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Setting up a zinc development environment

When testing Zinc it is a good idea to test multiple versions of firefox. eg some people are still using firefox2 while some are now using firefox 3. This means we need to test both versions.

There used to be some good documentation on how install and run both versions at the same time:

Unfortunately the above link does not always seem to work, so I have noted the most important points below.

The key to running two versions of firefox is to set up two different profiles and run each with a different profile. This means they can separately without stuffing the other one up.

To create a new profile shut down firefox completely (including ALL windows, popups, alerts etc). Then run firefox from the command line with the profile manager option 'firefox -profilemanager'.

This will start up the profile manager where you can create a new profile for each version of firefox you want to run. I suggest naming your profile to match the ff version. Eg ff307 for firefox 3.0.7.

You will need to download and extract the other versions of firefox you want to run. A comprehensive list of all past releases is available here:

Now, to run a version of firefox with the correct profile, type the following:

/full/path/to/firefox/lib/firefox --no-remote -P firefox_profile_name

Note that the --no-remote option is important, as is the -P flag which allows you to specify the profile.

The above command can be a bit of a pain to type, so you may like to set up some aliases in your .bashrc file (or another appropriate config file). It can also be a good idea to reconfigure any firefox icons you use to run firefox so that they use the correct command. If you want to run firefox using an icon and need to set up cmgui environment variables for zinc then I suggest writing a short script which exports your variables and calls the appropriate firefox command. Associate this script to run when the firefox icon is clicked.