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Remote firefox opens local window

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 11 years and 322 days ago. Viewed 4,099 times. #1
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Problem

If I have Firefox running on my local system, and I ssh into a remote system with the goal of running firefox there X-forwarded back to my local machine, what usually happens is the remote firefox ends, and the local firefox pops up another window.

Solution

On the remote side, run

$ firefox -no-remote

Discussion

It seems the switch you are looking for is -no-remote. And yes, it does not appear with you run firefox -h, because firefox -h gives you the sitches supported by the program firefox.

What's this -no-remote then, you say? Well THAT switch is implemented by the wrapper script. Pish tosh, a wrapper script is some silly linux distribution script, you would think. But look at the license and the copyright and you'll find this is part of the standard firefox distribution. The method for getting the wrapper script appears to be to open it in vi. At least, that's the method I used. My firefox manpage does mention it too, but that's hardly an excuse.

Apparently you can also 'export MOZ_NO_REMOTE=1' although I suspect you'll be unhappy with the eventually memory load if you leave that in your environment generally.

Why put obvious switches for program behavior into a wrapper script? I have no idea. I see vague hints that these are "mozilla" options, as opposed to "firefox" options. Whatever that means.

"remote" also fails my clarity test. They are referring to the idea of "a remote" as in a control widgety thing that controls the central device. But that is pretty ambiguous when dealing with a windowing envonment whose probably sole advantage is that it is network transparent.

And as for Linux being a 'do what I say without helping (hurting)' kind of platform, I'd say it has a pretty good track record trending towards helping (hurting). It hasn't gotten quite so far at this as more popular systems yet, but my recent survey has suggested no one is immune. Cf. OpenBSD's /etc/myname. Whose name? Wow that's friendly.

Source: a post on hates-software

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