or create by right-click > New > String) the entry “browser.cache.disk.parent_directory”. Set it to the absolute location of when you want the cache to be. I set mine to “C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\eric\cache” which is pretty much where it used to be, but you can put it anywhere. Then go back and delete your old cache out of the Dropbox for good measure.
Hope that help!