Friday, 7 March 2008

Firefox wont open

After Firefox crashes or you don’t close your browser down properly it may refuse to open again claiming it is already open with a message along the lines of:
Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system
This can be frustrating after you reboot and still have the same message.

The problem is that as Firefox didn't close properly it didn't have chance to delete its lock files. Lock files are just basic text files that programs create when they are launched. When they are closed they delete these files. This is done as when you launch the application, in this case Firefox, it will check to see if that lock file exists. If it does it knows the program is already open and will give you a message like the one above.

To solve this problem all you need to manually delete the lock files. These are located in
~/.mozilla/firefox/
In this directory you will see a subdirectory starting with a made up series of letters and digits and ending in .default. Mine is called f1ps0jiv.default. Go into this directory and delete the files .parentlock and lock.

Note the period before parentlock. This means the file is hidden, so you might not be able to see it right away. If you are using your console to delete the file then just type:
rm .parentlock
If you are using a file browser such as Dolphin you will need to select View -> Show Hidden Files to see them

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