Combining user & password data from 3 browsers -possible?


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Aug 21, 2018
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I've spent over 10 hours trying to get this to work and have had to come here to try to find answers. Sorry for the lang post, but I'm at my wit's end!

I have been having a terrible time with my system going corrupt every 2-4 months. It was rock solid for 4+ years then it just started freezing up and then it would never be able to load into Linux (Kubuntu 14.04 was 4+ years then Kubuntu 16.04 since - with installed/running times of 2.4 months, 2 months and 1 month before an unrecoverable system problem). So for each install I created new bookmarks, accounts and passwords for new sites and save the data in the respective managers/ I didn't pull the data from the old installs, though I've saved all the OS's/root FS and home folders on separate drives and as an ISO or IMG file with DD (to later analyze what happened to them).

So now I have a week old install and I need to pull the data off of these old drives. I can mount each driv'es home directory, so I have full access of the ~/.config/chromium as well as ~/.mozilla on all the installs. On the old install the one with 4yrs of data, which died around October of 2018, also had Chrome with a lot of bookmarks/passwords.
I've also saved all the folders listed above as a recursive ZIP file, labeled by install date and browser name.

So I have 3 browsers with the following sets of data from each:
Firefox - total of 4 including the present bookmarks/data
Chrome - 2 - the 4yr install and the next one
Chromium - 4 year install and the last 2 installs (skilled installing it on the second install).

So I'ver read a bunch of how-to's on how to copy the data. Some say to just copy the entire config file (overwrite the folder with all the old data) and you are good to go. I did this and had mixed results with both FF and Chrome from the oldest install.

I also tried copying certain files from each of the older folders into the newer ones and had mixed results. In one case, all the new data was wiped out and another time the passwords copied over but none of them were linked to the sites (maybe usernames were left out as well). It was a total mess.

So I've decided to create virtual machines in VM workstation and replicating the current install I have running on the system, so it should be basically identical. I can practice there and see what works and what doesn't.

I've got ~10TB of space to play with (~3TB SSD based on 5 drives), so I can quickly play around and get things working, if I had a little assistance and guidance.

I'd like to write a blog or tutorial on how to do this b/c I've found many people who have had serious difficulty getting this to work, even following Chrome or Mozilla how-to's. Those actually seemed to be the most faulty sometimes compared to the guides on random Linux sites.

Can anyone tell me where I should start to get this working? My new install seems to run well and the previous install (FF & Chromium) had the usernames/passwords of sites I use 95% of the time, so restoring that would be GREAT and VERY helpful.

Might it be better to copy the data on the current install (to a zipfile for both browsers) and then expand the zip files from the previous install into my current install, then I would have the data from my last install? (maybe in a VM??) Then if I could insert my newest zipfiles into the freshly restored usernames/passwords and I would get the total of all of them?

Finally, one issue I had moving from 14.04 was that Firefox and Chrome were from old versions, so files I had to transfer from the old version (like pubkey.3) was called (pubkey.4) in the newer install and I don't think it could even read pubkey.3 in the new version, so the data couldn't be transferred.


Staff member
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Apr 30, 2017
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Not a full solution, but a workaround, for now.

Install Timeshift.

For your Kubuntu, that would be as described here

Once you have the settings and passwords sorted, perform a full On Demand snapshot, be sure to included everything under Settings - Users.

Then you can try suggestions others make, or research yourself, and know you can roll back if things go awary.

Chris Turner

BTW you have so much space, set up a Timeshift partition on an external drive, so it is always available. Also have a LInux MInt (18.3 or more) LIve USB on hand, it has Timeshift installed (for Restore purposes only).
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