Running firefox from usb

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tiggle, May 2, 2009.

  1. tiggle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #1
    Hi all. I am trying to run firefox from a USB stick, but have come across a few issues. I recently lost a computer so I want to make sure that my online banking and other password kind of stuff/shopping is done without leaving any trace on my hard drive.

    My first question is: Is it possible to protect myself in this way? I really don't understand the ins and outs of this, but I want to avoid leaving passwords etc on my hard drive. I am looking into ironkey since it was advertised here, but as I won't be moving the USB out of my home, I figured just running the app from my USB would be ok for now.

    When running firefox, I can only get to a website by googling it, not by putting the address in the address bar.

    I have tried to copy text from a site, but it only gives me the options to 'save image as' but when clicked, nothing else happens. The same is true for photos.
    Thanks in advance,
    Tiggle
     
  2. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #2
    its possible to run firefox from a USA key. however remember firefox has two parts. one part is the application itself, the other part is the profile where your passwords resides.

    just move firefox.app to usb key will NOT save you, because the profile is still on your HDD.

    You need to move your profile (and/or firefox.app, which is not important in this case) to USB key.

    1. Todo so, you need to start firefox profile manager. On mac, it takes a bit terminal operation.

    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_manager

    2. when profile manager pop up, create a new profile on your usb drive.

    3. after that, you can install an addon called "password exporter", then open firefox using your old profile, export the password.

    4. close firefox, reopen with your new profile, import the passwords.

    5. finally open profile manager again, and delete the old profile from there.


    This should work, but i could not test it on my mac right now. let me know if you have any problem in doing so.
     
  3. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #3
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    I'd expect a large performance hit - usb is nowhere near as fast as an internal HD.
     
  5. tiggle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. If I used a firewire drive, then I guess it would be faster. But I guess my major question is, will using a browser on an external drive, a portable version of Fire Fox for instance, mean that my internal hard drive of my computer that I must take out of my house on business, be free of passwords and credit card details that I use for banking and shopping?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    If security is your concern there's no reason to move the application to the external - that part is just program code. All you need to move is the profile. However, you might have some stuff you don't want others to see stored on the keychain.
     
  7. mason.kramer macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #7
    It's a lot easier to lose a USB key than a computer.

    Just a thought!
     
  8. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #8
    using firefox on an external drive with profile on external drive, yes
    using firefox on an external drive with profile on internal HDD, no
    using firefox on internal HDD with profile on external drive, yes
    using portable firefox on external drive, yes

    main point, profile must be on external drive to meet your need.
     

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