I run Mozilla nightly builds quite a bit, which means I end up installing a new Mozilla on top of an old Mozilla pretty often. I thought I should write up some tips so I remember how to do it properly. Or at least how I do it, and what works for me.

Ok, the first thing I do is grab a nightly build from mozilla.org. If you don’t want to figure out which one you need, the home page should have a section labelled Nightly Builds.

After I download a nightly build I delete my old Mozilla app, and make a backup of my profile. On Mac OS X you’ll find that at: ~/Library/Mozilla/Profiles/[name]/[randomstring.slt]

Where [name] is the profile name (might be default or your username…) and the
[randomstring.slt] is a bunch of random characters. I just dupe the [name] folder for safe keeping.

I then install the new version of Mozilla. Now, most of the time if I try to launch the app, it gets stuck on the splash screen with ‘Creating first window’ – if this happens – there is a file to delete. It’s at: ~/Library/Mozilla/Profiles/[name]/ [randomstring.slt]/chrome/chrome.rdf. Deleting that file should allow Mozilla to launch properly.

Once Mozilla is running I have to re-install any add-ons, so it’s off to mozdev to grab what I need. (You can also download the XPI files you need, but don’t forget to check for updates now and then.) I like uabar and EasySearch. Oh, don’t forget any themes you might want.

What if it all blows up? Occasionally I get a nightly build that just doesn’t work. That’s to be expected. I then do one of two things. I check if I have an older nightly build that is stable. (I keep a few around just in case.) If that doesn’t work, I just grab the latest Alpha release, which is usually not too terribly different from the nightly builds.

That’s it… Happy browsing!

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