I copied my Firefox profile from a Windows installation to Linux (Fedora Workstation to be specific). My open tabs, extensions, saved forms survived the migration perfectly but the password manager did not:

  1. Instead of my saved logins it displays an empty list.
  2. It does it allow me to save new logins - the "save password" popup works as usual, but nothing is stored.

The logins.json and key4.db files are present, permissions are 644. I see the names of the old (before transfer) saved sites in logins.json. However, the files still have timestamps and sizes they had before transfer.

Any suggestions?

UPD: Tried file access monitoring with inotifywatch:

[zorath@localhost 1]$  inotifywatch /home/zorath/.mozilla/firefox/msl/key4.db /home/zorath/.mozilla/firefox/msl/logins.json
Establishing watches...
Finished establishing watches, now collecting statistics.
^Ctotal  access  close_nowrite  open  filename
3      1       1              1     /home/zorath/.mozilla/firefox/msl/logins.json
[zorath@localhost 1]$  

The conclusion is that Firefox sees the file(s) and is able to read them but does not want to.

  • Are you sure Firefox is actually using the profile you migrated? In other words, does the password manager, show your existing passwords?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 6 '19 at 13:32
  • Yes, Firefox is using this profile. Tabs, extensions, saved forms - everything is there; only the passwords are dead. Password manager shows an empty list of saved logins. (Guess I should add this detail to the question. My bad.)
    – sigil
    Sep 6 '19 at 13:34
  • You have verified that the permissions on the file are correct? In other words you have created a new Firefox profile, saved a random password, then verified the permissions are identical to that of the current file?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 6 '19 at 13:38
  • This is in fact a great idea. Will give it a try now.
    – sigil
    Sep 6 '19 at 13:45
  • Okay, saving logins worked in a new profile. Newly created logins.json and key4.db have permissions 600, which is more restrictive than the 644 the faulty ones have. I changed permissions for the faulty files to 600 just to be certain, but it did not help.
    – sigil
    Sep 6 '19 at 14:04

In your profile, there will be a file named pkcs11.txt that contains the path to the database (on the old Windows machine). Close Firefox, rename this file to pkcs11.txt.bak then open Firefox again. A new pkcs11.txt will be auto-generated with the correct paths and restore the password manager and all it's previously saved logins.

the same tip is also good to restore the password manager in Thunderbird after a Windows to Linux transfer.

  • I have confirmed that modification of the path restored access to the saved logins Dec 8 '19 at 7:13

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