Firefox Cache Settings

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Hairy One Kenobi, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. (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
    guess).

    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!
     
    Hairy One Kenobi, Oct 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. Hairy One Kenobi

    Management Guest

    Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
    <SNIP>
    >
    > 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...

    <SNIP>

    Would this help:

    <QUOTE>
    * 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
    SettingsusernameApplication
    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.
    <UNQUOTE>
    http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com/Forum/index.php?showtopic=423

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

    Charlie.

    --
    Broadcasting to the environs
    www.radiowymsey.org
     
    Management, Oct 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 14:59:11 GMT, "Hairy One Kenobi"
    <abuse@[127.0.0.1]> wrote:

    >(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
    >guess).
    >
    >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.
    >


    It's in the Firefox tips guide...

    http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/tips.html#oth_cache


    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:
    user_pref("browser.cache.disk.parent_directory","x:\\");

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

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
     
    Stephen Howard, Oct 24, 2005
    #3
  4. "Management" <> wrote in message
    news:435d0b0c$0$41148$...
    > Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
    > <SNIP>
    > >
    > > 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.


    <snip>

    > * 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
    > SettingsusernameApplication
    > 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.
    > <UNQUOTE>
    > http://decentdownloads.x-istence.com/Forum/index.php?showtopic=423
    >
    > (Second hit for "change firefox cache directory" on Google :)


    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,

    H1K

    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!)
     
    Hairy One Kenobi, Oct 24, 2005
    #4
  5. Hairy One Kenobi

    Winged Guest

    Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
    > (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
    > guess).
    >
    > 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.
    >



    Another way to do this is in the user.js file

    http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/tips#oth_cache

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

    Winged
     
    Winged, Oct 25, 2005
    #5
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