Firefox Cache Settings

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(Yes, there *are* security/integrity implications - that's how I found out
about this...)

A smidgen of history to start with: computer room being rearranged, 'bout
time I tidied the backup servers, one of 'em straining to defrag, noticed
something odd.

Next, a quick reminder/intro to Windows profiles, post NT4. There's a
subdirectory for each locally defined user, default install locates TEMP
etc. in there, to keep user settings and data separated. (Note that I'm
deliberately ignoring Home-style stuff, here). May be redirected, and
usually is, in a business environment.

In general, there are not one, but two, areas of the profile that relate to
user settings (old, old story of two teams not communicating would be my

Because it's a "special case" IE has its own admin/user-selectable cache
directory that may - or may not - lie outside of these directories. Ditto
TEMP (depends upon how complex you want you backup scripts to be, and the
levels of security you require for transient data files).

Well, it seems that Firefox lumps its cache in the Application Settings
area. And there isn't an obvious way to change it through the GUI.

So.. excluding tweaking backups for this one application (everything else in
that branch is actually useful), how does one set the cache directory?
Googling gets me how to change the maximum cache size (shock, horror - oh so
difficult ;o), but not how to reset the directory itself. And, as part of
the tidy-up, I dumped the source code...

From what I can see, at the moment, sysadmins who are actually deploying
this in The Real World (tm) are hoovering-up anything up to 50MB of random
crap into their backup cycles. Per user. Not good if you're the guy paying
for all that additional storage, or you're getting to the stage that you
could really do without the extra hour that's it's potentially adding to
your backup (e.g. 1500 user site)

The help, naturally, doesn't.


Hairy One Kenobi

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this opinion do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the highly-opinionated person expressing the opinion
in the first place. So there!

Re: Firefox Cache Settings

Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
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Would this help:

* Open Firefox
     * In the location bar, type about:config and hit enter
     * Right-click in the white-space, and choose New->String. Enter
the name browser.cache.disk.parent_directory and click ok.</liL
     * In the next box, enter the full patch to the directory you
want to store your cache in. Something like C:Documents and
SettingsusernameLocal SettingsApplication DataMozillaFirefoxCache
     * Close Firefox.
     * Delete your old cache directories in C:Documents and
DataMozillaFirefoxProfilessomething.username I actually had three
directories in here with cache in the name. I deleted all three.
     * Restart Firefox. It will create the directory specified
above, if it doesn't already exist.

(Second hit for "change firefox cache directory" on Google :)


Broadcasting to the environs

Re: Firefox Cache Settings

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Thanks, chaps - glad to see that it *can* be done, if not in quite as
obviously as I would have liked!

Point noted about putting the word "change" in the next Google rummage <hits
head against desk. Repeats..>

As noted, I presume that this sets a user-specific file setting.. setting
this for a bunch or users could obviously be fairly tiresome (unless you
either get a warm and fuzzy feeling developing potential "killer" scripts,
or simply stomp over previous settings - like a few of the less enlightened
sysadmins wot I have known ;o)

One other thing I did notice is that filenames aren't reused in the cache,
or are version-specific - the "basic" cache actually took 60MB (configured
to a maximum of 50MB), and a rummage through the online backup freed 350MB.
And, no, that's not a typo.

Cheers again,


P.S. Anyone have a list of these config settings, or is it going to take a
trawl through the header files? Thought that I might write it up (given that
noone seems to have bothered putting it in the Help!)

Re: Firefox Cache Settings

On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 14:59:11 GMT, "Hairy One Kenobi"

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It's in the Firefox tips guide...

Essentially though, navigate to
C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\XXXXX.default
Create a file called User.js
Paste this into it and save:

// Path to Cache folder:

....where X:\ is the directory you want to place the cache ( note the
backslashes ).


Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
Emails to: showardshwoodwindcouk

Re: Firefox Cache Settings

Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
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Another way to do this is in the user.js file

The network deployment guide has a number of good tricks for managing
users across a network.


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